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This Page: Home Lifestyle and Traditions Wisdom of the Islanders: Making Use of the Climate Tide of the Sea of Japan and Funagoya Traditional Boat Houses

Tide of the Sea of Japan and Funagoya Traditional Boat Houses

Tsuma Traditional Boat Houses (Dōgo Island)

In Tsuma in Dōgo Island, you will find a picturesque view of a tranquil fishing village. Here, there are 20 traditional wooden boat houses lined up neatly along the coast with lush green Japanese pines and the sacred mountain Mt. Takada in the background. This is quite a typical view of a small fishing village in Oki. On the other hand, a fishing village on the Pacific Ocean side of Japan would look quite different.

This is because the coast of the Sea of Japan and the coast of the Pacific Ocean are completely different. One reason for this is the difference in tidal range. Firstly, the times of low tide and high tide differ. Secondly, whilst the sea level of the Pacific Ocean fluctuates over two meters between high and low tides, the Sea of Japan only fluctuates around 30cm.

Tidal difference between the Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean
Submarine topography of the Sea of Japan

This is due to the particular characteristics of the Sea of Japan. It is connected to the Pacific Ocean by narrow straits which limit the amount of water that flows in. Consequently, the sea level fluctuates only a small amount.

Traditional Fishing Boats and Mt. Takada, Tsuma

Because the fluctuation of the sea level is so minor, it is possible to have boat houses right on the shore. This view of the traditional boat houses right on the beach in Tsuma can be thought of as a product of the small tidal range of the Sea of Japan.

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