September 17, 2014

Flying over the Seto Inland Sea

Over the three-day weekend, I visited Ohkunoshima, otherwise known as Rabbit Island. (Rabbit posts to follow.) To get there, I took a 90-minute flight from Narita Airport from Spring Airlines, which cost a mere 6000 yen. This makes it cheaper than taking the shinkansen (bullet train).

Another plus is the incredible view of the Seto Inland Sea you can see from the plane. The Seto Inland Sea is a narrow body of water that separates three of the four main islands in Japan. There are almost countless tiny islands on the Inland Sea, many of them uninhabited. According to government data, if you count the practically miniscule islands (bigger than 100 meter in circumference), there are around 730 on the Inland Sea.

Bridges like these are a common sight, the result of an ambitious project to connect many of the islands that were previously accessible only by ferry.

 Many of the islands looked like ready-made beach resorts, with their perfect sandy beaches.

The little island on the right was packed with industrial gear, and indeed, aside from fisheries, the islands are known for ship construction, steel production, and oil refining. (This meant that many of the landscape photos I took were marred by huge, ugly red and white cranes.)

It's hard to see in this photo, but the water here was dotted with dozens of traps. Considering the prevalence of squid on the menu in this area, I'm guessing they were squid traps.

A closer look.

 Even after eyeballing Google Maps, I couldn't match the islands with their names.