Ise area - Pearl cultivation

13 March 2010

The Ago-bay south of Ise is famous for its cultivated pearls. Kokichi Mikimoto (1858-1954) was the man who invented the process of cultivating spherical pearls indistinguishable from natural pearls. Mikimoto pearl island features a museum which explains the history of pearls and their cultivation in this area. At set times there is a "woman diver demonstration", where the so called "Ama" dive in white robes as if picking/placing pearl oisters. Contrary to most other museums, the Mikimoto museum has a lot of good explanations in English. There is also a big shop where they sell all kinds of pearl jewellery (which we skipped largely). More background info on the "Pearls and Japan" website.

bye bye

Back at the hotel, me and my father went for a little walk around the cliffs. We found an old pearl farmer, but as we understood he now lives from the tours he offers to the people from the "pirate ship" which cruises the bay for sightseeing. We had a talk, enjoyed the nice sunset over the bay, and went back.

Another pearl farm. This one might still be doing some business.

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