Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Small Fishermen's Town

The third trip with my sisters and brothers-in-law was to Tomonoura (鞆の浦) in Fukuyama, Hiroshima.  

This quiet peaceful inland seascape explains itself. Tomonoura, situated at a bay facing the Seto Inland Sea, is part of Seto Inland Sea National Park; the first national park in Japan,

  The big island in the middle left is Sensuijima Island

The circular shaped historic harbor also makes Tomonoura famous. It has retained harbor facilities since Edo Period (1600-1867) such as a lighthouse, old fashioned stair-like pier.

As a hub port, it was thriving. Geographically the current changes around there, so it was called the port “waiting for the tide has changed”


At water front with lots of fishing boats. You can see an iconic lighthouse at the bay in the far right of the picture. The port is now mostly used for fisheries. Red sea bream (真鯛) fishing is famous. They served excellent dishes at the hotel we stayed.

light house
A well-known animated movie producer Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli was also fascinated and inspired by this place and stayed here for two months, developing the idea for “Ponyo” (崖の上のポニョ)

at  a lounge at the hotel we stayed

This ferry boat is modeled after Irohamaru that was a merchant ship Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-1867) got a lease on to carry supplies from Nagasaki to Osaka.

However, the collision off Tomonoura wrecked and sank it along with its shipment in 1869. The wreckage was discovered by the volunteer group here more than 100 years later and are exhibited at Irohamaru Museum.
This renewed ferry gets you to Sensuijima Island(仙酔島; the island beautiful enough to mesmerize even legendary mountain hermitin five minutes. I’d  like to visit it again to lose myself in that ancient nature.  


                                                A crab (forefront) holding a small sardine crawls up from the sea.
                                                I wonder where it carries the catch.

Taichoro (対潮楼), adajacent to Fukuzenji Temple, was used as a guest house during Edo Period. Then Korean emissary admired  the view from here and called it the most beautiful scenery of all Japan



Recently Tomonoura has attracted a lot of attention with a campaign to save the symbolic view of harbor from being spoiled by the prefectural government plan to build a bridge there. The District Court issued an injunction to suspend the plan. I hope other alternative plan to revitalize the region will be successful.

Haru-no-umi (春の海 the sea in spring) was composed by Michio Miyagi(1894-1956) from his memory of Tomonoura he saw as a child before he lost his sight at the age 8.

It was his father's home village.


This trip was to celebrate  my sister’s publishing her first tanka poems and to celebrate brother-in-law’s birthday as well.

The title  "半透明のカプセル”(Translucent Capsule) is taken from her poem;

父と母の 共に在りし日 やはらかき 半透明のカプセルに包む
( I'd wrap in a soft translucent capsule/ the days when Father and Mother were alive )

This capsule contains lots of her precious history that I could open and take out anytime I'd like to.
The memory of this trip will be stored in my own capsule  in my heart.


the map of Hiroshima

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...