Written by Dwinda Nafisah-san (Indonesian blogger, www.jengdwinda.tumblr.com)
Ama means traditional Japanese woman diver, one of the oldest profession for Japanese women who already existed since 3,000 years ago. This profession also filmed in Amachan TV series starring Rena Nonen. Today, half of Japanese Ama-san are still living in Osatsu, part of Toba which also located in Ise Shima National Park. In their daily life, the Ama only uses a traditional equipment for catching shells and other seafood. They also have a unique breathing technique called isobue which makes them able to swim without diving tank.
In the last few years, Ama culture become one of the main attractions for tourist in Toba. If you want to meet the real Ama-san and have a chat with them, you can take a tour organized by Hachimankamado, a tour operator owned by local residents. On this tour, you will visit Ama hut and have fresh seafood grilled by the Ama-san in front of you. For Muslim tourist, the meals were made with non-alcohol homemade miso and shoyu sauce. While enjoying the appetizing seafood, the Ama-san will tell you the history of Ama-san and their experience doing this traditional fishery. At the end of the tour, don’t forget to try cosplaying Ama costume and strike a pose in front of the hut!
Hachimankamado provides prayer rooms for Muslim in their Ama hut. The room for male and female are separated. It is equipped with prayer mat, qibla sign, air conditioner, and sandals for wudu (ablution).
Access: From Nagoya, take Kintetsu Line or JR Line to Toba Station. In Toba station, take Mie Kotsu Bus to Osatsu Bus stop (35 minutes drive). You also can take a taxi or reserve Ama Experience tour by local tour operator, such as Kaito Yumin Club (www.oz-group.jp), that will drive you to Osatsu from station or hotel.
Hachimankamado Ama Hut Experience
Osatsu-cho Toba City, Mie Prefecture, Japan