Things to Do in the Fishing Town of Tomonoura

ByJustin Hanus
Jun 28, 2023

Things to Do in the Fishing Town of Tomonoura

Although it’s only a small fishing town, Tomonoura has plenty to offer visitors. An important port for centuries, it has recently become a popular filming location. Plus, if you watched the movie Ponyo, it may look familiar — the town was actually the inspiration for the animation. To make the most of your time in Tomonoura, try to visit as many of the top spots as possible.

1. The Bay

The once lively bay is now a tranquil place to take a stroll. The Seto Island Sea is particularly photogenic, with its small boats harbored along the coast. As you wander along the streets, you’ll encounter many historic buildings, including old wooden houses. Explore the narrow alleys to feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

2. Old Town

Another great place for a wander is the old town. In addition to the old architecture and picturesque spots that are ideal for a photo, you’ll find some interesting shops selling local products.

3. Joyato Lighthouse

Dating back more than 150 years, Joyato Lighthouse is the symbol of Tomonoura. Although it’s only 11 meters tall, it manages to be a prominent feature. If you walk right up to the lighthouse, you’ll see inscriptions dedicated to two deities of maritime safety.

4. Fukezenji Temple

There are several temples in Tomonoura, but one of the most impressive is Fukezenji, which was built at the end of the 17th century as a guesthouse for envoys from Korea. Head to the tatami veranda for breathtaking views of the sea and of the two nearby islands: Bentenjima and Sensujima.

5. Sensujima Island

You can reach Sensujima Island by taking a five-minute ferry ride. The journey will also take you past Bentenjima Island, which is uninhabited. If you have a few hours to spare, venture down one of the walking trails.

6. Local Delicacies

Make sure to try some of the local food and drink in Tomonoura. As you’d expect from a coastal town, the fish dishes are top quality. In particular, though, Tomonoura is famous for its sea bream, which you can find prepared in various ways, including in soy sauce (called nitsuke), grilled with salt (called shioyaki), sashimi, and tempura.

For dessert or a sweet snack, you’ll find options including soda floats, parfait, and daifuku — mochi filled with a red bean paste or something similar. Shinone café even sells soft-serve ice cream with a cookie in the shape of Joyato Lighthouse. You can take one of the picnic mats to sit outside of the store to enjoy your dessert with a view of the seafront.

Finally, you may like to pick up some homeishu — a local liqueur available from many of the shops around the town. It features a mirin base (which makes it naturally sweet) and is infused with 16 herbs. The recipe was created in the 1600s and has been used ever since for medicinal purposes.

If you’ve already seen all the main sites in Hiroshima and are wondering what else the prefecture has to offer, head over to Tomonoura. There’s plenty to see to keep you occupied for at least a day.

Saigen Jiro, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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2 comments so far

Arlene SartePosted on12:54 am - Aug 30, 2023

Is this far from the Hiroshima peace memorial?

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