Written by Bonnie Chow
・Kashikojima Station-Departure Point
・Kashikojima España Cruise
Panoramic View of the Coastline
At Yokoyama and Toba Observatory, we saw a breathtaking sweeping vista of the seaside in the Ise Shima area.
Breathtaking view of Ago Bay from Yokoyama Observatory
The view from Toba Observatory
The view from here of the coastline is magnificent, but the grandest way to enjoy the wonderful bay is sailing on the Spanish pirate ship by taking the Kashikojima España Cruise across Ago Bay.
In recent years, a popular pirate-themed Japanese animation has been a big hit worldwide. I feel excited to be able to board a Spanish pirate ship. Whether you are a big fan or not, this 50-minute cruise will not disappoint you. Let us share more about our wonderful journey.
Kashikojima Station-Departure Point
Kashikojima is the largest island in Ago Bay’s Shima area, was developed as a sightseeing area after the island was designated as Ise-Shima National Park in 1946, and in 2016, Kashikojima was the location of the G7 Summit. In addition, Ago Bay is also known worldwide as the home of pearls. It is easily accessed by Kintetsu train or by car from Nagoya or Osaka.
In 1893, Kokichi Mikimoto succeeded in making the world's first cultured pearls using pearl oysters. Since then, pearl farming has flourished in Ago Bay. All the pearl farmers are researching ways to produce better pearls and are enthusiastically working on pearl farming. Along the way from the station to the pier, we saw long-established pearl shops selling pearl accessories from this area.
A shop selling pearl accessories near Kashikojima station
The pier is about a 5-minute walk from Kashikojima station. We recommend you check the timetable in advance as the cruise currently operates 6 times daily from 9:30 to 15:30 (https://shima-marineleisure.com/cruise/espana/info/). The round-trip fee is ¥1,800 and ¥1,000 for adults and children respectively. It is necessary to purchase the tickets at the ticket booth first and present them to the staff at the pier to board the ship.
The ticket booth and waiting area for the cruise.
Mie Prefecture and Valencia in Spain are Sister States, the first European vessel to visit Shima was from Spain. Therefore, this ship was built to resemble a Spanish tall ship from the 16th century Age of Exploration and this 50-minute leisure cruise is both luxurious and comfortable as the cruise makes a round trip in the deeper waters.
Kashikojima España Cruise
The ship was built to resemble a Spanish tall ship
The ship is three stories high and the first and second floors are air-conditioned where passengers can buy drinks or snacks and relax on cozy seats while admiring the view, including a cluster of little islands and pearl rafts on a serene sea.
Comfortable window seats on the first floor
Snack bar on the second floor
Looking for a more deluxe atmosphere and instagrammable pictures, pay an additional charge to rent a captain’s coat and chill in the premium area.
Captain’s coat rental corner and the premium seats area
Check out the outdoor deck on the second floor for tranquility and fresh air.
Outdoor deck on the second floor
The perfect color combination of the rich blue sea, azure sky, and lush greenery
My favorite part of this ship is the third floor, the outdoor deck with stunning panoramic sea views and a natural ocean breeze.
The deep blue colored Ago Bay with its rias coastline
We can see the outlying verdant islands and the buildings on them such as the deluxe hotel villa and the Shima Mediterranean Village. As Ago Bay is blessed with fresh seafood, spending a night is highly recommended.
The deluxe hotel villa
Shima Mediterranean Village
Moreover, the statues of characters and the helm make the ship livelier as if we were steering a pirate ship.
The statues of the top deck add to the character of this Spanish pirate ship
Take the helm on the third floor to feel like a pirate captain
To sum up, it is a memorable journey to ride on the Kashikojima España Cruise of Ago Bay. It provides us a valuable opportunity to admire the picturesque scenery of the islands in Ago Bay and the pearl farming rafts dotting the islands. If you are planning your next trip to Mie prefecture, this 50-minute cruise is something you should not miss.