Kada. A sleepy little Japanese town.
|Approaching the port from the north.|
|The town buildings nestle into the scrub-covered coastline.|
|One of the two ferries that services the island.|
The ferry trip over is short and uneventful. For me it is spent mainly trying to entertain our youngest with a variety of dad techniques, one of which was to give him a bit of a chance to use the camera. He didn't do too badly!
|We approach Tomogashima.|
|Handy info for Englishy tourists!|
|A pleasant picnic area just beyond the jetty.|
|Lovely and restful as you look out to sea and away to Awajishima. It's hard to pick up in this shot, but there are hundreds of fishing and pleasure craft out on the water.|
|Just 600 metres to battery 3.|
|A snake (Japanese Rat Snake, I think) interrupted our progress while trying to swallow a squirrel whole. It succeeded.|
|The path is steep but well maintained.|
|Buildings are tucked into folds in the ground or up against the hill.|
Third battery originally contained 8 guns in four pairs, all connected by tunnels, and each gun having a 360 degree range of fire. They must have been formidable.
On the west side of the ridge living quarters and magazines were built. All underground or built into the hill, and all connected by tunnels.
|An above ground building. Original insides but, as you can see, in some state of disrepair!|
|Not sure what this building was for, but as it's fairly open by comparison, probably not for storing ammo!|
|We're at quite a height up here. Probably 80m up, at a guess.|
|A shrine entrance.|
|Battery two from a distance.|
|A map showing all of the batteries on the island.|
|Looking from the seaward side.|
|Looking back up the hill to the east.|
|The area these guns would've covered: that's Awajishima in the distance.|
|A mysterious ruin behind Battery two. Some kind of observation post, perhaps.|
We came back the way we'd come to avoid tramping over the inland hill crest again, but you can easily see what an obstacle this would have been to any shipping attempting to come near the area.
|Looking inland: a filthy swamp, with a camp ground away behind it for those keen to stay the night.|
|An 8 inch shell which thankfully never saw use.|
So a good little day out.
It's sobering to think how different the world was back when this place was doing its assigned job, but equally as sobering for me was seeing just how much plastic rubbish gets washed in from the sea. The southern coast was just an absolute mess of plastic, polystyrene and other things. The swampy area of the island itself had also been used as a dump by locals, so there were old fridges, wrecked vending machines, old hunks of rusty metal as well as plastic brought in by wind and tide.
The place was very popular with visitors, but for me it was a bit depressing to see what we're doing to our environment, and how little seems to be being done to clean it up.