Best way to visit Koshiki Islands! Day trip bus tour
With the opening of the Koshiki Bridge, transportation between the Koshiki Islands has become more convenient. Driving enthusiasts flock to the islands to enjoy the newly connected routes, but if you don't have a driving permit in Japan, don't worry! Day-trip bus tours are also available. From the exclusive "Kanoko Lily Appreciation Tour" in July to the classic "Sightseeing Route", there are plenty of options to explore the islands. If you plan to visit, be sure to check out these sightseeing options!
JR Sendai Station No.2 bus stop
After passing through the ticket gates at JR Sendai Station, make your way towards the west exit and take the stairs or elevator down to the ground floor. The bus stop for Sendai Port can be found at No.2. Taking the bus to Sendai Port will take around 30 minutes from the station. Although Kagoshima has numerous remote islands to explore, Koshiki Islands remain a popular choice among tourists due to its ease of access.
The bus bound for Sendai Port
The bus ride takes about 30 minutes and the fare is 150 yen.
The design of Sendai Port's terminal building evokes a sense of nostalgia for visitors, and it was crafted by the renowned Japanese designer Eiji Mitooka. Mitooka's signature style can also be seen in the luxurious JR cruise train "SEVEN STARS IN KYUSHU" and the beloved "Yufuin No Mori" train.
A newly opened cafe "Port de coffee" is also located inside the terminal,
by enjoying a cup of coffee in this retro style terminal, it is definitely the best way to start the trip.
High-speed boat Koshikishima
Prepare yourself for the trip! Remember that the staff will collect the tickets after you disembark, so take a quick snapshot before you hand them over.
Mitooka's design is evident inside the high-speed boat, with the traditional Japanese craft patterns and details of the chair fabric incorporated. The warm and soft wood colors blend well with the comfortable seats, ensuring a comfortable journey even for those prone to seasickness.
Sato Port Terminal
To participate in the bus tour, make sure to disembark at the first stop called "Sato Port Terminal."If you stay on the boat, you will end up at "Nagahama Port Terminal" in Shimo-koshiki instead.Once you disembark, the staff at the tourist information center will direct you to the meeting point, so there's no need to worry about getting lost.
The tour guide will provide an overview of the itinerary at the beginning. The full-day tour is divided into two routes: the "Sightseeing Cruise Kanoko Route" and the "Sightseeing Bus" route. On this occasion, we will be taking the Sightseeing Cruise tour to capture some breathtaking photos of the coastal cliffs.
Sightseeing Cruise Kanoko
＊Participation in the Kanoko sightseeing boat tour requires an additional fee of 2500 yen.
We can transfer to the sightseeing cruise when the bus delivers us to Nakakoshiki Port. We must follow instructions to put on life jackets and wait inside the cabin at the start of the journey. When we reach the first viewing point, "Koshiki Daimyojin Bridge," we can step up to the deck to have a closer look at the bridge and the cliff. Because the view from the sea differs greatly from that seen from the observation deck, this tour is also a popular option to take in the scenery.
The captain will decide the route from three options depending on the sea conditions of the day. This time, we took the East Coast route, which has fewer cliff viewing points. However, fortunately, there were a large number of black-tailed gulls near the cliffs in May. When the captain took out the fish bait, we were able to get up close with the flock of seagulls!
After the enjoyable sightseeing cruise, we will head back to Sato Port for lunch. As there are limited restaurants on the island, it's important to make a reservation in advance! Fortunately, we managed to make a reservation at a popular seafood restaurant called "Genzaiji," located next to Sato Port. The restaurant's black exterior and terrace seating area give it a stylish and relaxing resort vibe.
The restaurant is famous for its kaisendon, a rice bowl topped with seafood, but it also serves ramen and set meals. There is also a souvenir shop inside where you may buy unique local souvenirs.
On my visit, I enjoyed the kaisendon, which was both tasty and filling. The serving size was enormous!