Mie: Ama divers talk about their work on special tourist train

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ama divers in traditional white outfits talk to tourists about the local seafood and their work, on a special train on Aug. 27.

SHIMA, Mie — Ise-Shima in Mie Prefecture is known for female divers called ama who fish for shellfish, sea urchin and other marine products.

A train featuring ama ran on the local Kintetsu Line, between Kashikojima and Iseshi stations, on Aug. 27 to promote ama culture. The local government and tourist association organized the event together with Kintetsu Railway Co. The train will also run from Sept. 17-19 and from Sept. 23-25.

A model of the interior of an ama hut is reproduced in the second car of a three-car train. Diving goggles and other tools are also on display. Ama dressed in their traditional white outfits explain their work, and tourists are served aosa, or sea lettuce soup.

On Aug. 27, the train with a capacity of 60 passengers was almost full. Visitors enjoyed wearing the ama clothes and taking pictures with ama.

“The children look happy and the passengers must have a good impression,” said a 52-year-old ama who was on board on the day.