Kanagawa: Day Trip to Jogashima Island
Contributed by TupangGala Tina, Rose and Kim
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan and miss the stunning blue of the sea and the calming lull of the waves, Jogashima (城ヶ島), a small island south of Miura peninsula in Kanagawa prefecture, is the perfect place to be. Just one and a half hour from Tokyo, the place seems underrated as a tourist spot. Unlike the conventional sightseeing areas in Japan particularly in and around Tokyo, the island is not so crowded even during weekends (at least when we got there one Saturday in April). This means more wonderful photo opportunities—no photo bombers!—and basically, a higher chance to enjoy the place.
How we went there?
Since we are from Tokyo, from Shinagawa Station (Keikyu Line) we purchased the Keikyu Misaki Maguro Kippu (English translation: ticket) that comes with a pamphlet and three coupons—the A coupon for the train ride, B coupon for one meal at any participating restaurant around the Misaki Harbor area, and the C coupon for the bus rides. The pass costs 3,500 JPY inclusive of all transportation costs and one-time access to a sumptuous tuna dish (maguro means tuna), which is not at all costly considering Misaki Harbor as one of Japan’s famous sources of high-quality tuna. There is a variety of places to visit in the Miura peninsula with this pass but we spent our entire day in Jogashima.
Since we only intended to visit Jogashima, we got our fill of it and really took the time to explore almost every crook and cranny of the small island, taking photos in the sublime rock formations and cliffs greeting the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
After around one and a half hour train ride from Shinagawa Station, we arrived at the Misakiguchi Station at about 10 am. From there, we rode bus no. 9 at bus stop no. 2. Not all buses from this bus stop go to Jogashima so ask the driver first before boarding.
The ocean breeze immediately welcomed us once we set foot on the island. The outline of Mt. Fuji was also present in the horizon but not until sunset when it became more visible.
Under the clear blue skies, we started our trek of the grey coastline—an ocean of rocks set before the real one. The lighthouses—Jogashima and Awazaki—stood from the distance, charming and inviting and waiting to be approached.
Already famished from our stroll and the hundreds of pictures we already took for the first leg of our tour, we searched for a restaurant that would accept our coupon. We went to the restaurant most easily accessible from where we were, near the bus drop-off point. The place did not disappoint. The kind owner immediately knew we were foreigners and spoke to us in English. We got seated on a tatami and helped ourselves with the typical full Japanese meal, the maguro or tuna the highlight of the course. As a thank-you for eating in their restaurant, they presented us with a free omiyage or souvenir. We already had a taste of it during our meal and it was so like the Filipino bagoong (fermented seafood paste) that we were so happy that it was given to us for free! Honestly, the day couldn’t get any better than that.
But it did.
After lunch, we made our way to Jogashima lighthouse. On our way, we passed through modest and quaint souvenir shops. Other food and soft ice cream parlors dotted the narrow paths leading back to the stretch of ocean and rock formations.
We spent so much time at the towers of rocks and cliffs overlooking the quiet rise and fall of the waves. Birds seemed to follow us everywhere we go; our stream of photo ops of ourselves interrupted by the sight of them hovering the sky above us. The spread of their wings, stark against the bright blue sky, was another sight to behold, prompting a moment of gratitude for nature’s magnificence and God’s wondrous creations.
On our stroll, we also stumbled upon thickets of bamboo and wild grass (which we managed to make a backdrop for our vanity).
Even though our walks were regularly interrupted by hours of photo ops, we successfully made it to the Umanose-Domon arch, south of the island. Then, guess what? More photos, of course!
Since we only had an hour or two left before sunset and we wanted to watch it by the ocean, we briefly went to Jogashima Park where we climbed a few sets of stairs to a viewing platform, another site to see the island’s panorama. We also met tubby ginger cats on our way.
After 5 pm, we found out that most of the shops were closed. We wanted to have some coffee while watching the sunset by the ocean. There were no convenience shops around so, in our haste, we bought coffee at one of the few remaining open restaurants. Coffee was freshly brewed but more pricey than the one at Starbucks.
When we got back to our favorite spot of beds and blankets of rocks, we saw a handful of people setting for camp, a pair of couples, and some fishers scattered around the area. The sun which had shown itself unabated by clouds the whole day went down beside Mt. Fuji, basking our world with strong yet gentle orange light. Before daylight was fully extinguished, Mt. Fuji took hold of the horizon making itself more evident. Only then we started to feel exhausted from all the walking and climbing we made. Night fell. We went back to the place we started, got on the bus that took us back to Misakiguchi Station where boarded the train back to Tokyo.
All in all, Jogashima gave us a great getaway from the busy metropolitan even just for a day. We were also blessed with a perfectly fine weather so make sure to check the weather forecast before going. Also, don’t forget to wear comfortable yet still fashionable clothes and shoes to be up for walking and a bit of climbing and, most especially, to be picture-ready. *wink*
HOW TO GET THERE
Take the Keikyu Line from Shinagawa to Misakiguchi Station and get on a bus. For Misaki, take a bus to Misaki-ko and for Jogashima, take the Jogashima bus to the final stop.
- Misaki Maguro Ticket
To get good value out of your day get Keikyu’s special “Misaki Maguro Ticket.” For ¥3500 this covers round-trip train fare from Shinagawa, bus travel in the area, includes a tuna set lunch at one of many participating restaurants, and a coupon for a bus ride.