Off the coast of Toba is Mikimoto Pearl Island. This Mie Prefecture attraction is the birthplace of cultured pearls and is operated by the Mikimoto Pearl Museum. When visiting the island, guests can see fascinating and beautiful handcrafted pearls and exhibits, and even ama divers watch while collecting pearls. In 1893, Mikimoto Jokichi succeeded in growing the world's first cultured pearls on an island in the Ise Bay. In 1951, Mikimoto bought the island and renamed it Mikimoto Pearl Island in order to establish a pearl museum there. The Pearl Museum displays many great works of pearl art, including a globe made from 12,541 pearls, 377 rubies and 373 diamonds. It has a diameter of 33 cm. There are also exhibits from ama divers. These freedivers collect pearls using a technique that is over 1000 years old. Mikimoto Pearl Island is one of the few places where visitors can watch these remarkable women at work.