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Island day trip from Nagoya

The Chita Peninsula in located south of Nagoya. A short ferry ride from the mainland will get you to Himakajima (Himaka Island). It’s a great day trip from Nagoya if you are after something a bit different.

I recommend alighting from the ferry at the island’s west port (the first stop). As we did, you will probably arrive around lunchtime, and the west port is the location of the majority of the islands small cafes and restaurants. Himakajima is famous for its fresh octopus (tako in Japanese), so the menus are full of octopus related dishes. I recommend ordering a tako teishoku (octopus set menu) if you can’t decide what to eat. Both the west and east ports have a very cute octopus statue that you can snap a photo with. See if you can spot the difference between the two almost identical statues!

After eating lunch and taking a photo of the statue we decided to explore the island on foot (rental cycles are also available). It is only about 1.3km from the west port to the east port. We walked up a back street that runs at a 90 degree angle to the west port. Up this little street we came across a little shop where they were drying white octopus—definitely a sight to be seen! I couldn’t decide if they were cute or scary, but they definitely mesmerised us.

From here the road gets narrower and steeper as it winds past a small temple and lots of houses with interesting looking flower and vegetable gardens. It feels very traditional. After a few minutes we reached what is probably the high point of the island, from where there was a nice view of the water and the other islands in the bay. From here we descended back to the main road that circles the island along the coast. We came across some squid being dried in the sun on our walk to the east port.

From the east port you can catch a ferry back to Kowa, or, as we did, a ferry to a nearby island called Shinojima. It is about a 10 minute ferry ride. Shinojima is a similar size to Himakajima, and can also be explored on foot. There is a delightful white sand beach about a 15 minute walk from the ferry terminal. The island also has an onsen (hot spring) and a working port.

Although this was a great day trip, if you have the time to stay overnight, Himakajima has lots of nice looking accommodation options. This would allow you to explore all both islands have to offer at a more leisurely pace.

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