If there is any single image for Ogijima, it is Ogijima’s Soul by Jaume Plensa. The building is the terminal building with a small gift shop as well as a ticket booth. It is the first thing you see when you get off the ferry and it is the last thing you see as you board the ferry. It is a simple glass box with a beautifully designed roof that cannot be missed.
Ogijima’s Soul is not very big and pales in size compared to Megijima’s port building. What it lacks in size it makes up in artistry. The simple glass box for the terminal building is very simple but very effective. It allows a lot of light to enter the building and during the Triennale it is a wonderful piece. There is an information table setup as well as a small gift shop. The ticket booth is pretty small but they don’t really need a lot of space to sell tickets for the ferry anyways.
The roof is where the beauty of the building comes. The various letters which seems to be randomly placed seems to call you to find some sort of pattern or structure to create words out of it. It is very photogenic as you can take photos from almost any angle and it usually turns out interesting.
There is a small moat around the base of the building and it provides another unique look at the building. Ogijima’s Soul almost floats as an island within the small moat and the reflections help light up the building in the day. It can feel pretty hot with the sun reflecting off the water but it is still very beautiful.
The best time to visit Ogijima’s Soul is at night, but to do so you must spend a night on Ogijima. From sunset till about 9 pm, you can see Ogijima’s Soul lit up. It is rare for people to see it and I was very happy to see it at night in person. Photos are not bad but the contrast of Ogijima’s Soul’s white surfaces with the black darkness of the night really adds make the building feel like an island or a beacon for Ogijima. It is something that must be experienced but it won’t be easy unless you can book a room on the island or camp near the lighthouse.
For those who have visited Ogijima in the past, Ogijima’s Soul is a happy reminder that you are back on Ogijima. It is definitely the best symbol the island can have to welcome people to the island and it is a beautiful symbol that I look forward to seeing again in the future.