Mitoyo is a region in eastern Kagawa Prefecture that includes the Shonai Peninsula projecting into the Seto Inland Sea. Mt. Shiude on the peninsula is known for its masses of cherry blossoms in spring, and its fine view of the Inland Sea. Chichibu Beach is a popular spot both for swimming and photography, since the pools that form just over the sand create giant mirrors. With its unspoilt beaches, islands, and mountains, Mitoyo is a good place for outdoor adventure.
On the first Saturday in August, the Nio Dragon Festival is held. This festival began during a drought 200 years ago when local people held a dragon parade to pray for rain. The giant dragon 35 m long weighs over 3 tons and is carried by about 150 people as people throw water over it.
Three of the Shikoku Pilgrimage temples are located in Mitoyo, Nos. 67, 70 and 71.
Passengers passing through Mitoyo on the train are intrigued by a pretty Shinto shrine on a little island with a long pier leading to it. Visitors to Tsushima Shrine as it’s called can only cross the pier once a year during the festival held there on August 3 to 5.
The Mitoyo region includes five main islands, the Maruyama, Ozuta and Kozuta Islands on the east side of the peninsula, and Awa and Shishi Islands on the west side.
Awa Island was once a base for the maritime clans of the Inland Sea, otherwise known as pirates. Drawing on this heritage, Japan’s first maritime school was founded in 1897 on Awa Island. Alumni of this school embarked on careers that took them all over the world. Built in 1920, the well-preserved school is today the Awashima Maritime Museum.
Jo-no-Yama is the highest mountain on Awashima at 222 m. From the summit there’s a panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea. It takes about an hour to climb.
Sea fireflies are tiny nocturnal creatures that have the ability to glow. They’re most active between June and September when ocean temperatures rise. There are so many of them that the sea looks like a starry night sky.There are several cafés and udon restaurants on the island. There’s also a Missing Post Office. This isn’t a real post office, but rather an art project that collects letters with no final address. Many people write letters to deceased loved ones and send them here.
The most notable thing on this small island is the Okusu, a giant camphor tree, 14 m around and 40 m tall. It’s very old, dating back 1,200 years. Some of its limbs require wooden support.
Name in Japanese: 三豊
Address: Mitoyo, Kagawa