The Mikimoto Pearl Island (ミキモト真珠島, Mikimoto Shinjujima) is an excellent museum about pearls, pearl cultivation and Mikimoto Kokichi, the pioneer who first succeeded in cultivating pearls. The island is located in the Bay of Toba, accessible via a bridge.
Mikimoto Kokichi was born in Toba in 1858 and became the first person to successfully cultivate pearls in the year 1893. He opened the first Mikimoto Pearl Store in 1899. The Mikimoto Kokichi Memorial Hall introduces his life story. Also located on the island, the Pearl Museum provides detailed explanations about pearls and the cultivation of pearls in Japanese and English. In the adjacent Pearl Plaza you can view and purchase a wide variety of pearl jewelry.
The Mikimoto Pearl Island also offers hourly performances by female pearl divers, known as ama (lit. "sea women"), who have traditionally been planting and harvesting the oysters (and other seafood).
The Mikimoto Pearl Island is a short walk from Toba Station, served by JR and Kintetsu trains. The train trip from Iseshi Station to Toba takes 15 minutes and costs 240 yen by JR and 330 yen by Kintetsu. There are one or two departures per hour on each line. Direct trains also connect Toba with Nagoya (JR and Kintetsu) and with Osaka and Kyoto (Kintetsu).
Admission ends one hour before closing time.