A Theater Company with 3 Players: Hizen Kashima-higata
The Character Actor

Hizen Kashima-higata is the final destination of the sediment carried by the Ariake Sea currents. As a result, it is the muddiest of the 3 Ariake Sea tidal flats, thus giving it a dark color. The thick mud of the Hizen Kashima-higata apparently was the impetus for the development of the mud skis. Annually, Kashima City holds an event called the “Gatalympic” near the tidal flat.

In addition to the benthic animal populations it shares with Higashiyoka-higata and Arao-higata, Hizen Kashima-higata is also known as the habitat of the Warasubo, a fish which resembles a miniature version of Ridley Scott’s Alien. I was offered a chance to eat a fried Warasubo and politely declined! 😊

Hizen Kashima-higata is also an important stopover and wintering site for shorebirds, as well as being a site for laver cultivation. During low tide Hizen Kashima-higata appears to be covered with an endless blanket of tiny white dots. These dots are actually a countless number of tiny crabs. I wasn’t especially impressed by this sight but ‘your mileage may vary’!

As Hizen Kashima-higata is the final recipient of the Ariake Sea currents, in addition to sediment, it becomes a repository for all types of driftwood and other floating matter. As a result, Hizen Kashima-higata requires regular cleaning and maintenance. While my first impression of Arao-higata was ‘There is nothing there’, in the case of Hizen Kashima-higata, there really is ‘nothing there!’ 😊 It is simply a muddy tidal flat.

Even from the most charitable perspective, it is hard to say that Hizen Kashima-higata is an interesting or exciting ecotourism destination. However, no theater company can operate only with leading actors. Someone has to play the ‘bit parts’, the small but essential roles. Hizen Kashima-higata is an integral part of the network of tidal flats in the Ariake Sea. As a dutiful character player, it deserves a round of applause!

James McGill

Welcome to the Japanese Ramsar site,
Hizen Kashima-higata


Slide shows

Hizen Kashima-higata
Tidal Flat
Local Information

Ariake Sea Tidal Flats