Do you need a break from the frenetic pace of life in Tokyo? Looking to get off the beaten track without straying too far from the megalopolis? Or maybe you are a photographer or artist who’d like to immerse herself in spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean? If so, a visit to Jogashima, a beautiful island just off the south coast of the Miura peninsula, is highly recommended. It’s about 35 kilometers south of Yokohama and makes a great day trip from Tokyo.
Jogashima is a wonderfully peaceful place. It’s only 1.8km long and 500m wide, so it’s easy to walk around its rocky shoreline. Start your walk from the lighthouse, one of the oldest western-style lighthouses in Japan, designed and built by the French engineer Leoncé Verny in 1870. The original lighthouse was made of brick, but it was destroyed by the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. It was replaced by the current reinforced-concrete structure in 1925.
Next, have a look at Umanose domon, a curiously shaped natural rock arch that is one of the best-known spots on the island. The rock used to be half underwater, but the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 raised it by 10 meters. You’ll see lots of cute little crabs running over the rocks to escape from their uninvited visitor.
After visiting Umanose domon, walk to the island’s park, located on the eastern half of the island. As a result of the constant wind coming in off the Pacific Ocean, most of the plants in the park are leaning dwarves.
If the weather is fine, it’s worth staying on Jogashima until sunset. The fresh onshore breeze and the stunning view of the setting sun reflecting off the waves are sure to put your mind at rest.
Before going to Jogashima, you really should visit Misaki fish market as it’s on the way and makes a good place to have an early lunch. Misaki is one of the largest tuna ports in Japan and buyers come from far and wide. According to local fishermen, their tuna is of better quality than what you’ll find at Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market (the former Tsukiji fish market).
Misaki fish market is about 15 minutes by bus from Misakiguchi station. The market opens at 5am, but the best time to see the fish auction is between 6.30am and 8.30am. Visitors are permitted to observe from the second floor and admission is free. After the auction, you can enjoy excellent seafood in one of the many restaurants around the harbor. From the market, it’s another 30 minutes by bus to Jogashima.
A Keikyu line limited express train from Yokohama will take you to Misakiguchi terminal in 47 minutes. From Shinagawa, the journey takes 65 minutes.
You might like to consider a ‘Misaki maguro day trip ticket.’ It costs 3570 yen from Keikyu Shinagawa, Kamata or Kawasaki stations and 3480 yen from Keikyu Yokohama. The price includes your train and bus tickets, plus a meal ticket that you can use in any of 32 seafood restaurants around Misaki harbor and a ticket that entitles you to an omiyage from one of the souvenir shops.
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