Remote Islands in Tokyo! A Comprehensive Guide to the Izu Islands

Tokyo has the image of a megapolis filled with buildings. In fact, it also has nature-rich islands surrounded by deep blue oceans. Here are seven Izu Islands that can be enjoyed on a day trip.

1. Izu Oshima

This is the closest island to the mainland and is about 25 minutes by plane from Chofu Airport. It is also the largest among the Izu Islands, and there is a trekking course around the crater of Mt. Mihara, an active volcano in the middle of the island. There are many diving spots where you can see a variety of sea creatures in the transparent water. It specialty product is the Tsubakiyu camellia oil made from camellia seeds, which has long been favored by women.

Photo is of a school of chicken grunt in an underwater arch created by lava.

1. Izu Oshima

Oshima-machi, Tokyo

2. Nii-jima

This island is about 35 minutes by air from Chofu Airport. It is one of Japan's leading diving spots and the white beach that stretches for 6.5km on the island's east shore is known for the big waves that are like those in Hawaii. The white sand is made from a glassy mineral called Kogaseki, and the olive colored Nii-jima glass made from it is popular.

Habushiura Beach with endless white sand

3. Shikinejima

This is an island with a circumference of approximately 12km. It is located to the southeast of Nii-jima and is about 15 minutes on a ferry from Nii-jima. The entire coast except around the port consists of steep cliffs with miles of complex rias coastline. It is a fishing haven with a variety of fish to be caught year round, and is also popular as a diving spot. The beach is in an inlet and is shallow and calm, so it is perfect to visit with children.

Tomari Beach on the north side of the island.

3. Shikinejima

Shikinejima, Niijima-mura, Tokyo

4. Kozushima

This island is about 45 minutes on the airplane from Chofu Airport. There is a myth that all the deities of Japan's Shinto religion gathered here and had discussions. It is also a spiritual spot in Buddhism, where pilgrims come to pray. Mt. Tenjo, which is the highest peak on this mystic island, is 572m high but strangely has alpine plants that are usually found in elevations of 2,000m.

Mt. Tenjo as seen from Tako Bay to the southeast of the island.

4. Kozushima

Kozushima-mura, Tokyo

5. Miyakejima

This island is 45 minutes by plane from Chofu Airport. Mt. O, in the middle of the island, is an active volcano that erupts about every 20 years. Cycling and walking are the best ways to enjoy the fabulous views created by the dynamic volcanic activity. You can also see and hear a variety of wild birds, including the Izu thrush, the island's symbol and a protected species.

Male Izu thrush. Females do not have black heads.

5. Miyakejima

Miyake-mura, Miyakejima, Tokyo

6. Mikurashima

This is an island about 18km to the south of Miyakejima, that is about 10 minutes from Miyakejima and 25 minutes from Hachijojima by helicopter. Because it was formed a long time ago, it has been greatly eroded by waves and has sharp cliffs and the entire island is covered in virgin forests. There are wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in the waters around the island, so a popular activity is dolphin watching.

Reservations through hotels or directly at the watching boats are necessary for dolphin watching.

6. Mikurashima

Mikurajima-mura, Tokyo

7. Hachijojima

This island is the furthest of the seven islands and takes about 55 minutes by air to get to from Haneda Airport. The Kuroshio Current, which brings a variety of fish, flows near the island, so it is a popular destination for fishing. From this island, you can experience the excitement of riding on trolling boats that catch large fish. There are seven onsen hot springs on the island, including free open-air baths. The feeling of enjoying an onsen hot spring while looking at the Pacific Ocean or sky full of stars is outstanding.

Nanbara Senjojiki Beach to the east of the island. It has miles of rough rocks formed from lava.

7. Hachijojima

Hachijo-machi, Tokyo

The seven islands introduced here are designated as national parks. Keep in mind that the parks have flora and fauna that cannot be picked or captured without permission. Enjoy them by capturing them in your memory or photographs.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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