Aijima Island had been developed as a port for ships to wait for the wind and tide before and has about 20 inhabitants. The old townscape still remains and the beautiful sea invites a quiet hour on the island.
The seafood and “Hijiki” sea weed is plentiful, especially natural “Hijiki”, harvested and selected manually. The island used to be uninhabited but was developed by the pioneer Kinzaemon as the waiting point for suitable wind for sailing. However, the population has decreased with the changing of the times.
There are many historical records of the island, and one of them is the founder of Aijima Island called “Monument of Founder of Kinzaemon”. Aijima Island used to be a deserted island until the middle of Edo period. In 1817, Ouchi Kinzaemon settled on this island as a pioneer. Kinzaemon and his fellow travelers started out with building a port on this island. Many types of vessels started to stop by because the port was close to the fishing ground of Itsukinada, and was a waiting location for favorable tide and wind. These conditions laid the foundation for the development of Aijima Island.
Around the end of Edo period, a prostitute named Midori lived on this island. She had a love relationship with a customer who frequently came to see her; however, she mourned over the hopeless love and threw herself off a wharf. Her body was found washed up on a rock of Mizuha beach on the east side of the island. As time passed, this rock became known as “The Midori Rock”. During Meiji period, there is a legend that says while a mason was repairing the port, he fell ill after finding a white snake from the rock that he accidentally cracked. The islanders believe the rock is cursed and no one tries to get close to it.
One of Aijima Island’s special products is the handpicked natural Hijiki seaweed. By picking and sorting by hand, only high quality Hijiki of the same size with a rich flavor is selected. Hijiki can be served straight from the pot during best seasons, or purchased as dried and vacuum packed Hijiki all year round.
Houjyo Port - Aijima Port (35 min)
Ferry Information : Inc. Shinkihou
There are no accommodation facilities or grocery store but you can make a reservation to stay at the community centre. You are recommended to bring your own food. One vending machine is located close to the ferry port.