Mikimoto Pearl Island
Get in touch with, learn and enjoy the depth of pearls that are supreme jewels.
This is the island where Kokichi Mikimoto successfully cultivated pearls for the first time in the world in 1893. Japan’s pearl industry started its development from this island.
Since 1951 when it was opened to the general public, the island has become one of the sightseeing spots representing Chubu region and has been attracting about 250,000 tourists every year. This green island floating in Toba Bay has Pearl Museum showing the history of pearl from ancient times and spectacular works of art using pearl, Kokichi Mikimoto Memorial Hall introducing his eventful life and Pearl Plaza offering a glorious view of Toba Bay and selling a variety of pearl jewelry.
Demonstration of ama (women divers) diving is made to commemorate their essential contributions to pearl culture. This is a rare opportunity even in Japan to meet ama in traditional white diving wear.
Strolling on the island is another pleasure. Visit "Power spots" (locations thought to be flowing with mystical energy) including Tama-no-miya, an ancient shrine that is said to be built around 710 and bring romance, longevity and prosperity; Negai-no-ido, a well that is believed to fulfill wishes that was written on a pearl oyster shell and thrown into the well; and a pretty heart-shaped stone near the Kokichi Mikimoto Statue.
Address: 1-7-1 Toba, Toba, Mie, Mie
Hours open to visitors: 8:30-17:30 (vary depending on the season)
Admission Fee: 1500 yen (adults); 750 yen (elementary and junior-high school students)
Closed: Second Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in December
Directions: A 5-minute walk from JR/Kintetsu Toba Station (one hour and 40 minutes from JR/Kintetsu Nagoya Station). (Car) 12 km or 15 minutes from Ise Interchange on the Ise Expressway via Ise-Futami-Toba line (Parking with charge)