Tsushima Island, Japan aka Daemado

   If you're looking for a fun day trip traveling from Busan, South Korea to Japan you might try Tsushima Island. Koreans know this island as Daemado.

   Honestly the idea of spending a few days on an island intrigued me. It's one of those storybook fairy tale type of things that seems exotic; something everyone should try at least once, right?

   Well, due to the time of year when things were already booked in advance I opted for the one-day discounted return ticket. The price was right. I paid the equivalent of around $28 for the round-trip ferry ticket. Added to that is the $8 required tax on the Korean side and another $6 tax on the Japanese side. Not too bad for a day trip between countries!

   The down side is that you have to go through customs and security which meant standing for at least one hour in lines on each side. This cuts into your touring time on the island. It was suggested to get your return ticket and pay the tax upon arrival so as to avoid the long line leaving again. Unfortunately the ticket box was closed when I tried so I had to tackle the long line anyway.

   The up side is that there really isn't a lot to do on the island so you don't really need a lot of time once there. Sadly I hadn't done my homework prior to my trip. So my time was spent taking a walk from the terminal to a few places in close proximity. Also, for some reason most of the few shops and restaurants that are there were closed on this special discounted day! Maybe it was still post-holiday vacation? The date was January 3rd - New Year 2019. Now I know why the ticket was so cheap! Ha ha ha. Had I planned a bit better I would have known to rent a bicycle to see a bit more of the island. A car rental might have been even better but, since in Japan driving is on the opposite side of what I'm accustomed, I prefer not to drive! Here's a good link for the next time! See: What to do on Tsushima Island).

   Anyway, I enjoyed the walk which included climbing up some stairs on a nearby hill to what looked like was once some sort of shrine. Sadly there was nothing at the top to see! Then I walked around to the other side of the sea port thinking that I would arrive at a recommended beach. Hmmmm - I didn't get to the beach but I enjoyed seeing the ocean view from another perspective. Hey, it's the little things that count in life, right?

   One thing travelers should be aware of is that Koreans love to travel to Daemado to make huge purchases from the duty free shop(s). They come with huge EMPTY suitcases from Busan in South Korea and return with those huge suitcases packed full of goodies. There is no weight or size limitation so they do very well on this shopping trip!

   Some foreigners come and go between Korea and Japan in order to renew tourist visas.

   All in all, in spite of the drawbacks, I still enjoyed my little day trip to an island. I'm glad I didn't stay longer though. One day is really enough to see just about everything there! However, I would happily do it again and maybe go to the other port on the island. This time I went to Hitakatsu on the Northern end. Next time I would choose Izuhara on the Southern end. I might also stay a few nights as a retreat! 

Some info from the web

Situated in the north, Hitakatsu offers hotels, guesthouses and even camping sites at the beautiful and tropical-looking Miuda Beach, if you’re the adventurous type. Pop into one of the restaurants and enjoy some delicious, local food, and be sure to make your way around the northern end of the island to see sights like Tonosaki Park (great for an afternoon stroll), the historic Toyo Battery Ruins and the Korean viewpoint.
The largest city on the island, Izuahara is tucked away in the southeast corner of Tsushima and also has several sites to visit within walking or biking distance. You can relax at Ofunae Port or make the journey up the hill to Isaribi Park to enjoy the free foot spa with beautiful views looking out into the sea. Banshoin Temple and the Hachimangu Shrine are located in the city and are definitely worth an hour or two of your time!
   Click on this link to see my photo album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FaGo6Aw4yP63MRRw6


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