The third installment of my Islands of Japan series! I’m an island girl at heart, so this country is perfect for me to explore all the islands that make up Japan (did you know there are 6,852 of them? I’ve got my work cut out for me).
We visited Ogijima after spending the morning on Megijima. Just a short 20 minute ferry ride away, Ogijima has a similar yet different vibe than Megijima. It’s much smaller, and the community seemed more traditional than Megijima, whose main focus seemed to be tourism. Ogijima was quite clearly a fishing village. This island also hosted some of my favorite art installations. (This island, along with Megijima, was also part of the huge Setouchi Art Fest.)
In case you missed my Megijima post, here’s the info on ferries, etc. again:
How To Get There
First, you’ll need to get to Takamatsu City in Kagawa Prefecture. Once you’re there, you’ll need to get to the port. It’s located right outside Takamatsu Station or the Takamatsu-chikko Station, depending on which train line you’re riding. Both stations are across the street from the port – just walk towards the ocean! The Setouchi Art Fest website has an excellent ferry access info page which is helpful in scheduling times. Be aware when large school and tour groups abound, you may be pushed to the next ferry time. We had to go over an hour early on a Sunday to buy a ticket, and we got the last three spaces on that crossing.
What To Do
Just like Megijima – walk around, eat food, look at art! We did so much wandering around this place, I think we covered the entire community. Again, this village is on a hillside so this is not a great activity for those with mobility impairments or heart/respiratory issues. There’s no way to get around other than walking up and down all the little roads.
I loved the art on this island, and the quirky little cafes and food stands that dotted the village. This hilltop pizza shop had my favorite viewpoint:
We took our time here and just strolled around, walking into anything that looked interesting. We took a break and sipped on iced coffee after stumbling into a whimsical coffee shop full of sea glass hanging from the roof and a jazz playlist on rotation. The sea glass gently clinked around overhead as we relaxed on outdoor loungers. It was the most chill place I’d been since arriving in Japan!
There was also a bonsai festival happening at the same time, which happens to be one of my favorite things. I’m obsessed with bonsai! I really wanted to buy one here, but I didn’t want to carry it around all day so I missed my chance.
The art on this island was spectacular as well. I don’t have as many pictures as I would have liked because a lot of the installations were in dark, small houses so it was difficult to capture. We did manage to get a snap in the Kaleidoscope, which was a super intense house that had been done floor to ceiling in black and white patterns and mirrors in strange places. There were vests and jackets at the door with the same pattern on it and as you walked around, it was very disorienting as you started to blend in. We walked into a few walls that ended up being just a mirror reflection, and tried not to fall in holes in the floor (that we later discovered were just skillfully placed mirrors!).
Overall, I enjoyed my time on these two islands a lot. I already live in a small, laid-back town but these islands had even more of an “island time” vibe. I could have spent the whole day just drinking coffee in the breeze. And next time, I just might.
May I know which month you visited Ogjima? Was it in early December?
I plan to visit Ogijima in middle of December but someone told me it would be very cold and very windy at that time.
I take the liberty to respond.
On a regular December day on Ogijima, it may be a little cold, however, “little cold” or “very cold” are very subjective things. Let’s say it can be anywhere between 0 and 20 (I’m talking in Celsius here), mostly likely around 10, a bit more if you’re lucky, a bit less if you’re unlucky. It should also be sunny, so if you’re physically active (and you will be, climbing up those streets) it should warm you up.
As far as wind is concerned, the area can be quite windy in Winter, but I’d say it’s mostly January – March, but nothing unbearable. Actually, except on some days when the wind shifts directions a little, usually Ogijima is somewhat protected from the wind by Megijima (which can be very very windy, that’s why those walls are around the house near the port).
Also, be aware that in December, most things are closed on Ogijima. Indoor art is closed for the winter – and this winter it probably won’t reopen before the start of the Triennale in April. Most cafés and restaurants should be open, but probably on week-ends only, you may still find a couple that are open on week-days.
I hope this helps.
Thank you! That was indeed helpful.
I think I keep Ogijima for when it’s warmer, especially when the indoor art is open.
Yes, if you can come at another time of the year, it’s better (Spring or Autumn are the best time to go, just like everywhere else in Japan), especially because the Setouchi Triennale will be held next year, so it’ll be the best moment to go on the island.