Shikoku - Megijima/Onigashima Cave

 Megijima is a small island located off the coast of Takamatsu, less than four square kilometers in size. It's essentially one small mountain, accessed via a short ferry ride from Takamatsu.
 There are two small villages at the coast, but the interesting part for tourists lies up the mountain.

 Onigashima is the ogre island from the legend of Momotaro. Momotaro, or Peach Boy, visited the island to fight the ogres living on the island. My destination was the cave near the top of the mountain said to be one of the ogres' fortresses.
 It helps to have a map to get out of town, but a series of statues point you in the right direction. Just follow the pointing fingers. Most people won't hike up or down the mountain, so the trip will be quiet and peaceful most of the time. There is a bus and bikes (both standard and powered) available to get you to the top. After hiking up the hill and seeing some bicyclists making the trip up, I highly recommend the powered bikes if you plan on going that route.
 Enjoy the countryside; you'll travel up the forested mountain with several opportunities to look back at the village below.
 You'll know when you're there.
 After paying admission, the ogres greet you and lead you to their cave fortress.
 And, into the cave we go.
 At first, it seems fairly nondescript. But go a bit further in...
 I don't know what those are. Dead ogres? Masks worn by the ogres?
 A series of catoon figures show the battle as you make your way through the cave.

 You'll also pass plenty of small statues and masks grouped in the cave.

 Momotaro defeats the ogres and you return to the outside.
 Hungry? I don't recommend eating the berries. There is an observation deck up here, too, though visibility wasn't very good during my visit.
 The hike back down isn't nearly as difficult as the way up. There's the small village with the ferry terminal in the distance. Barely visible on the shorter mountain peak is a large statue of Nichiren. It is possible to hike to the statue on a paved trail.
There are some art exhibits scattered on the island, including this piano yacht. The ferry terminal has a cafeteria with good udon and other dishes while waiting for the next boat back to Takamatsu. There's also a sandy beach near the terminal where you can cool off. Also worth noting are the high stone walls protecting the village from the sea.

Ferries from/to Takamatsu run every two hours (possibly more frequently at peak times); the 20-minute ride costs 370 yen. The bus from the ferry terminal departs soon after the ferry's arrival and costs 300 yen one way. The hike to the cave takes about 30-45 minutes. Bicycle rentals are 200-500 yen depending on the type of bike rented. The cave itself is open 8:30-17:00 and costs 510 yen to enter.

No comments:

Post a Comment