Gamagori is in the middle of Japan and easily accessible by a 30-minute train ride from Nagoya. It is known for its boat racing, one of the three kinds of gambling in Japan – Horse, Bike and Boat Racing. It is also known for its numerous marine museums and onsen (hot spring) spas. But the most important attraction I was interested in was the Takeshima Island, which can be reached from the main land through a 387 metre long bridge. On the island are a collection of different plant species considered a Japanese national treasure as well as a buddhist temple.
This day trip was one of the last few trips I did before leaving Nagoya. Once you step out of the train station you will be welcomed by an imposing tall yacht in the middle of the roundabout as an indication that you have landed on Gamamori – The Seaside Resort City.
Then off I went to find my way through towards the island I was after. From here a couple of blocks towards the port area another impressive timber building meets visitors – The Natural History Museum – Sea of Life.
Not far from the Natural History Museum is the Takeshima Aquarium but as it was a very warm day I gave that a miss and proceeded to more interesting views ahead of me. By this time I could already smell salt water and feel a light breeze on my face. Then I caught a glimpse of Takeshima Island looming in the not too far a distance.
I had to contain myself from running off towards the island and wander around the Mikawa Bay National Park. A small park with a shrine and the Seaside Literary Memorial, just across from the island.
Then it was on to the bridge to take me to the Takeshima Island. The view across the bridge was beautiful. Maybe it was just being within close proximity to water, which I haven’t been near for a while, but it was just the cleanliness and simplicity of the island that lifted my spirits that day.
When I got to the other end of the bridge I was quite excited to climb up the long stretch of stairs up the to Yaotomi Shrine, known for its gods who bring luck for marriage and giving birth. There are many ways to reach the shrine, but if you’re not very interested, you can just wander around the whole island. It is quite easy to walk through even on a high tide such as that day I was there. When the tides are low visitors can walk to the island by strolling through the waters. Apparently there are treasures to be found on and around the island.
Then it was time to say farewell to this beautiful island of Takeshima and the resort city of Gamagori.
It was a good day.