Monday, August 14, 2006

Demon island

After a leisurely start and a late breakfast at dotour, we bought some St. Marc chocolate croissants and bided our time shopping and browsing before boarding the 1310 ferry bound for 女木島 - Megishima - aka 鬼ヶ島 - Onigashima.
In Momotaro's legend, the Peach Boy and his band of animal friends went off to an island to defeat some unruly demons that were making local life miserable. He did so and returned home to his village victorious. This island is where the battle is purported to have taken place. There is even a cave where the demons are claimed to have resided, which also apparently sheltered some pirates way back when. It's unclear to me whether the pirates and the demons ever coexisted, but that would make for an even better story.
We toured the cave, very cool (in both senses of the word) and extensive, and with many strategically placed demons. But Onigashima is much more than just a podunk tourist attraction - the island is actually fairly large, with a year-round population and lots of breathtaking nature. The views from the top of the island are particularly nice, with the various islands dotting the Inland Sea and the clouds high over the water. The swimming was adequate, as well, and all in all a pleasant afternoon was spent.

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