21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
The Mikimoto Pearl Island is an excellent museum about pearls, pearl cultivation and Mikimoto Kokichi, the first person who 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 Ise-shi 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.
Toba is also directly connected with Nagoya by JR rapid trains and Kintetsu limited express trains and with Osaka and Kyoto by Kintetsu limited express trains.
The second Tuesday in December and the two following days