Off Toba City’s shore sits Mikimoto Pearl Island. This Mie Prefecture attraction is the birthplace of cultured pearls and is even run by Mikimoto Pearl Museum Co., Ltd. Upon visiting the island, guests can view fascinating and beautiful pearl craft goods and exhibits, and even watch ama divers gather pearls.
Mikimoto Jokichi succeeded in developing the world’s first cultured pearls in 1893 on an island in Ise Bay. In 1951, Mikimoto purchased the island and renamed it to Mikimoto Pearl Island to establish a museum for pearls.
The pearl museum features many large pearl crafts, including a globe made from 12,541 pearls, 377 rubies, and 373 diamonds; it has a 33-cm diameter. There are also exhibits of ama-diver shows. These free-diving women gather pearls in a practice that dates back over 1,000 years. Mikimoto Pearl Island is one of the few places where visitors can watch these spectacular women at work.
A 5-minute walk from Toba Station.
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