The hometown for many skilled seafarers
The island of Awashima, part of Mitoyo City, has a population of 170 and an area of 2.62 km2 (as of Oct. 1, 2015).
Awashima, shaped like a boat propeller, is the site of Japan’s first maritime school, the symbol of the island. (The school is now the Awashima Maritime Museum.) Awashima and nearby Honjima Island are part of the Shiwaku Islands, which have produced many capable seafarers.
The island is one of the venues for the Setouchi Triennale art festival, and has gained attention for its art in recent years. The Missing Post Office, debuted in 2013 and still open to the public, is home to letters written to one’s future self or to a person one can never see again. At the Awashima Artists’ Village, young artists are invited to use a former junior high school for creating art installations. Islanders even worked with the Warli tribe of India to create a mural that tells the story and accomplishments of humankind from its birth. In addition, amusing art made from buoys is displayed here and there on the island, bringing smiles to those who see it.
The Missing Post Office is open 1–4 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month. The Warli mural can be seen 1–4 p.m. every Saturday.
If you stay on Awashima between June and September, you may be able to see the magical sea-fireflies!
■ Getting around the island
・Check online for facility opening hours, etc. before visiting the island.
■ Main sights
Awashima Maritime Museum, Missing Post Office, Awashima Artists Village, Buoy Buoy Garden
- Island Hopping