Hiwasa Chelonian Museum Caretta 日和佐うみがめ博物館カレッタ
A town and an unusual museum dedicated to loggerhead sea turtles
The town of Minami on the island of Shikoku is famous for the loggerhead sea turtles that lay their eggs on its beach every summer. Find out more about these fascinating creatures at Hiwasa Chelonian Museum Caretta.
- Live sea turtles over one meter long
- High-definition videos of turtles laying eggs on the beach
- The hatchery where young turtles are raised
How to Get There
The museum is about a 20-minute walk from Hiwasa Station on the JR Mugi Line.
Dedicated to their annual guests
Located in the town of Minami in southern Tokushima, this museum dedicated to sea turtles is just across the road from Ohama, the beach where the turtles come to lay their eggs in the sand every summer.
Complete info about sea turtles
Caretta caretta is the scientific name for the loggerhead sea turtle. The museum features exhibits about every aspect of these protected animals, including their evolution, preserved specimens, and photos and high-definition videos of the turtles laying eggs.
Giving the loggerheads a warm welcome
The town of Minami has been protecting the sea turtles for decades, and outside the museum you can see the artificial hatchery where some young turtles are reared until they can be released into the wild.
See live sea turtles up close
Look out for the pools that contain sea turtles over one meter in length. There are also tanks where you can watch the turtles swimming above you. At turtle feeding times, it is even possible to feed and hug the turtles.
While you are in town
There are a number of sights to see in Minami not far from the museum. Although it is not ideal for swimming due to its strong currents and sharp drop-off, Ohama is still a wonderful place to appreciate the coastal scenery of Minami and enjoy activities such as kayaking and fishing.
The town is also home to Yakuoji Temple, number 23 on the 88-temple Shikoku Pilgrimage .