Saigo Port - Gateway to Dogo Island, 西郷港
Located in a sheltered bay on the south coast of Dogo, the largest of the Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan, off the north coast of mainland Shimane Prefecture, the historic port of Saigo is where the car ferries and high speed ferry arrive from the mainland.
Just across from the ferry terminal and connected to it by a covered walkway is the Oki View Port Hotel wherein you will find the Tourist Information Office, the Geopark Visitor Centre, and the Oki Nature Museum, three places that can help arrange and organize your visit to Dogo.
The Oki View Port Hotel has western-style rooms, some of which have a sea view.
Dogo Tourist Information Office
The tourist information office, on the first floor, is where you can pick up maps, leaflets, and bus schedules in English and also get help booking accommodation or boat trips on the island.
There are walking tours around the historic areas of the old port, but only in Japanese. A map in English can be had for a self-guided walk or bike ride around the old town. This is also the starting point for the scenic Kappa boat cruise that explores the harbor and old town by water. There is usually someone on duty who can speak good English. There are storage lockers for luggage, and a relaxation area with drinks machines and free wi-fi. You can also rent bicycles here as well.
Geopark Visitor Center
On the second floor is the Geopark Visitor Center, filled with displays and materials on the flora, fauna, geology, ecology, and environment of not just Dogo but all the Oki Islands, which since 2013 have been a UNESCO registered Global Geopark, one of only eight located in Japan. There are plenty of materials that can be taken away to read at your leisure.
Oki Nature Museum
Here you will also find the entrance to the Oki Nature Museum which, while focussed on nature, of both the land and the sea, also includes some history. From the Heian Period on, the remote islands were used as a place of exile, and over the ensuing millennium about a thousand people were exiled here including, famously, two emperors: Gotoba (1180-1239) and Godaigo (1288-1339).
There are plenty of maps, diagrams and charts, as well as photos, displaying animals, insects, birds, fish and other aquatic animals, as well as plants, flowers, and rocks. There is some explanation in English. Entrance to the Oki Nature Museum is 350 yen for adults, 200 yen for children.
Oki View Port Hotel
Menuki 4-54-3 Nakamachi, Okinoshima, Oki-gun, Shimane 685-0013
Tourist Information Office Tel: 08512 2 1577
Geopark Visitor Center Tel: 08512 3 1005
Oki Nature Museum Tel: 08512 2 1583
Open 8.30am to 5.30pm, 7 days a week.
Getting Between the Oki Islands
A fairly frequent and fast ferry service connects the three islands of Dozen, but between Dozen and Dogo you need to use the car ferry or fast ferry.
Read more about access to the Oki Islands and getting around the islands.
Useful Oki Island Resources
- Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark
- Oki Islands Events Calendar
- Oki Islands Nishinoshima
- Oki Kisen Ferries