Ieshima (家島町 Ieshima-chō) was a town located in Shikama District, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It actually is a group of 44 small islands (4 main inhabited ones and 40 smaller uninhabited ones) about 18 kilometers off the coast of Himeji and Akō. Ieshima is one of the big islands but the name Ieshima is also used to refer to the entire chain of Islands.
View of the smaller Ieshima Islands
|• Land||20.27 km2 (7.83 sq mi)|
|Population (February 1, 2006)|
|• Density||390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)|
On March 27, 2006, the towns Ieshima, Yumesaki (also from Shikama District), Yasutomi (Shisō District), and Kōdera (Kanzaki District) were merged into the expanded city of Himeji and are no longer independent municipalities.
- Ieshima (家島): 5.46 km², about 4,000 inhabitants
- Bozejima (坊勢島): 1.87 km², about 4,000 inhabitants
- Nishijima (西島): 6.59 km², about 100 inhabitants
- Tangajima (男鹿島): 4.57 km², about 150 inhabitants
Most of the population lives on Ieshima and Bozejima. Ieshima is divided into 2 "hamlets" called Miya and Maura. The two main industries of Ieshima are fishing and quarrying. Tangajima and Nishijima have been quarried for at least 400 years and supplied stones used in the building of Osaka Castle. The eastern part of Nishijima is maintained as a camping and recreation ground by Hyogo Prefecture. Ieshima is host to the annual Open Water Swim Competition which has been rapidly gaining fame as one of the most popular open water swim competitions in Japan. The race takes place between the islands of Tangajima and Ieshima.
Ieshima and Bozejima can be reached by a 35-minute boat ride from Himeji Port.
- Official website in Japanese
- Website for Ieshima Nature Learning Center in Japanese
- Information in English about how to get there and things to see
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