Sprawling across the Shima Peninsula, the coastal city of Shima is famed for its Spanish-inspired theme park. Its island-dotted bays are home to a thriving pearl and oyster industry, while its cliff-top lighthouse offers sweeping Pacific Ocean views.
Things to do in Shima
For a taste of Spain in the middle of Japan, head to the Shima Spain Village, which combines roller coasters with flamenco dancers to create a cultural theme park. Enjoy the family-friendly rides and attractions, watch the daily carnival parade, then dine on Spanish cuisine in the Moorish-inspired restaurant.
The Shima Spanish Village lies on the edge of Matoya Bay where restaurants serving locally-cultivated oysters are clustered. Try oysters au gratin or fried oysters, as well as freshly-shucked raw oysters renowned for being replenished by natural reproduction.
At the southern tip of the Shima Peninsula is the island-dotted Ago Bay, famed for its cultivation of pearls. Jump aboard a pirate-themed ship for a sightseeing cruise between the islands or soak up the Ago Bay views from the Yokoyama Observation Deck, nestled on the slopes of Mount Yokoyama.
On the other side of the peninsula stands the Daiosaki Lighthouse, built to assist ships navigating the treacherous waters where the Kumano and Enshu seas meet. Take in the ocean panoramas from the top of the lighthouse.
Getting around Shima
Shima is around 2.5 hours’ drive from Nagoya and Nagoya Airport, while Ise is 1.5 hours away by train. Buses are the main means of getting around Shima and accessing nearby attractions.