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LastUpDate: August 1, 2013
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Hakata Culture vol.78


Shikanoshima Island: Enjoying History and the Ocean's Bounty

Shikanoshima Island: Enjoying History and the Ocean’s Bounty image

If you get the urge to visit a nearby island this summer, why not head to Shikanoshima in the northern end of Hakata Bay? With a circumference of 11km, this little island is connected to the mainland by Umi-no-nakamichi, making it one of Japan's few land-tied islands. You can drive along Hakata Bay to Shikanoshima, but another enjoyable method of transportation is the city-run ferry from Hakata Wharf.


Shikanoshima is an old island, and it is thought to have been a point of exchange with the Korean Peninsula and the Asian continent since olden times. One piece of evidence for this is the kin-in (gold seal) that was discovered there and which is now a national treasure. Carved with the inscription Kan no Wa no Na no Kokuo (King of the Na State of the Wa Vassal of the Han Dynasty), the gold seal is mentioned in China's Hou Han Shu (History of the Later Han Dynasty). According to this chronicle, Emperor Guangwu of Han (China) gave the gold seal to a messenger from Wa (Japan) in 57 AD. It is currently on display at the Fukuoka City Museum. The site where the gold seal was unearthed has since been turned into Kin-in Park.


The island is also home to Shikaumi Shrine, an old shrine devoted to the gods of the sea, as well as Moukozuka and Kaenzuka, two mounds with ties to the Mongol invasions of Japan. The highest point on the island is the observation deck in Shiomi Park. In the daytime, you can see the other islands of the Genkai Sea, and at night, you can enjoy the lights of Fukuoka Tower and the rest of the city. Shikanoshima is an easily accessible resort for people living in Fukuoka, and during the summer months, it bustles with beachgoers and marine sports enthusiasts.


If you go to Shikanoshima don't forget to partake in the ocean's bounty. There are several shops on the island that serve fresh seafood. If you are looking for souvenirs, you can try the morning and night markets that are held on the weekends. Not only can you can enjoy freshly-caught seafood, you can also sample wakame, dried fish and grilled sazae, all of which as are Shikanoshima specialties. Be forewarned: Some of them sell out in about 30 minutes, so be sure you get there early.



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歴史と海の幸が満喫できる志賀島

 夏の休日、どこか手近な海に遊びに行きたい!そんなときにピッタリなのが博多湾の北部に浮かぶ志賀島。周囲約11キロのれっきとした島ですが、海の中道によって本土とつながった、全国的にもめずらしい陸繋島です。志賀島へは博多湾沿いをドライブしながら向かうのもいいですが、博多ふ頭から市営渡船でのんびり海を渡るのも気分を盛り上げてくれます。

 志賀島は古い歴史のある島で、古代から大陸や朝鮮半島との交流拠点だったと考えられています。その証拠のひとつが志賀島で発見された国宝「金印」です。「漢委奴国王印(かんのわのなのこくおういん)」と刻まれたこの金印は、中国の後漢書に登場する金印だといわれています。西暦57年に中国の皇帝・光武帝が奴国からの使者に授けたもので、現在は福岡市博物館に収蔵されています。また島内の金印の発見場所は、金印公園として整備されています。

 このほか海の神様をお祀りする志賀海神社も古い歴史を誇り、元寇にまつわる蒙古塚や火焔塚などもあります。島で最も高い場所にある潮見公園の展望台からは、昼間は玄界灘に浮かぶ島々、夜は福岡タワーや市街地の美しい夜景を眺めることができます。福岡市街から手軽に行けるリゾート地として、夏場は海水浴やマリンレジャーを楽しむ人でいつもにぎわっています。

 もうひとつ忘れてならないのが海の幸。目の前の海でとれた新鮮な魚介類が味わえる店があちこちにあります。お土産を買いたいなら週末に開催される朝市や夕市がねらい目。とれたての魚介類はもちろん、志賀島の特産品であるワカメ、干物、サザエの壺焼きなど、開始から30分程度で売り切れることもあるとか。早めにお出かけください。