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What to Do in Izu Oshima

The largest and most easily accessible of all the Izu Islands is Izu Oshima. While still the largest, Oshima is still relatively small compared to other popular islands surrounding Japan. However, Oshima offers everything a nature lover can ask for, winding hiking trails, natural hot springs, vast ocean views and plentiful aquatic wildlife. Shadowed by the active volcano Mt. Mihara, Oshima is the perfect tropical getaway easily accessible from Tokyo.

  • Hike up to Mt. Mihara

    Hike up to Mt. Mihara

    Hike up to Mt. Mihara

    Mt. Mihara is Oshima’s central and active volcano. The volcano is embedded in culture through its ominous appearance in the horror book Ring and The Return of Godzilla. However, the volcano itself is rather peaceful and makes for a good hike. The hiking paths are paved and easy to follow. They show off the variety of fauna and nature Oshima has to offer, from the hardened lava from the 1986 eruption to misty forests and a dry desert. There are a few hiking trails, most of them ranging from 30-45 minutes. At the top, hikers can look down into the still active crater.

  • Take a Dip in a Public Onsen

    Take a Dip in a Public Onsen

    Take a Dip in a Public Onsen

    Onsens are aplenty in Oshima thanks to Mt. Mihara. Outdoor onsens with ocean views are a popular place to relax after hiking. While the onsens are public and sometimes free, the baths are deeply taken care of and are clean and safe. Swimsuits are required in the public onsen. Hama no yu is a popular public onsen and famous for its sunset views, however there are plenty of public onsens scattered throughout the island, some of them quite hidden and secret.

  • Eat Island Food and Mingle with the Locals at Yakitori Yocchan

    Eat Island Food and Mingle with the Locals at Yakitori Yochan

    Eat Island Food and Mingle with the Locals at Yakitori Yochan

    The locals living on the Izu islands are notoriously friendly. The easiest way to make new friends is over a casual dinner and late night drinks at Yakitori Yocchan. Yakitori Yocchan serves traditional Oshima food, such as the fermented fish kuzaya, alongside chicken skewers, grilled seafood and shochu. The izakaya is located near the water and diners can sit on the oceanside terrace and listen to the waves. Yakitori Yocchan is a jovial, local alternative to other touristy restaurants on the island.

  • Swim on the North side of the island

    Swim on the North side of the island

    Swim on the North side of the island

    The north side of the island provides a safe swimming space away from any strong currents. Unlike the rocky beaches for snorkeling, the northside has a soft sand shore where swimmers can relax and soak up the sun. The swimming area is located near the ferry, making it a good place to both start the day with a refreshing swim or enjoy the sunset before turning in for the night.

  • Explore the island on a scooter

    Explore the island on a scooter

    Explore the island on a scooter

    Rental cars are a popular option for exploring the islands since public transportation is slim to none. However, during the warm months of summer, scooters are recommended to enjoy the fresh sea breeze and quickly zip around the island. The island’s circumference is about 50 kilometers and takes a little over an hour to drive around. Mt. Mihara’s presence in the middle of the island makes it impossible to cross through. However, the coastal views are worth the longer roundabout and scooter driving visitors can discover some hidden secrets, such as public hot springs, in the non touristy areas of the island.

  • Try Scuba Diving and Cliff Jumping

    Try Scuba Diving and Cliff Jumping

    Try Scuba Diving and Cliff Jumping

    Oshima’s rocky beaches make for some of the best scuba diving close to Tokyo. Diving lessons and license tests are available for beginners. The rough and jagged edges of volcanic rock house a biodiversity of aquatic flora and wildlife. Lucky divers might even see a hammerhead shark or dolphin. For those not willing to dive deep, snorkeling is also an option. For the adventurous types, cliff diving is a popular activity. The rugged rocks serve as starting spot for a dangerous dare.

  • Walk around the Camellia Garden and Museum

    Walk around the Camellia Garden and Museum

    Walk around the Camellia Garden and Museum

    When thinking of Oshima, most refer to its turquoise waves and volcanic rock. Camellias are also the highlight of any Oshima trip between the precious months of January and March.

    Walk around the Camellia Garden and Museum

    Walk around the Camellia Garden and Museum

    The Camellia garden boasts over 2,000 flowers and many more can be found throughout the island. The Camellia Museum educates visitors on the history of camellias in Oshima and their use in Japanese culture.

    三原山山頂口
    Address
    東京都大島町元町鏡端
    Phone
    0499221446
    Tokyo Toritu Oshima Park Tubakien Tubaki Museum
    Address
    Tokyo Metropolitan Government Oshima cho Izumitsu Fukushige 2
    Phone
    0499229111
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