Just 10 minutes ferry ride from Aichi's Chita Peninsula in Mikawa Bay, Himakajima is famous for octopus and the poison blowfish delicacy called Fugu. It's also the birthplace of one of the famed 47 Ronin, master-less samurai remembered for their vendetta against a local lord!
Himakajima Island is popular year round for its beaches, resorts, fishing and feasting. The waters are mostly calm, with special safe beach areas for children and adults alike. Himakajima offers many hotels and inns with superb views of the beautiful, sparkling Mikawa Bay too.
The island is also dotted with hundreds of octopus figures, characters, objects, souvenirs, and of course, the real thing too. Dried octopus is another island specialty, so don't be surprised to see staked-out octopus hanging in the sun. Even the local police station is designed to resemble an octopus.
Ask any Japanese where the biggest catch of the delicacy fugu, blowfish, is made, and most will tell you Shimonoseki, but in fact, the most fugu is caught off the waters of Aichi Prefecture, and one of the best places to enjoy the firm, white fish meat is Himakajima. Still, the island is best known for its octopus, and when they serve octopus, it's usually one large, whole boiled octopus. Once cut up into bite sized chunks, it tastes like slightly chewy crayfish (lobster).
The clean, calm waters of the island are great for swimming and marine sports in summer. A small marine-land with local petting and performing dolphins can be found, as well as the popular Sunrise Beach on the east side, and the Sunset Beach on the west of the island. Resorts and hotels offering one of the freshest, widest range of sea-foods bring the crowds, which often eclipse the local population of around 2,100 friendly locals.
Enjoy searching for octopus themed items on Himakajima, and see for yourself why Himakajima could well be the Beatles’ Octopus's Garden.
The famous "Heidi's Swing", which faces the sea and provides exhilarating sights of Mikawa Bay, is located at a small hill near Sunrise Beach, at the island's easternmost tip. Though nobody knows who baptized this swing, it's indeed a befitting name, as it comes from the opening sequence of the anime "Heidi, Girl of the Alps", a widely known series in the country. Just like the main protagonist of this iconic TV success did, guests are invited to spend leisurely and carefree moments in this spot, which is always open to the public, enjoying the wide open skies and the gorgeous surrounding scenery.