Jogashima (城ヶ島) is a beautiful small island made of volcanic rock on the southern coast of the Miura peninsula one hour South East of Yokohama. The tiny island lies opposite of the tuna port Misaki (三崎) and is famous for a breathtaking sunset with Mount Fuji in the background.
It is a great day trip from Tokyo or Yokohama that is not very well known to most foreign tourists. Nevertheless it can be very crowded on weekends and holidays in the main season as recently the area is rediscovered by the locals of Yokahama and Tokyo as a great breakaway from the city.
There are direct trains on the Keikyu-line from Shinagawa and Yokohama to Misakiguchi. This station is the terminus of the train. In front of Misakiguchi station take the bus at stop no. 2 to Misaki (20 to 30 minutes depending on the traffic). For the tuna market get off at Misaki – ko.
Misaki is one of the largest Tuna ports in Japan and according to the Misaki fishermen their tuna quality is far better than in Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji market. Needless to say that almost everything in this little harbor town has some connection with the sea and tuna.
The Misaki tuna market can be visited (trading is usually between 8 and 10 am) and the abundance of fresh sea food ensures that you can enjoy an excellent lunch in one of the many sea food restaurants.
From the Urari dock in Misaki there is a small ferry boat that makes the crossing to Jogashima in about 10 minutes. The map here below gives a good overview of the island, the hiking trail and the sightseeing spots.
Sea Cormorant (海鵜)
From November till March/April the Southern and protected part of the island is a famous nesting area for the Sea Cormorant (うみう) .
Along the hiking trail there is a good observation spot from where the bird sanctuary and habitat can be seen. The black birds contrast with the white cliffs facing the Pacific and are therefore easy to spot.
One of the famous landmarks on the island is this Arch shaped rock in the far end of this picture.
Until 1923 the rock used to be half under water and people were using a small boat to get through it. However this coast which was almost on top of the epicentre of the great Kantō Earthquake was lifted by 8 to 10 meters. Since, the rock forms a natural arch well above the sea level.
Fuji san viewpoint
From here the trail is following the eroded coastline. The rocky coast facing the constant swell of the Pacific ocean is a dream for photographers.
My tip is to visit Misaki in the morning, take a lunch and visit Jogashima in the afternoon. If you are lucky and the weather is fine then it is well worth staying till sunset. The area is considered one of the best viewing spots of Fuji san at sunset. When I visited the island it was in March and after some showers just before sunset we were rewarded with the colors and view as shown in th picture here below.
Before returning home it is a good chance to taste some freshly grilled squid
or buy one of the ” big catch flags ” Tairyōbata (大漁旗).
These flags are used by the fishermen to announce a big catch when they enter the harbour.