A Journey of Elegance : Exploring Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island with Kintetsu Premium Express Shimakaze

Jan 18, 2024

Mikimoto Pearl Island & Kashiko Island

Nestled in the serene waters of Ago Bay, Japan, Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island beckon travelers with their unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. Adding a touch of luxury to this enchanting journey is the Kintetsu Premium Express “Shimakaze”, a train that transcends the ordinary, promising an unforgettable experience.

This feature will guide you through the wonders of Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island, immersing you in the captivating world of Ama Divers and the exclusive features that make the Kintetsu Premium Express “Shimakaze” truly exceptional.


1. When should you visit Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island?

To ensure a perfect journey to Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island, it’s essential to choose the right time of year. Spring and autumn offer mild weather, showcasing the natural beauty of the surroundings at its best.

Avoiding the peak summer and winter seasons ensures a more comfortable experience, allowing you to enjoy the outdoor attractions without extreme temperatures.

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2. Things to do in Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island

Mikimoto Pearl Island is synonymous with the art of pearl cultivation, and the Ama Divers are at the heart of this tradition. These skilled female divers, known for their graceful underwater performances, showcase the ancient technique of cultivating pearls. You can witness this awe-inspiring practice, gaining insight into the meticulous process that produces some of the world’s finest pearls.

In addition to that, you can delve into the history and craftsmanship of pearl cultivation at the Pearl Museum.

This educational and immersive experience takes you on a journey through time, tracing the evolution of pearl cultivation techniques. Admire exquisite pearl jewelry and artifacts, gaining a deeper appreciation for the cultural significance of pearls in Japanese history.

On the other hand, Kashiko Island is a hidden gem in Ago Bay offering lush landscapes and charming Ama Hut Villages. Take a leisurely stroll through the island, explore the Ama Divers’ huts, and absorb the tranquility of this idyllic destination.

You can also enjoy a beautiful view of Ago Bay and its surrounding islands from the Yokoyama Observatory Deck.

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3. Who are Ama Divers?

The Ama Divers are an integral part of the cultural tapestry of Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island. Dating back over 2,000 years, these skilled female divers have upheld the tradition of free-diving to harvest pearls and seafood.

Known for their strength, endurance, and camaraderie, the Ama Divers contribute not only to the local economy but also embody a cultural legacy that is celebrated through various events and festivals.

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4. About the Pearl Museum

While on Mikimoto Pearl Island, a visit to The Pearl Museum is a must. Here, you can dive into the fascinating world of pearls, exploring the history of pearl cultivation and the intricate processes involved in creating cultured pearls.

The museum’s exhibits showcase rare and exquisite pearl collections, providing a comprehensive understanding of the significance of pearls in Japanese culture.

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5. Enjoy the scenery from the Yokoyama Observatory Deck in Kashiko Island

For a panoramic vista of Ago Bay and its surrounding islands, ascend to the Yokoyama Observatory Deck in Kashiko Island. The breathtaking views from this vantage point capture the essence of the region’s natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

If you’re lucky enough to come to the observatory deck at the right time, you might be able to see the Kashikojima España Cruise, which looks like a colorful pirate ship.

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6. How to visit Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island using Kintetsu Premium Express Shimakaze”

Embarking on this enchanting journey commences at Osaka-Namba station, where passengers aboard the Kintetsu Premium Express “Shimakaze”.

The luxurious train weaves through the scenic landscapes, providing panoramic views of Japan’s coastal beauty, ultimately arriving at Toba Station.

From Toba Station, it’s a short and convenient journey to Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island, setting the stage for an unforgettable experience.

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7. What makes Kintetsu Premium Express Shimakaze” so special?

The Kintetsu Premium Express “Shimakaze” redefines travel with its commitment to luxury and comfort. From plush, spacious seats to the expansive windows that frame the picturesque landscapes, every detail is designed to provide passengers with a heightened sense of indulgence. The train’s interior, inspired by the serene seascape, creates an ambiance that complements the scenic journey.

All seats have a pitch of 125 cm, which are more comfortable than those used on Japan’s Shinkansen bullet trains. Covered with soft and genuine leather, the seats are equipped with headrests, air cushions, leg rests, and reclining functions. On top of that, the seats are also equipped with an electric massager, so passengers can rest and relax as they sit down on them.

In addition to its fancy and comfortable seats, Shimakaze offers private rooms to its passengers, where they can relax and chat. There are two types of private rooms: a Japanese-style room and a Western-style room.

Japanese-style room

The Japanese-style room is decorated with a table that looks like a horigotatsu, a Japanese traditional low table that has a hole in the floor, and legless chairs. The room also has a large window, where you can enjoy the surrounding scenery while traveling, and soft lighting that creates a heart-warming atmosphere. An extra fee of 1,050 yen per room is separately required to use this room.

Western-style room

In addition to the Japanese-style room, there is also a Western-style room in this train. Just like a living room, this private room has an L-shaped sofa and table installed where travelers can spread out and relax as if they were in a living room, and to use this room, you need to pay an extra fee of 1050 yen as well.

Salon Seats

Shimakaze train also has three Salon Seating areas on each Group Seating Car. Unlike other seats, these seats have large tables, which are perfect for passengers who travel as a group.

The salon seats have a maximum capacity of six, and passengers can use these seats for free, without paying any additional fee.

Shimakaze Limited Express’s built-in cafe and restaurant

In addition to the private rooms and the salon seating area, Shimakaze also has a built-in cafe and restaurant facility in its train. The built-in restaurant and cafe are in a two-story car, and passengers can try dishes and drinks made from ingredients sourced from places along the train line, allowing them to try the local specialties even before they reach their destination.

All dishes offered there are freshly cooked, and some of their best-selling items are as follows:

  • Cooked oyster seasoned with shoyu
  • Ise lobster miso soup
  • Seafood pilaf
  • Japanese curry
  • Matsusaka beef bento

Most of those items are priced around 1500 yen, and although they are slightly more expensive than an ekiben sold at the station, they are still in the affordable range and definitely not overpriced.

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8. Fares for major routes

The fare of Shimakaze trains is more affordable compared to bullet trains. The full fare from major stations is as follows:

Routes Adult (12 years old & above) Child (6-11 years old)
Osaka-Namba to Kashikojima 5,460 yen 2,730 yen
Kyoto to Kashikojima 6,150 yen 3,075 yen
Kintetsu Nagoya to Kashikojima 5,060 yen 2,530 yen

Visit this page if you want to know the full fare for other sections.

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9. Reserving your Premium Express “Shimakaze” journey

The premium express tickets for Shimakaze can be reserved and purchased online or at a Kintetsu station ticket counter. To reserve your ticket online, please refer to this page.

If you want to purchase your ticket offline, visit a Limited Express ticket counter marked with a Limited Express ticket sign above.

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10. Tips when traveling to Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island

  • Cultural immersion: Engage in the local traditions and cultural experiences offered on Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island for a deeper understanding of the Ama Diver heritage.
  • Luxury at a glance: While the Kintetsu Premium Express Shimakaze promises an extraordinary journey, be prepared for a higher fare compared to standard trains.
  • Pack thoughtfully: Consider the weather and pack accordingly for both the train journey and island explorations to ensure comfort.
  • Respect and learn: Show respect for the Ama Divers and take the opportunity to learn more about their history and traditions during your visit.


Embarking on a journey to Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island with the Kintetsu Premium Express Shimakaze is not just a travel experience; it’s an immersion into a world of luxury and cultural richness. From the historical significance of Mikimoto Pearl Island to the captivating landscapes of Kashiko Island, every moment is carefully curated for an unparalleled journey.

Plan your trip, secure your seat on the Shimakaze, and get ready to unveil the hidden gems of Mikimoto Pearl Island and Kashiko Island in the lap of luxury. 😊

Kintetsu Railway Official Website

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