Tsushima (対馬 Tsushima?) Tsushima is an island located in the northwest of Kyūshū. It lies 50 kilometers away from Iki, the nearest Japanese territory. It is also just under 50 kilometers from Pusan, Korea, making Tsushima the Japanese territory closest to a foreign country.
Tsushima stretches approximately 80 kilometers from north to south, and 18 kilometers at its widest point. Two canals divide the island in the narrow section south of its middle.
The population was just under 40,000 in 2005. Demographic charts show a noticeable drop in the number of people aged 18-25. The population continues to decrease and was just under 35,000 in 2011.
An estimated 89% of the island is wilderness, with most of that consisting of mountains carpeted in cedar and bamboo forest. More information can be found at the Tsushima City English webpage.
- Ferry from Hakata, Fukuoka ~ Izuhara: ≈¥4500 (one-way), Fukuoka ~ Hitakatsu ≈¥5000
- Jetfoil from Hakata, Fukuoka ~ Izuhara: ≈¥7000 (one-way), ≈¥11500 (round-trip), Fukuoka ~ Hitakatsu ≈¥9100
- Flights from Fukuoka: ¥10,000 one way (with islander card)
- Provided by ANA. Reservations can be made here.
- Flights from Nagasaki: ≈¥11,200 one way (with islander card)
- Provided by ANA/ORC. Reservations can be made here.
- A bus system connects the Izuhara and Hitakatsu seaports, as well as the airport. There are stops at or near most major towns on the island.
The ride from one seaport to the other takes nearly two hours. Full price for going from one end of the island to the other is about ¥3500. However, on the weekends, and for foreign tourists, there’s usually a ¥1000 day pass for sale. Just ask the driver for a 一日フリーパス (ichi-nichi free pass).
- There are taxis readily available in and around Izuhara. Fares begin at ¥580. A taxi between Izuhara and the airport will total around ¥2500.
There are seven total JET ALT placements on Tsushima (5 municipal and 2 prefectural).
- Kamitsushima High School (上対馬高校): 1 prefectural placement.
- Kamitsushima Town (上対馬町) and Kamiagata Town (上県町) Elementary and Junior High Schools: 1 municipal placement.
- Toyotama Town (豊玉町) and Mine Town (峰町) Elementary and Junior High Schools: 1 municipal placement.
- Tsushima High School (対馬高校) and Toyotama High School (豊玉高校): 1 prefectural placement.
- Mitsushima Town (美津島町) Elementary and Junior High Schools: 1 municipal placement (six elementary and two junior high schools).
- Izuhara Town (厳原町) Northern Elementary and Junior High Schools: 1 municipal placement (three elementary and two junior high schools).
- Izuhara Town (厳原町) Southern Elementary and Junior High Schools: 1 municipal placement (four elementary and three junior high schools).
For 2014, there are three open placements: Kamitsushima Town / Kamiagata Town Elementary and Junior High Schools, Tsushima / Toyotama High Schools, and Izuhara Town Northern Elementary and Junior High Schools.
Places to visitEdit
- Ayumodoshi Nature Park （鮎もどし自然公園）- Located about thirty minutes’ drive south of Izuhara, Ayumodoshi is a large park area set among the nearby hills and streams. One stream in particular cuts across a bed of rock, creating small rapids. The park’s name refers to sweetfish (Ayu) having to turn around because of the rapids. The stream has carved pools in the rock, many of which are suitable for swimming. A suspension bridge spans the stream at the park’s entrance, and there are many trails around the park. Camping facilities are available.
- Cape Tsutsu （豆酘崎） - The southern tip of Tsushima affords a beautiful view of the sea. There’s a lighthouse just off the cliffs from the vista, with rocks jutting out of the water along the way.
- Mountain Climbing - Tsushima has many mountains for climbing. The tallest is 矢立山 (Yatate), at 649 meters, followed by 有明山 (Ariake), at 558 meters. The most famous peak on Tsushima is 白嶽 (Shiratake). Visible from the airport, the mountain is home to a fertility shrine.
- Beaches - Tsushima has several beaches. Some of the more scenic are Mogi （茂木浜）, in the north; Otaura （大田浦）, in the southern part of Tsushima, and Oura （尾浦）, south of Izuhara. Perhaps the most popular is Miuda （三宇田浜）, in Hitakatsu. July and August are the best times for swimming, as the jellyfish take advantage of the warm waters for spawning in September. The weather is usually nice enough from late March through November for picnics and barbecues at the beaches. Oura has brick pits available for barbecuing.
- Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center （対馬野生生物保護センター） - Tsushima is home to the yamaneko (“mountain cat”), classified as a leopard cat. Fewer than one hundred are estimated to remain in the wild, making sightings exceedingly rare. The yamaneko functions as the unofficial mascot of Tsushima. There is a facility devoted to the yamaneko, and it can be found in the northern part of the island.
- Mine Family Park （峰ファミリーパーク） - Located just north of Mine, in the center of Tsushima, the Family Park is just off Route 382 (the island’s main road). It features roofed basketball courts, a go-kart track, and a sprawling playground. There’s a tall hill at the center of the park, which provides a great view of the surrounding inlet. Part of the hill is carpeted with artificial turf, and plastic toboggans are available for sliding down the hill. There is also a large slide that ends at the playground.
- The park also has a large, sheltered barbecue area, complete with tables with inlaid grill space. Supplies for barbecuing—trays for charcoal, metal griddles, tongs, torches, and lighter fluid—are available on loan from the park at no charge. (Charcoal is not provided.)
- Korean Viewpoint （韓国展望台） - In the north of Tsushima, on a clear day, the hills of Pusan, South Korea, can be seen. On a clear night, the lights of Pusan are also visible.
All of these are available free of charge.
- アリラン祭り (Arirang Festival) - Korean friendship festival, held in Izuhara on the first weekend of August. Highlights include a parade showcasing traditional 17th-century Korean and Japanese costumes, stalls with usual Japanese matsuri snacks, and a large fireworks display on Sunday night.
- 紅葉祭り (Momiji Festival) - A small festival is held on the scenic Momiji Road (Maple Tree Road) in northern Tsushima in mid-November celebrating autumn colors. Walking along the maple road, you can see many beautiful Japanese maple trees adorned in fall colors, a cascade from yellow to deep red.
The main shopping areas on Tsushima are the Tiara Mall in Izuhara (Southern Port) and the big box stores in Mitsushima.
There aren't any real "department stores" on Tsushima, though the biggest store is a Target- or Wal-Mart-like big box called Osada in Mitsushima, behind the Super Saiki supermarket.
- Red Cabbage (レッドキャベツ), Tiara Mall in Izuhara (Southern Port), 09:00~22:00 Daily. A standard grocery with produce, deli, dry goods, et cetera.
- Maruei (丸栄） Another supermaket in Izuhara along the canal street. Smaller and much older than Red Cabbage, but it has a better selection of local produce and usually cheaper meat.
- Super Saiki (スーパー サイキ), Mitsushima big box shopping area, Larger than Red Cabbage, this also offers a small farmer's market area.
- Osada (オサダ), Mitsushima big box area, behind Super Saiki., With a very annoying, constantly playing soundtrack, Osada offers everything from textiles to cookware to electronics. Similar to a Target or Wal-Mart store.
Home & Garden storesEdit
- Lifebase (ライフベース), Big box stores area of Mitsushima., Offers a number of home, hardware, and garden goods including a small sort of garden center.
Izuhara has a wide variety of restaurants (many more than are listed here). Roxy offers “American”-style burgers and fries. Ohashi no Kuni serves Japanese food with some western options. Senryo has pizza, pasta, sushi, and more traditional Japanese fare, such as udon, tonkatsu, and chahan. The only Mos Burger in Tsushima can be found in Izuhara.
Directly across from the northern ferry port is a restaurant that serves bibimbap, a Korean dish. Hitakatsu also has 104 Okonomiyaki, which serves Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and Kaikan, which serves large portions of curry and other Japanese-style dishes.
There are other restaurants scattered throughout Tsushima, as well as supermarkets that offer bentō and the like.
- Mos Burger (モスバーガー), Tiara Mall, Izuhara (southern port), 09:00~22:00. The only mainstream burger shop chain on the island.
- Udon Jaya (うどん茶屋), Izuhara, Udon Jaya serves a number of different udon dishes, along with donburi, and set meals (定食）. Udon Jaya has expanded recently and offers a range of seating options.
- Hotto Motto (ホットモット), Various locations: Izuhara, Mitsushima, Toyotama, Hitakatsu, Offers a number of batter-fried dishes over rice.
- Senryo (千両), A couple blocks east of the canal in Izuhara., (Large restaurant, with a balcony on the fourth floor.), Offers a tasty selection of seafood and bentos.
- Ohashi no Kuni (おはしの国), Izuhara, Ohashi no Kuni offers a range of Japanese foods along with a small selection of pasta and other western foods. It also has a fairly quiet atmosphere and more privacy than many of the other eateries on the island.
- G Café (Gカフェ), Up on a hill in Kuta, just south of Izuhara., (Map), Brick oven pizzas, Japanese lunches, Japanese-style crêpes, baked goods, and delicious drinks.
There are several Pachinko parlors throughout the island. Izuhara has a lot of bars: snacks, pubs, karaoke—even a billiards bar. A few bars feature occasional live music.
About fifteen minutes’ drive north of Izuhara, there’s a bowling alley called Upper. Shoes are ¥300, and each game is ¥500 per person. Upper also has a bar and restaurant, as well as karaoke boxes upstairs.
Google Maps list of Izuhara bars, snacks, and hostess bars.
- K-CREW (Ｋ−ＣＲＥＷ), 768 Imaya Village 4F, Izuhara, (Map), [Tsushima Snacks and Bars]. 20:00〜03:00. 800 yen plus drinks. K-CREW offers billiards and darts, in a wider space than most Japanese bars. Flat panel TVs spout out a music video channel.
- Sweet Box (スウィートボックス), 1056 Otebashi 2F, Izuhara, (Map), [Tsushima Snacks and Bars]. 20:00〜05:00. 3000 yen all-you-can-drink for 120 minutes. Modernly styled bar for a youngish crowd, with darts and music videos.
- Izuhara Post Office, Across from Tiara Mall in Izuhara (southern port), 09:00~19:00 M~F, 09:00~12:30 Sat~Sun. Full service post office with savings/insurance until 16:00, post, and ATMs.
- Izuhara Public Library, Tiara Mall, 4F, (Take the elevator next to Red Cabbage, or the nearby escalators.), Numerous closed days, which change each month.. Smallish but modern library offering technology as well.
- JTB, Izuhara, two blocks south of the post office, Another JTB store.
MapEditUse the controls on the left to scroll and zoom around the map below.
Last update May 2012.