If there’s one lesson to learn from Japan it’s that every detour we took was well worth it.
We weren’t supposed to go to Sensui-Jima. We weren’t even really supposed to go Tomo No Ura, the little fishing village from which we embarked (but that’s a story for another day). We wanted to go biking, but there were no bikes to be rented on that day. There was a boat to be taken though. The lady at the ticket office showed us it was going to that small island in the distance. Why not?
I guess it makes sense that hidden paradises aren’t too much advertised.
Sensui-Jima is a very Japanese version of a Mediterranean island. Quiet, poetic, quirky at times, and of a very touching beauty.
There is the beach with its giant fish sculpture, at the resort where they play a xylophone tune for the four tourists and the two fishermen.
There is the mesmerising forest that covers the island, and its tiny caterpillars hanging from the trees.
There is the Seto inland sea, all around, like a soft, peaceful mirror.
There are the temples perched on the neighbourhing islands, appearing and disappearing as you progress through the paths.
There is even one more surprise there, but I will show it later.
______________Getting there sound complicated but isn’t, since traveling in Japan is the smoothest thing there is. First take the train to Fukuyama, then take the bus to Tomo No Ura at the station (ask around to find it, they’ll be happy to help!). Go to the terminus, on the harbor. From there you can buy a two way ticket to Sensui Jima (or the lady will do it for you, if you’re as clueless as we are). There are boats all the time, and five minutes later you’re in heaven. I found the name of the island’s resort: Kokumin Shukusha. I can’t say it has very good reviews, but you have to give it points for the setting and the xylophone music.