Welcome to Uminowa
Uminowa is the visitor center for Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park. Situated on the Tatsukushi Coast in Tosashimizu, the center introduces the national park’s diverse features, which range from forested mountains and steep cliffs to seas inhabited by more than 100 species of corals and 384 kinds of colorful sea slugs, among a remarkable variety of marine life. Uminowa translates to “circle of the sea,” and this name was chosen in the hope that the visitor center would inspire connections between nature, local residents, and visitors, and encourage conservation of the area’s natural riches. The center’s coastal location allows visitors to experience the natural world of Ashizuri-Uwakai firsthand right after learning about it by viewing the multimedia displays at Uminowa.
The Purpose of Uminowa
In addition to showing visitors the beauty of Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park, Uminowa seeks to keep people engaged with nature so that the park’s beauty can be conserved for future generations. Local volunteers participate in such engagement by helping with regular forest maintenance, control of the populations of certain types of starfish to prevent damage to corals, and other activities. Uminowa also aims to connect visitors with people in the local community in order to build the bridges necessary for conservation of the area’s nature and culture. Furthermore, the center seeks to pass on the community’s knowledge and customs to the next generation through engagement with local schools and other institutions.
Things to Do at Uminowa
Uminowa is the ideal starting point for a visit to Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park. Both a source of information and a place for relaxation, the center aims to be a spot where visitors can pause to get their bearings before exploring the park further. The building’s terrace, with views out toward Tatsukushi Bay, is particularly pleasant in summer. In winter, visitors can relax by a wood-burning stove and warm up before entering the main exhibition area.
Besides providing visitors with up-to-date information on the park and the Tosashimizu area, the center organizes and hosts a variety of events. These include many educational and interactive programs in which participants of all ages can learn about the local landscape and culture. Note that some programs may not be offered in English.
The staff at Uminowa are well versed in all things concerning Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park. They can help visitors plan a trip through the park by recommending outdoor and cultural experiences throughout the year, and also provide information about sights and ways of enjoying the park that tend to be overlooked.
From the unusual rock features on the Tatsukushi Coast to the colorful corals and other marine life in the nearby sea, the unique landscape of Tosashimizu is a subject of ongoing study. Uminowa seeks not only to highlight the results of past projects but also to support further research by establishing connections between scientists and local residents.
The diverse activities conducted by Uminowa to connect visitors and local residents alike with nature—and with each other—bring about a lively exchange of ideas and information. When people with different values and ways of thinking interact, new insights and solutions related to the conservation and enjoyment of nature are sure to emerge.
- Tuesday(If it is a holiday, the next day)
- New Year holidays(December 29th-January 3rd))
- free parking available(for visitors)
- Free outdoor shower
- Shower room 100 yen / 3min