After the launch of the “LINE Travel jp RICOH THETA Section” announced on September 3, we traveled together with Travel jp navigators to cover the Oki Islands in Shimane Prefecture for our first project.

From Ricoh’s perspective, we would like to report on places that are working on regional revitalization along with navigators who cover the news in these areas!

Onwards to the Oki Islands.
The Oki Islands are remote islands located north of Shimane Prefecture and it takes about 2 hours to reach them by ferry from Honshu. Once we reached the islands, a member of the tourist association took us on a tour of the tourist attractions by car!

The first surprise during the tour was that grazing cattle were within touching distance. lol
They didn’t run away even when we approached them. This may be normal for people living on the islands but it was a precious experience for somebody like me who was brought up in the city.

The navigator, continuing to cover the story regardless of the cows.

Of course, we shot images using THETA. The 360° view is good so it looks great with THETA!

This shot was taken with a monopod attached on a footpath next to a rice field. We snapped the entire idyllic scene!

Shooting images from a cape with a great view while striking a very strange pose.

Next, we visited a local facility that runs marine sports and tried shooting from a sea kayak!
The waves were strong and the kayak moved around a lot so we watched on nervously wondering whether he would drop THETA into the water…
The navigator enjoyed himself shooting the scene while smiling.

Going to Oki Shrine at night.

When looking at the islands’ history, there is the story of Emperor Go-Toba who is enshrined at this shrine after being exiled to the Oki Islands because of the Jokyu War. Oki was the place to which he was sent and exiled. Some of you may have heard this story during your history lessons.

Returning to the present day, many people moved to the Oki Islands from the city and Honshu while many people who were born outside the islands work for the tourist association.
We asked them why they chose the Oki Islands as the destination to move to and they replied that the islanders are very accepting of people moving to the islands from other areas. That must be such a relief for people who move here.
This may be rooted in the islands receiving Emperor Go-Toba in the past. This is one of reasons it is so popular as a destination for people to move to.

The following day, we went to a cape with an unbroken view of Matengai Cliff and Kuniga Coast, which are famous tourist attractions!
The scene took our breath away, more than we expected…

The navigator also took photos with THETA.

Grazing cattle and horses were very interested in THETA.

The nature and people on Oki Islands were amazing! Thank you for all your help while covering this story.
I would like to return here again for a private trip!

Finally,…We were able to talk to people from the tourist association about a lot of things during this trip. The 4 local governments of Okinoshima (Okinoshima town), Chiburimachi (Chibu village), Nakanoshima (Ama town) and Nishinoshima (Nishinoshima town) have joined forces and been working on regional revitalization.
We talked to staff traveling with us to Okinoshima and they told me that most tourists are older people and that younger people seldom visit the islands. That’s when they decided to study how to use a camera by themselves and opened an Instagram account so that they could appeal to younger people. Their photos of Okinoshima tourist attractions look great on Instagram so much that you would not believe they learned through self-study. They said that they would like to keep on trying out new things.

Click here to see Okinoshima tourist association’s Instagram

A large number of people working for the tourist association and at guesthouses moved from the big city to the countryside and include people born in Honshu. A person who we stayed with in Ama town said that he had decided to move to the remote Oki Islands after being attracted to them while living in the city. He said he is now in a position to tell everyone about the charm of Oki and would like to introduce people the attractions of the islands.
We felt it would be great if THETA could be used to send out this kind of message.

We will continue to use THETA for covering places for LINE TRAVEL jp in the future and contribute to revitalizing communities and developing new demand for tourist spots!