Inujima Island 犬島
Once a pirate hideout, now an island dedicated to art and leisure
Inujima is an island in the Seto Inland Sea off the coast of the city of Okayama . Just a 10-minute ferry ride from Hoden Port, Inujima is a quick and pleasant way to escape the mainland and relax. The island got its name, which means "Dog Island," from a large rock resembling a sitting dog.
Pirates once used it as a base for raiding in around the Seto Inland Sea, but the island is now much better known as a haven for arts and recreation.
- Experiencing sensory art at the island's museum
- Strolling the entire island
- Renting a kayak to get a different perspective of the island
How to Get There
You can reach the nearest large city, Okayama , by rail or air.
From Okayama Station catch the train to Saidaiji Station, then take Ryobi bus to Hoden Port, which takes about 55 minutes, and get off at Nishi-Hoden. The ferry office is next to Ryobi bus stop.
Small and sweet
The population of Inujima is around 100 people, including locals said to be descendants from pirates who once roamed the Seto Inland Sea.
Inujima is dotted with lots of small garden plots dividing the island's houses. Small pathways form a maze that's easy to get lost in, but with the island being only four kilometers in circumference you won't be lost for long, so enjoy the adventure.
Island as art
In 2008, Inujima was added to the region's famous art festival. This event has grown to bring vitality to the islands in the Seto Inland Sea.
The main art attraction is an art museum built from the remains of a copper refinery. Its impressive art installations are placed around the island and are often swapped around. During the art festival held every three years, the island buzzes with events and one-off exhibits which bring people back year after year.
The island's beautiful, peaceful beaches attract campers and picnickers. On the south side of the island, the Inujima campgrounds have facilities for staying on the island longer. You can choose to pitch a tent on the ground or on decks if you prefer a flatter surface to sleep on.
In and around the campgrounds are statues you'll see all around the island on the beach fronts. These random geometric shapes and animals add a whimsical and quirky touch to the island.
Camping season runs from April 15 through October 15. There are 40 tent sites available. The campground also rents tents and other necessary gear. Reservations for sites and equipment rentals are required.
Visitors can also enjoy sea kayaking with a qualified guide; kayaking is restricted to the bay area and is for beginners.
Food for thought
Inujima has a small selection of places to eat, and before visiting the island, you should check with the Okayama Cities Tourist Information Center if anything is open on the day you plan to visit. The cafes offer a gourmet selection of locally sourced ingredients for delicious dishes that will please most visitors.
This small island allows you to roam the neighborhoods, meet the locals, see incredible art and savor this slow pace of life.