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“Ferries are few and far between”
Review of Tomogashima Island

Tomogashima Island
Ranked #3 of 212 things to do in Wakayama
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 January 2015

BEWARE! There is ONLY ONE ferry that leaves from Kada station to Tomogashima and that's at 10:30am on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays only. The ferry returns to Kada station at 3:30pm. I found this out the hard way, as I arrived at Kada station at 10:50 only to learn the last ferry for the day (let alone week!) had just left. I was devastated because I had a planned a whole trip to Kansai just to see it. So I missed seeing the island, however I was very surprised with the kindness and level of service from the Kada station master and the little makeshift "tourist information" umbrella nearby. When he saw how disappointed he was he found a bunch of brouchures about local attractions then approached me with the leaflets. He said in Japanese "You wanted to see the ruins at Tomogashima, right? There is a place nearby, it is not Tomogashima, but it has ruins. Here is a picture, see? They look the same! Please go there, you will enjoy". I brushed away my tears and he walked me down a hill to the bus stop nearby and explained very carefully what bus to catch to get to the ruined houses. When I was waiting he even returned with a hand full of coins to refund my return train ticket. So I went to this place, it was in a national park nearby and there were several small houses that were abandoned. The ruins probably aren't as cool as those on Tomogashima but they still looked pretty and there were many hiking trails in the area. There was also a huge hotel in the park that had onsens, restaurants etc. Despite the mix-up with ferry times I ended up having a great day thanks to the staff at the Kada station who made a huge effort to ensure I had fun in their town. Thank you!

17  Thank Jenn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 November 2014

This place used to be a fortressa stronghold. it takes around 20 minutes from Kada port by a small ship. (9pm, 10pm, 1am, 3am, 4am from Kada port, return tickets : 2,000 yen). Tomogashima 's port is placed middle of island. If you walk round the island, it takes 4~5 hours. if you don't have any time, I recommend you to go east side way. Third remains of a gun buttery is good place to walk around. I entered like a tunnel, down stairs and walked lots of total darkness place. It's so scary but It's so exciting!!
Unfortunately I saw a lot of rubbish. So I evaluated just 4 points.

5  Thank 菜穂 柴
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

We just saw the island because the ferry service is not available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Take that into account if you want to go.

2  Thank svarnyp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2013 via mobile

This was a great day trip from Osaka. We took the "Southern" Nankai train from Namba Station to Wakayama City (be sure to reserve a seat for just 500 yen more and travel in comfort). We then took a little local train to Kada. In Kada we walked a bit until we found the ferry. The island is fascinating. Pick up a pamplet in the ferry terminal with a map. We did the 3.7 km hike and saw most of the historical sites on about 2 hours. We arrived at 11:30 and travelled back on the 1:30 ferry. The tunnels in the historic battery instalations were a bit scary and made you think about the soldiers that used to be there. The flashlight app on my phone came in very handy. Be sure to bring LOTS of drinks and there is no food on the island, so snacks aren't a bad idea. If you are a war history buff this trip is a must, but be warned, the hiking is pretty strenuous.

4  Thank OgopogoGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 August 2013

Because if you walk to all the attractions, it can take a while to find them all. Maps are provided and there are road signs, but it is still confusing. I would love to go back to this island with a mountain bike, and spend the better part of a day there. Also the ferry timetable is every two hours, so I found myself rushing around. If you get lost on the island, you will miss the next ferry back. It is best to spend at least four hours on this island, but I was able to see some of the major sites. There is also some old structures not mentioned on the tourist ads, but it's quite fascinating to see the ruins of this old fortress. When I visited in March it was quite cold and windy, so dress appropriately. Also quite surprising for Japan, there is NO food on the island, no gift shop, nothing! So bring snacks. You can get quite hungry with all the hiking. Although there is a hostel type accomodation which was closed when I visited. I think it's only open during the summer.

6  Thank DanL917
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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