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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shikanoshima Island

Shikanoshima Island is a small island that is easily accessable from Fukuoka, Japan. There is not a whole lot to do on this island, but that is part of the draw. The island is surprisingly rural and natural, which can be a nice contrast to the busy and modern city of Fukuoka. Walking along the edge of the island is a nice few hour walk where you will find a lot of random things and small towns that should keep you interested and wondering what is around the next corner. 
It's a sleepy kind of island...but that's the main reason why you should go.

Golden Seal

There is a small park on the island where a famous Golden Seal was found. At first, I thought they were talking about some urban legend that had to do with an animal made out of gold. When we go to the park it turns out that an ancient Chinese letter seal made of gold was found here...Not quite as exciting as a golden animal, but the park was nice none the less.

Out of Place Hot Dog Stand

If you do go to the island, try looking for MamDog. It's a strangely random place that sells the best hotdogs I've had in a long time. There was a little girl that worked there that continously spoke Japanese to us, even though neither one of us can speak Japanese. She didn't seem to mind and we had a fun time trying to comunicate with her.

Katsuma Beach

The biggest draw to the island is the beach. It's a beautiful which is very clean and not terribly developed. There are many nearby island which make the view something to yip about. The surrounding ocean is a busy shipping and fishing area and it was interesting to watch all the activity going on out at sea. The most interesting thing was the giant school of fish we saw. At first I thought it was just patches of sea weed or coral, but as I looked longer and harder I noticed all the fish jumping out of the water. These school of fish must've had hundreds of thousands of fish each and probably took up an area of about two acers. There were several fishermen who just threw their lines into the clump and pulled fish out by their tails or sides or faces. It didn't look like much fun considering how easy it was, but they seemed to enjoy it.

Getting There

 There are a few ways to get to the island. One way is by ferry from Hakata Pier, but the easiest way to get there is to go to Hakata station and buy a JR ticket to JR Kashii station. At Kashii you will need to transfere lines and head to the JR Saitozaki staion, which is the last stop. From Saitozaki there are a number of local buses that will take you to the island. This sounds like a lot of work, but the whole trip only takes about 45 minutes.

Thanks for reading,

A nice shot of the end of summer country side.

A dad drawing in the sand with his daughter. You can see a few islands and shipping boats in the background.

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