Where is Izu Islands?
The Izu Islands lie southeast of mainland Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean. The closest, Oshima, is 108 km away, while Aogashima is 354 km away from the metropolitan office. Each island has its own unique character. All sorts of marine sports such as swimming, scuba diving, surfing, and fishing can be enjoyed. There are many places with scenic beauty, which get crowded with tourists during the summer.
The weather in Izu Islands
In warm and rainy oceanic climate due to the influence of the Kuroshio (warm current from the south-west) flowing around, the average temperature of the year is 17.7 degrees. 13 years on average midsummer day the highest temperature reaches 30 degrees or more. 1 day, and annual 0.5 days on average winter day minimum temperature is less than 0 degrees, and cool in summer in winter is relatively warm climate.
Izu Ōshima is the largest of the seven Izu Islands. Ōshima is famous for Mt. Mihara, an active volcano that last erupted in 1986. Okata is one of the main ports on the island for the ferries and jetfoils from Tokyo, Atami, and Niijima. Motomachi is the main town on the island. The post office is next to the ferry port and their international ATM is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays, and 9 am to 2 pm on weekends.
Mount Mihara (三原山 Mihara-yama) is an active volcano on the Japanese isle of Izu Ōshima. Although the volcano is predominantly basaltic, major eruptions have occurred at intervals of 100–150 years. Mount Mihara's major eruption in 1986 saw lava fountains up to 1.6 kilometres (1.0 mi) high. The eruption had a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 3, and involved a central vent eruption, radial fissure eruption, explosive eruption, lava flows, and a lava lake eruption. There was also a 16 km high subplinian plume. All of the island's 12,000 inhabitants were evacuated by dozens of vessels consisting of both the military and civilian volunteers.
Urasabaku (back desert) which is made from scoria erupted from the volcano. The unrealistic landscape where the black ground spreads as far as the eye can see is a dramatic view of which people want to take a picture. In fact, many movies and dramas have been shot there. In addition, there are multiple unique hiking trails, for example, one by which people ride horses to stroll in Urasabaku. So enjoy sightseeing at leisure according to your taste and physical condition.
Giant natural park over 175,200 square meters in size. Over 400 varieties in the park. Around 2,000 Camellias are cultivated each year, and can be enjoyed from October through March. Also, rabbits are being raised in this natural setting. The rice cracker and squirrel-shaped manju made with Oshima milk are popular.
Motomachi Hama No Yu
Within this small island there is Hama-no-yu Onsen, arguably the most famous hot spring, or onsen, on the island of Izu Oshima. Visited by tourists and residents of the island alike, this outdoor mix-gendered onsen offers a view unlike many. Situated on the coast, the scenic hot sprig provides visitors with a panorama of the crystal clear Pacific and the island’s breathtaking active volcano Mount Mihara. It is this same volcano that continues to heat this hot spring.
The ocean sparkles a vivid blue as if it had breathed in the sky; a swimming pool created by mother nature herself. Feel the alluring beauty of glittering reflections as you look into the crystal clear water. A paradise where bright colored creatures live in harmony. The natural pool here is calm and serene, thanks in large part to the surrounding basalt lava that keeps the strong ocean waves at bay. The water here is fairly deep making it a favorite diving spot for kids. Here children jump off rocks creating splashes that glitter in the sun, or discover the many nooks and crannies where the islands many creatures live.
Visitors to Niijima Island will forget they’re still in Japan; this island is home to long stretches of white sandy beach, azure oceans, and waves that crash along the beach creating white spray. Habushiura Coast along the east side of the island is approximately 6.5 meters long, and is one of Japan’s most renowned surfing spots (professional surfing competitions are held there each year). The waves of this coast are some of the highest quality in Japan, and many international competitions have taken place there in the past. People who don’t surf can also enjoy watching the beautiful, intense waves encroach upon the white beach.
Mamashita Beach is a sunny stretch of coast flanked by towering cliffs, located along the southwest side of Niijima, one of Izu’s most scenic islands. Sitting around 160 kilometers south of Tokyo, this beach is about as far away from the neon lights and crowded streets of the city as you can get. Swim, sunbathe and enjoy the serenity. When you’re done, head to the nearby Mamashita onsen and sand bath. Soak in the hot springs before trying out the unforgettable sand-bath experience. It’s said that being buried in the warm sand will rid your body of toxins and leave you feeling like you’ve just experienced a full body massage.
Yuno Hama Hot Spring Open Air Bath
Just five minutes on foot from Niijima Port, Yunohama Roten Onsen is an open air hot spring bath that offers a stunning panorama of the ocean, enhanced by Greek-inspired archetectural motifs. Best of all, these baths are free to enter. Six baths of various sizes offer plenty of variety, and they're spacious enough to hold up to 80 people. One of the best times to enjoy a soak at Yunohama Roten Onsen is as the sun sinks into the sea, and the view of the sky on a starry night is a close second. Remember to bring a swimsuit for the mixed bath.
Shikine-jima, the smallest of the populated islands and also home to 3 fantastic outdoor onsen (hot spring), which alone are a good reason to visit outside the main season (July-August). The onsen experience here is definitely special. First of all, the setting is unique as you can enjoy the view across the ocean while soaking in the hot pools. Secondly, each onsen offers mixed bathing - just put on your swimwear. Make sure you double-check the temperature before you fully enter. Especially at Jinata Onsen the source water is very hot (about 80°C). It mixes with cool seawater, so the final temperature depends on the tides. If you go in summer, you might be more interested in beaches than in onsen. Ishijirogawa Beach in the south is probably the most popular, being closest to the residential area and the onsen. As we went in May we had this beautiful sandy stretch to ourselves.
Jinata is located a couple of meters from the sea, and is reach but a walk in an impressive canyon! The water is yellowish, and its temperature depends on how close to the spring and the sea you bath, since onsen and sea waters mix together. It is therefore possible to find a spot with the temperature suiting you the best. On the other hand, getting too close to the source would surely burn you. Note that at low tide, the water might just be too hot for a bath... Furthermore, the access to the baths can be a little difficult during the night.
The northern corner of Shikinejima Island is home to the stunning Tomari Beach. This fan-shaped inlet has shallow waters, making it the ideal place for families and less confident swimmers. If you’re staying on the nearby island of Niijima, Tomari Beach is an easy daytrip destination; located near the port it only takes around 15 minutes to reach by boat. Once you’re done swimming, head further inland to visit Shikinejima’s shoreline hot springs, or get a bite to eat at one of the island eateries.
Kozushima, an island with great nature, remarkably cobalt blue sea, and snow white mountains. Just a 45 minutes flight from Tokyo, or 4 hours by jet boat, and 12 hours by large passenger boat. This rich island, located south of Tokyo, condenses all the beauties of Japan – mountain, sea, hot springs (onsen), seafood, and delectable shochu (a type of Japanese alcohol typically distilled from sweet potatoes). Kozushima is home to breathtaking mountains and sea – there’s even an open air hot spring (roten onsen) from which you can view the horizon. Considering the island covers an area of just 18.87 square kilometers with only one trade center and one village, you’d be surprised with the amount of activities available on this island. Below, we get into details of each activity and viewing spots.
Arguably Kozushima Island’s most impressive attraction, the Akasaki Promenade is a network of wooden walking paths stretching along the island’s rocky cliffs just meters above the sea. Rope bridges jut out over the ocean, and platforms allow eager swimmers to jump into the vivid green-blue waters below. The water here is home to abundant marine life, making it an ideal place for casual snorkeling. After enjoying a swim, consider a trip to the island’s other key attraction, Mt. Tenjyo, which offers 360-degree views across the ocean.
The crater loop at Mt. Tenjo can be completed in roughly 3 hours. As a mountain it’s not that big, but it’s dotted with a series of contrasting landscapes. The area known as ‘urasabaku’ with snow white sands, ‘Fudoike’, a heart-shaped pit which turns into a pond after rain, and ‘Hairanaigasawa’, a serene spot known as the place where Gods of the Izu Islands held their assembly.
Beach of sand bar which became into a deep inlet form. Because there is much time when wave is calm, we can enjoy sea bathing in families. Take the family and camp on the beach at Sawajiri Bay on Kozushima Island. This beach is great for swimming and fishing.
Toshima-mura Village comprises the island, a 2-hour 45-minute ride by jet ferry from Tokyo’s Takeshiba Terminal. Japan’s number-one producer of camellia oil is also notable for its marine products such as the Japanese spiny lobster and giant horned turban. In recent years, a school of dolphins have inhabited the waters around the island, and swimming with them has become a popular tourist attraction. At night, the sky of Toshima turns into a natural planetarium.
Mikura-jima is a volcanic Japanese island in the Pacific Ocean. The island is administered by Tōkyō Metropolis and located approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) south of Tokyo and 19 kilometres (12 mi) south-southeast of Miyake-jima. It is one of the Izu Seven Islands group of the seven northern islands of the Izu archipelago. Mikurajima is administratively part of Mikurajima Village under Miyake Subprefecture of Tokyo Metropolis. As of 2009, the island's population was 351. Mikura-jima is also within the boundaries of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
Mikurashima island accounts for about 5% of all of Japan's giant trees. About 500 giant trees have been confirmed, including sudajii (Castanopsis sieboldii) and Japanese chinquapin (Castanopsis Cuspidata) trees. One sudajii tree bearing the name of Ojii has a circumference of 13.8 meters, the largest in Japan. Other tree species on the island include Morus, and tsuge (boxwood). Also, there is a memorial In 1863, Mikurashima islanders rescued the crew of the US commercial ship Viking, which had foundered offshore. This memorial was set up by their descendents 100 years later.
Toshima island is populated by plenty of friendly locals, not all of them human however. You can take tours out on the water to see and swim with a pod of dolphins that call the island's coastal waters home. Certain accommodations and the Toshima Dive Club, located near the northern pier, offer different packages. The season for dolphin swimming and diving typically runs from April to November.
Visit this Sub-Tropical Volcanic Island and enjoy Birdwatching, Diving and Dolphin Watching Situated on top of an active volcano which erupts every 30 to 40 years, the islands are blessed with rich nature due to the warm climate and the volcanic soil.
Visit the Akabakkyo Eruption Site on Miyakejima Island to get a sense of the power of volcanos. This small island south of Tokyo has an active volcano that has erupted multiple times in the past century. At the Akabakkyo site, you can explore unusual rock formations along a shoreline shaped by fire. For an alternate volcanic experience, head across the island and hike the expansive lava fields from the 1983 eruption, which buried the town of Ako.
The Izu Islands are a chain of islands extending southward off Izu Peninsula. The Izu Islands, closer to the mainland, are accessible by ferries and short flights from Tokyo and offer good dive sites and reefs. The island of Hachijo is a great island to explore; it has established dive sites and dive shops.
Hachijō-jima is a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea. It is about 287 kilometres (178 mi) south of the special wards of Tokyo, to which it belongs. It is part of the Izu archipelago and within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Its only municipality is Hachijō. On 1 March 2018, its population was 7,522 people living on 63 km2. The Hachijō language is spoken by some inhabitants, but it is considered an endangered language and the number of speakers is unknown. The island has been inhabited since the Jōmon period, and was used as a place of exile during the Edo period. In modern times, it has been used for farming sugarcane and housing a secret submarine base during World War II; it is now a tourist destination within Japan.
Nanbara Coast of Permian Rocks
Nambara Coast of Permian Rocks is a plateau of black volcanic rock by the seaside near Izu. The sprawling black bad of cooled lava is 500 meters long and 100 meters wide. It offers a truly otherworldly appearance, all with the ocean on the horizon. You can hike on the black rock and admire its natural patterns. There are also statues of historical figures Ukita Hideya and Gohime. It is especially popular in the evenings because of its spectacular sunsets. It also offers views of nearby Hachijo-kojima Island.
Nanbara Coast of Permian Rocks
Get a rare view from behind the cascading flow of water at the Uramigataki Waterfall, located within the mossy forests to the south of Hachijojima Island. A path winds behind the cool and calm waterfall, whose name Uramigataki means "rear view waterfall" in Japanese. Cap off this unique experience with a trip to the nearby Uramigataki Hot Spring. Relax as you take a soak in the popular mixed outdoor hot spring, with the beautiful forest views complemented by ambient noise from the gentle waterfall. Bring along your swimwear and a towel.
Aogashima is a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea. The island is administered by Tokyo and is approximately 358 kilometres (222 mi) south of Tokyo and 64 kilometres (40 mi) south of Hachijō-jima. It is the southernmost and most isolated inhabited island of the Izu archipelago. The village of Aogashima administers the island under Hachijō Subprefecture of Tokyo Metropolis. The island's area is 8.75 km2 (3.38 sq mi) and, as of 2014, its population is 170. Aogashima is also within the boundaries of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
With “camellia fondue,” diners deep-fry their own seafood, ashitaba herbs—a specialty product of Izu Oshima—and so on using camellia oil. The light crispy texture of the foods entices one to eat more.
Izu Oshima Camellia Festival
A popular 2-month-long festival that attracts a number of tourists every year, the Camellia Festival celebrates the arrival of spring on Oshima Island in Izu along with the blooming season of camellias throughout the island. A variety of events are scheduled during the festival, especially on weekends. At Tsubaki Plaza in the Oshima National Park, the festival’s main site, visitors enjoy a variety of stage performances of local entertainment every day, including Oshima minyo (folk song) and “teodori” dance performed by anko (“young girls” in the local dialect).
What to eat in Okinawa
It is known as a dish unique to Izu Oshima. Slices of fresh fish are marinated in chili pepper soy sauce, turning them a lustrous amber color that inspired the name bekko or the color of tortoiseshell. Early resident invented the recipe to preserve their catches of fish in the remote island. The spiny lobster, which is currently in season, is also highly recommended!
It is a food in Japanese cuisine made from various marine animals that consists of small pieces of meat in a brown viscous paste of the animal's heavily salted, fermented viscera.
The flavor is similar in saltiness and fishiness to that of European cured anchovies, but with a different texture. One method of enjoying it is to consume the serving at one gulp and to follow it with a shot of straight whisky. Some bars in Japan specialize in shiokara.
Shochu (Distilled spirits)
Shōchū is a Japanese distilled beverage less than 45% alcohol by volume. It is typically distilled from rice (kome), barley (mugi), sweet potatoes (imo), buckwheat (soba), or brown sugar (kokutō), though it is sometimes produced from other ingredients such as chestnut, sesame seeds, potatoes or even carrots.
Shochu made in Kozushima Island named Moriwaka Taru-chozo is popular amoung tourist.
Kusaya is a Japanese style salted-dried fish and fermented fish. It has a pungent smell and is similar to the fermented Swedish herring Surströmming. Though the smell of kusaya is strong, its taste is quite mellow. Kusaya is often eaten with Japanese sake or shōchū, particularly a local drink called Shima Jiman (literally island pride). The brine used to make kusaya, which includes many vitamins and organic acids such as acetic acid, propionic acid and amino acids, contributes much nutritional value to the resulting dried fish.