Translated by MATCHA-PR
【Mie】What to See, Eat and Do in Ago Bay, Japan's Aegean Sea
Written by MATCHA-PR
Ago Bay in Shima city, Mie Prefecture, is often called Japan's Aegean Sea. This article features the beautiful landscape of this area, the unique activities that visitors can enjoy in Ago Bay, as well as the delicious dishes cooked by the local ama divers
The G7 Summit 2016 is going to be held in Kashikojima, which is in Shima city, Mie prefecture. For this reason it is called "The Ise-Shima Summit".
Kashikojima is a small island located in the Ago Bay, Mie prefecture. Ago Bay is in the southern part of the Shima Peninsula. Including Kashikojima, there around 60 islands in this bay.
This place is often called "Japan's Aegean Sea" due to its beauty, and it is just as famous as the Ise Jingū Shrine, when it comes to the sightseeing spots in Mie.
The Various Sights of Ago Bay
The coastal morphology of the Shima Peninsula is constantly changing. The entire peninsula has been designated as the Ise-Shima National Park.
Photo courtesy of The Touristic Federation of Mie Prefecture
The deeply indented coastline and the sight of the small surrounding islands are so beautiful that you won't be able to forget this landscape once you see it.
From the Yokoyama Observatory you can see the entire Ago Bay from the altitude of 203 m above sea level. Along the stairs to the top, there are three observatories. During the working days, there are few visitors, so if you're lucky enough you can enjoy this beautiful scenery all by yourself.
The view of the blue sky and the clear, blue sea has the charm of a painting.
The sunset on days with clear weather is spectacular. From the Tomoyama Observatory in Tomoyama Park, you can see the Ago Bay colored in orange.
The sight of the sun going down and merging slowly with the sea is a splendid scenery, worthy to be kept as a precious memory by all of those who witness it when visiting Ago Bay.
Experience Floating Above the Sea in Water Balls
After admiring the beautiful landscape, let's experience the charm of Ago Bay in its entirety. At Shima Nature School (Shima shizen gakkō) you can enjoy the activity called "Water Ball Riding", where you enter a transparent ball and float above the water. Take up the challenge of strolling over the sea for 15 minutes in a ball of 2,5 m in diameter.
You can enjoy this activity all around the year!
First, a member of the staff will insert air into the ball.
When the ball is ready, you step in it wearing a life jacket and slippers.
You enter a water ball in pairs. First you keep a sitting position, using the muscles of your lower part of the body in order to bring the water ball onto the sea. While in the water ball, you really feel as if you were in the sea. You can hear the sound of the waves and of the water flow.
If you lie on your face you will be able to see the living beings in the sea.
The best thing about this activity is that you can enjoy it with your dog. There are life jackets and diapers for dogs available. Wearing them, the dog can enter the water ball together with the master. In this case also, two people can enter the ball.
The Ama Divers' Hut - a rare sight!
After exercising you will probably feel hungry.
At the Ama Divers Research Institute (Ama shiryōkan), located right in front of the Ago Bay, you can visit the Hut of Ama Divers 海女小屋. While listening to the story of an active ama diver (※1), you can taste here fresh seafood.
※1… ama 海女 are people who dive into the sea to collect pearls and other sealife.
An ama diver will cook shellfish and fish right in front of you. They will also offer you rice, miso soup and tea. You will see for yourself that everything is fresh and delicious.
Address: Shima city, Ago-chō Ukata 875-20
Nearest Station: Kintetsu Ugata Station 近鉄鵜方駅
Access: a 10 minute taxi ride from Kintetsu Ugata Station
Address: Mie prefecture, Shima city, Daiō-chō Tomoyama
Nearest station: Kintetsu Ugata Station 近鉄鵜方駅
Access: a 20 minute car ride from Kintetsu Ugata Station
Shima Nature School 志摩自然学校
Address: Mie, Shima city, Daiō-chō Nakiri 2199
Opening Hours: Needs Reservation
Credit cards: Not accepted
Other Languages: -
Support in other languages: -
Access: at one hour distance by car on the Ise Nishi IC
Official Homepage: Shima Nature Scholl (Japanese)
Ama Divers' Hut 海女小屋
Address: Mie, Shima city, Koshika 2279
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 20:00
Nearest station: Kintetsu Ugata Station 近鉄鵜方駅
Access: From Kintetsu Ugata Station take the Sankō bus 三交バス to the Azuri Hama Station あづり浜駅.
Official Homepage: Ama Divers' Hut (Japanese)