[Why I Travel to Entô] “I like the atmosphere and the lingering feeling of this island.” Entô guest, Ms. Maiko Komatsu. The Oki Islands / Sightseeing | Ep.01


Interview Ama town

Yumiko Shiramizu

[Why I Travel to Entô] “I like the atmosphere and the lingering feeling of this island.” Entô guest, Ms. Maiko Komatsu. The Oki Islands / Sightseeing | Ep.01

A journey to Entô is like travelling to a remote and exotic country that can only be reached by ferry.

Even though it is far away, why do I want to visit it again and again?

What makes Entô so different and worth visiting?

Guests who are planning to visit the Oki Islands, or those who have already visited, may think this way.

In this series [Why I Travel to Entô], we ask our guests about their reasons for visiting the island and the abundance and light they found during their stay.

This time we interviewed Ms. Maiko Komatsu (we will address her as Ms. Komatsu in the article) who is here at Entô for the 5th time!

Text by: Yumiko Shiramizu
Photos by: Nana Sato
Interviewer & Editor: Takuro Konmatsuzaki
Translation by: Nicharee Plubsiri


"The sea was a part of my life. That's why I love the island and the sea."

── Please tell us about your encounter with the Oki Islands.

Ms. Komatsu As some of you may know, there are flyers about the Oki Islands at the information center in Matsue Station (Shimane Prefecture), I saw it and casually thought to myself "Let's go there." I love traveling, but I don’t travel abroad at all. Every time I have a day off, I go to places where I can just relax and free myself. But I've come to love the scenery of Shimane, Tottori, and San'in so much that I keep going there several times.

My mother's hometown is Iki Island in Nagasaki Prefecture, so when I was a child we visited the island every vacation. I was born and raised in Minatomachi Town in Aichi Prefecture, which is a town near the ocean and a port, so it has always been natural for me to have the sea nearby, and the sea has always been a part of my life, that's why I love both the island and the sea. The scenery with islands dotted around the sea and boats makes you feel at ease.

Iki Island is a place where my relatives live, so as much as it is nice to be familiar with everything, I also have mixed feelings about having to face the reality of everyday life, so it’s a little different from being able to relax and live at your own pace on vacations.

Rather, I find it easier to open up and relax in a place where I have no connections with or no one knows about me. In that sense, the Oki Islands is perfect.


"I want to watch the ferry come and go just like the clouds floating in and away."

── After coming to the island for the first time, why did you want to visit again?

Ms. Komatsu I like the view from Entô's rooms. The same goes for the way ferries come and go, and the way the clouds change. Things like watching waterfowl dive into the sea and fail in their attempts to catch fish (laugh). I love it so much that before I know it, the day is over and I want to spend the whole day looking at the scenery of the island.

I'm a mid-level office worker, so my schedule is usually busy minute by minute with things about myself and my subordinates. When I come here, I try not to have any plans or to fill up my schedule. I know there are various activities, but if the timing suits me, I'll go, and if it doesn't, then that's fine, because I can look at the scenery outside forever.

I went to Nishinoshima Town, and when I had an hour to spare before the next bus, I was happy just sitting still and looking at the ocean. There are days when I would buy a day pass for the inter-island ferry on the island and stay on the ship without getting off at any port. The ship's crew might think I'm a strange person (laugh).

"Come unplanned and spend your time as you like."

── So you place a lot of importance on your blank space. I have heard from earlier that you really like the scenery of the island, but what does the view from your room mean to you?

Ms. Komatsu This is the first time I have heard of such a fun way to enjoy the inter-island ferry! By the way, what do you usually have during your stay?

Last time I had dinner at Entô's Dining. But when you make reservations, not just for restaurants, but when you travel, you end up feeling restricted in your actions. To be honest, eating is a low priority for me.

If I have time to eat, I like to take a walk and look at the scenery. Of course, I like eating delicious food, but it's okay if I can't eat at least one meal. Generally speaking, when I travel alone, I don't make any plans, so sometimes I just go out on a whim, and sometimes I just stay in my room and spend the day because the sky from my room is beautiful today.


Enjoy the long-lasting memories of traveling to a beautiful place with the feeling that something good is coming.

── It's very nice that you cherish your free space and schedule.
As you have mentioned you like the scenery of the island, but what does the view from Entô's room feel like to you?

Ms. Komatsu It's really hard to put this into words, but for me, seeing little boats sailing in and out between islands makes me feel a little sense that something good is about to come. I feel a lingering feeling after a ferry passes by. It's hard to explain but you have to spend time watching it leaving and arriving, that's the best part.

──More than tangible things, you said that you were moved by the atmosphere and the lingering feeling while being here. What does it mean?

Komatsu-san What is right of you may disappear one day. However, if there is a sign that something is going to happen before that happens, or if there is a lingering feeling afterward, somehow though, I feel like it never really disappears.

It is easy to grasp what is happening right in front of your eyes, and if something has value, it is the same no matter who sees it. For instance, if there is a gold nugget worth 1 million yen, it is worth 1 million yen no matter who sees it. However, when you see something happening like a boat passing by, a person passing by, or a bird flying by it doesn't matter who you are, but when you imagine what happened before and will happen after, it's interesting because each person has their background and story. I feel like good things are coming together.


I don't think there was any particular reason why I started thinking these things, maybe it's something that comes with maturing.

When I was younger, it seemed like having a full schedule on Saturdays and Sundays was the right thing to do. I was so anxious that I forced myself to make a lot of plans. Then, as I have gotten older, I feel like I don't need to do that anymore. I've started to relax and just space out on my day off.

In the past, I packed my schedule and worked hard to do various things, I felt productive and it was fulfilling, so I don't think it was a waste of time or anything. However, I always felt that the luxuries I experienced during the bubble period didn't suit me. When I look back at the times when I worked hard to become worthy of luxury, I never felt that I had become better or richer.

After that, around my 40s, I started to realize that when I dared to leave some space in my schedule, unexpected things happened. I found those things more interesting, and value those experiences. I've realized that having a busy schedule isn't a bad thing but so does having some room to breathe and unexpectedly live life."

・   ・   ・


What kind of abundance does Entô offer?

Even though it is far away, why do I want to visit it again and again?

Perhaps this is due to the ever-changing nature of the island, the "sign of something happening" that can be sensed from the people passing by, and the "lingering feeling" In the second part, we get to the heart of Ms. Komatsu's repeated visits to the Oki Islands.

Click here for the second part:
[The reason why I travel to distant islands] "I come to actively empty myself. "Oki Islands and Tourism | Ms. Maiko Komatsu. The Oki Islands / Sightseeing | Ep.02


― Writer ―
Yumiko Shiramizu
Born in the prefecture of Fukuoka. From 2017–2021 she worked as a waitress at a long-established ryokan (Japanese-styled hotel) at Kurokawa Onsen in Kumamoto Prefecture. She came to Ama Town with her pet cat in the summer of 2021 intending to understand the future of tourism through hotels for the first time in her career in the hospitality sector. She's been employed by Ama Co., Ltd. which runs Entô. First, she worked as a housekeeper where she was responsible for cleaning guest rooms and creating spaces. She is also a part of the dining team, where cuisine represents the island's ingredients. Currently, she is working in all departments as a supporter. She's a person who cooks and writes to express her life on the island.

― Photographer ―
Nana Sato
Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido. She spent several years in the United States and became interested in Entô and Ama Town because the hometown of Entô CEO (Atsushi Aoyama) is the same as her. She moved to the island in 2022 after returning to Japan. Even within the company, her taste and style are excellent in the casual pictures she takes of her daily life. She currently works in both marketing and the front desk. She has a habit of dying her hair to colors she likes, and these days she is letting her bright green short hair flow.

― Interviewer / Editor ―
Takuro Komatsuzaki
Born in Ryugasaki City, Ibaraki Prefecture. He is the representative of Educare LLC. After living in Germany, he now lives in Omori Town, Shimane Prefecture, a town nestled in the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Site. His family consists of him, his wife, and two chickens.

Nicharee Plubsiri (Yaleen)
Born in Thailand and raised in New Zealand, she moved to Japan in 2017 for her studies. Having to move to the island after her graduation during COVID-19 was an exciting new journey. She currently works as a front desk staff at Entô and as a copywriter, and translator for Oki Islands Geopark Management Bureau. Being the only Thai living on the Oki Islands, she has a hobby with the purpose of promoting Thai culture on the island by joining the local food stall events to sell Thai food that she cooked, while bringing out her unique characteristics and ideas with her handmade goods. She describes herself as a "third-culture kid" and a "jack of all trades."

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