Sightseeing spot in Ako City Part.2 -Salt and Sea

Following on from Ako Roshi, I would like to tell you about the spots related to Ako’s salt and the beautiful coastal landscape that produces that salt. In addition, we will be talking about the Ako Cauldron, a caldera made from a huge eruption 83 million years ago.

First of all, take a look at the view of Ako Seaside Park, which was built in a place where the salt fields had previously spread, and the beautiful seaside landscape that extends from Iwatsu Hime Shrine in Ako Misaki to the Fukuura Beach and Otsuka Beach.

[Ako Seaside Park]
A park built on a huge salt farm ruin on the west side of Ako Misaki, with two large and small ponds separated by a spectacle bridge, athletic playground equipment, etc., an amusement park “Tateho Wakuwaku Land ”, a salt country Facilities such as the Ako Marine Science Museum and the auto campground are also attached.

Seawater was drawn in here, so the water in the two ponds in the park is seawater. If you look closely, you can see sea creatures.

[Wampaku Square]
There is a promenade in the park, which is ideal for walking and jogging. In Wampaku Square, playground equipment that mimics a huge shipwreck and athletic playground equipment, which can be said to be the symbol of this park, have been prepared, making it a recommended spot for families.

This shipwreck is quite a quality even though it is a playground equipment. If you devise how to shoot, it seems that you can take interesting pictures.

[Karafuneyama]
It is 19 meters high and is loved as the lowest mountain in the prefecture. A long time ago, it was reported that the Karafuneyama was the land where the Tang ship met a storm and sank, and earth and sand deposited on it.

[Ako City Marine Science Museum, Shio-no-Kuni]
“Shio-no-Kuni” is a reproduction of the “Agehama-shiki”, “Irihama-shiki”, “Ryuka-shiki” and “salt production facilities” Recently, it became a hot topic as a location for NHK morning TV series “Manpuku”.

Among the salt fields, the flow-down salt field like a giant broom stands out. Things like brooms are called “Shijoka”, where seawater is poured and water is blown away by wind power.

There are also facilities where you can experience making salt.

The “Marine Science Museum” is a facility where you can enjoy learning with exhibits on the theme of “ocean, salt, and nature of Ako”.

From here, I will introduce the Iwatsu Hime Shrine and coastal scenery in Ako Misaki.

[Iwatsu Hime Shrine]
It is a Shikinaisha located at the top of Ako Misaki, with a history of over 1000 years. The god of deity is the Iwatsu hime no Okami, originally said to be the Toyouke Bime of Ise Gaigu, and the Iwano Okami of Banshu Ichinomiya. Originally enshrined on the sea of ​​Hatchoiwa, Takuminokami Asano was transferred to the current location in 1683. Himegami’s beliefs by young men and women have been flourishing since ancient times, and many people still receive “Himemori” in hopes of good relations.

The torii that stands toward the sea looks beautiful even when viewed from the shrine side with the sea as a background, or when viewed from the sea side where you can see the flattening against the sky.

[Misaki Coast Promenade / Tatamiiwa]
Ako Misaki is a scenic spot that has been selected as one of the 100 best views of Japan and the 100 best sunsets in Japan, and has a promenade along the coastline.

“Tatami-iwa” is a reef that can only be crossed at low tide. It is said that the wish will come true if you can cross with your lover.

[Kirakirazaka]
A slope going down from the parking lot of Iwatsu hime Shrine towards Tatamiiwa. There are fashionable general stores, galleries and authentic Italian restaurants. “Misaki Marche” is held on the third Sunday of every month.

[Fukuura Beach]
A small and beautiful beach in Ako Misaki. Iwato Hime Shrine and Otsuka Beach are connected by a seaside promenade.

Here, there is an inn called “Imai So” that feels like a nostalgic sea house. Originally it was a guest house, but the interior has been renovated modernly and is gaining popularity as a stylish accommodation with only two rooms.

There is a place where the traces of the cauldron are exposed in the middle of the promenade from the Fukuura beach to the Otsuka coast (we will explain cauldron later).

[Otsuka Beach]
On the beautiful beach right next to Fukuura Beach, there are toilets and rest areas. It is popular as a fishing spot. There is a lion rock at the northern end. It is popular as a scenic spot for the first sunrise.

[Ako Picnic Park]
This park has been developed as a base for picnics and hiking in the hilly area where the ranch was located, integrated with the surrounding nature trail.

The Observation Square is a popular view point overlooking Ako city and the Seto Inland Sea. This is a great shooting point for daytime, evening, and night views.

[Furuike Enden ato]
Furuike Enden was a salt pan developed by reclaiming tidal flats in the late Edo period. For a long time, Irihama-style salt pan were used for salt production.

In 1963, the Fukuura area was merged into Ako City, and Furuike Enden was integrated into Ako Enden and continued to produce salt. In 1971, the Ako Enden was abolished and salt production was discontinued, and the Furuike Enden was also abandoned.

Even in Ako City, only the Furuike Enden remains as it was when it was abolished, and the foundations of the Ryuka-shiki-Enden embankment and branches remain.

[Shiogama Shrine]
The sacred gods are Shiotsuchi no Okina, Tatemikazuchi no Kami, and Futsunushinogami. It is said that it was built to celebrate the god of Salt pan when reclaiming the old pond.

On the stone pillar at the entrance, the name of Ginzo Korekawa, a speculator from Ako, is engraved.

[Fukuura Shinden]
In the past, Fukuura was a land with few plains with deep bays. Reclamation began in the Tensho period of the Azuchi-Momoyama period, and a large-scale reclamation was carried out by the Okayama clan in the Edo period, creating Fukuura Shinden in 1682.

[Ryu Shrine]
Watatsumi no Kami, Oyama Tsuminokami, and Dosojin are enshrined as sacred gods.

The legend of the dragon god (the great snake) remains that the shrine that struck the back mountain with the great snake exterminated by Gyobu Miyazaki  is Ryu Shrine. During the war, there were also worshipers from far away as “Tamayoke Shrine”.

The name of the shrine was changed to the former name, Ryugu, and Ryu Shrine in 1869. (Ikeda family document)

[Bizen Fukukawa Station and Cauldron]
Bizen Fukukawa Station is one of the JR Ako Line stations. On December 12, 1951, the Ako Line opened between Aioi and Banshu Ako, and on March 1, 1955, the section between Banshu Ako and Nissei opened and opened Bizen Fukukawa Station. At that time, this place was Okayama Prefecture. On September 1, 1963, the Fukuura area where Bizen Fukukawa Station was located was merged into Ako City, Hyogo Prefecture. The station name remains that this was once Okayama Prefecture (Bizen).

In addition, you can see “Ako Cauldron” in the mountain about 500 meters northwest of Bizen Fukukawa Station. Ako City was founded in 2016 to be a town built in a caldera born by a huge eruption of the late Cretaceous period (dinosaur era) about 83 million to 82 million years ago. The size of the caldera is about 21 km in diameter, which is comparable to the Aso caldera in Kumamoto Prefecture (maximum diameter of about 25 km) and the Aira caldera in Kagoshima Prefecture that forms Sakurajima (20 km in the same period). is. The discovered caldera was named “Ako Cauldron”.

There is a panel explaining the cauldron at the station. Please look at the mountain while looking at the panel.