What is Tomogashima Island: Pirates Treasure Island
Source: Wakayama City tourist information
Japan is known for its image of calm and safe. Beside the modern war time, in fact the country was very wild for many years. There were even pirates (natural to think piracy should have been viable business considering Japan is surrounded by the sea where you see ships carrying things from here and there).
One famous pirate is Tsumujikaze Goemon ( つむじ風剛右衛門 ) in Wakayama ( not confused with other famous thief, Ishikawa Goemon from mid 1500). He had a port work company helping lodging/dislodging from ships at dock as the front company. His real business was piracy leading several hundreds of sea gang members.
The nick name " Tsumujikaze " meaning "storm" comes from his tactics where he attacked and stole goods from the ships esp. during the stormy day. He "worked " a lot in Seto ocean area because many ships carrying important goods for local governments.
Most of the local government ships were not guarded well intentionally because it did not want the central government to suspect them for wrong doing (such in a way that the sight of heavily guarded ship of a local government might give the central government that the local government trying to prepare some war or so.). It made the business easy for Tsumujikaze Goemon.
Tsumujikaze sold stolen items on the market. Yet, he could not sell all. Many items were marked with local governments' logos and if he sold these, this could lead to his arrest easily.
He hid these un-sellable items (massive amount of treasure) in one island. Tsumujikaze died in one stormy day and the exact location of the treasure is nobody's knowledge.
The island is called Tomogashima island (友ヶ島).
Tempted to visit there for treasure hunting? Probably better than working in an office?
Not easy for you to find the treasure because "Tomogashima island" is not one island. It consists of four islands (Okinoshima, Jinoshima, Torajima and Kamijima). Some research also mentioned the possibility that the treasure is hid in Awajishima island (one island nearby), not Tomogashima.
In the WW II time, the government then put the secret military base on the island. That time the island was deleted from the official map. The entry to the island was strictly limited.
Today the base is not in use and anybody can visit the island. The remain of the base covered with moss and plants looks like the location of Laputa, Castle in the Sky by Hayao Miyazaki. It has been a popular photo location for cosplayers. One of the ships going to the island is even called "Laputa".
On the island you see deer and some peacock which were released to get rid of many snakes (meaning there are many snakes!).
How to get Tomogashima Island
If coming from Tokyo, you book around 7-8 hours. Better stay in Wakayama for 1-2 days before you visit the island.
Take bullet train from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka station
Take Midosuji line from Shin-Osaka station to Namba(Nankai Namba station)
Take Nankai Express Southern from Namba(Nankai Namba station) to Wakayama City
Take Nankai Kada line from Wakayama city to Kada station
15 mins walk from Kada station to Kada port
You can get the island only by ship from Kada port (加太港).
From Kada port to Tomogashima
2000JPY round trip for adult
1000JPY round trip for child
Around 20 min trip from Kada port to Tomogashima island.
Valid as of 13, May, 2016 subject to change
Time table For Tomogashima Island
Valid as of 13, May, 2016 subject to change Source: TomogashimaKisen ( ship line)
Where to Stay on Tomogashima Island
There are several guest houses on the island. The cost is around 100USD (8000-10,000JPY) per night with dinner and breakfast per person. Book by telephone.
1. Tomogaso (友ヶ荘)
Tel: +81 73-459-1462
2. Uminoie (海の家)
Tel: +81 73-459-1636
3. Fujiya Bekkan (冨士屋別館)
Tel: +81 73-459-1463 (Told this guesthouse was closed some years ago. You can find out by calling them up )
Tomogashima Camping site (友ヶ島キャンプ場)
Free to camp ( need to register on the island)
Bring your camping sets
You need to bring all of your garbage back
Tel: +81 73-459-0314
Many recommend to stay at one of these guest houses rather than camping.
If you find the treasure of Tsumujikaze, please let us know!
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