About Tokyo Islands
The area of the Tokyo Islands covers a huge sea area with the southern end of 2,000 km away, extending from Tokyo (35.39 degrees north latitude, 139.44 degrees east longitude) to the southernmost Okino-Torishima (20.25 degrees north latitude, 136.04 degrees east longitude) and the easternmost Minami-Torishima (24.17 degrees north latitude, 153.59 degrees east longitude), with a total of 219 islands of various sizes being dotted all over the sea area. Among the 219 islands of Tokyo, the 11 islands that have residents are called the Tokyo Islands, i.e., the nine Izu Islands of Oshima, Toshima, Niijima, Shikinejima, Kozushima, Miyakejima, Mikurashima, Hachijojima, Aogashima, and the two Ogasawara Islands of Chichijima and Hahajima.
Nature / Culture / Activities
Dolphin-swim / Dolphin-watching
The Tokyo Islands are also a habitat of dolphins. Mikurashima, where wild dolphins are living, is a paradise for dolphin watching. A dolphin-swim is an activity of swimming with wild dolphins on the condition that natural actions of dolphins are not to be disturbed.
Sea Bathing / Snorkeling
Oshima, Miyakejima, and Hachijojima have black beaches. Niijima, Shikinejima, Kozushima, and the Ogasawara Islands have white sand beaches. Both reflect blue ocean well. Small fish and aquatic organisms are living in tide pools that are ideal spots for snorkeling.
The Tokyo Islands are natural parks in themselves having distinctive natural features that cannot be found elsewhere. The Ogasawara Islands are designated a World Natural Heritage site, where various activities to preserve the distinctive natural environment are carried out. Get in touch with grand nature in a deep forest with a tour guide in order to enjoy hiking all the more. Wild birds, wild grasses, a starry sky, etc. – excellent hiking options and tour guides are available. Please keep in mind that entering some places requires accompaniment by a guide.
Activities in Mountains
There are many mountains with natural charms in the Tokyo Islands. The islands are natural parks in themselves, having indigenous animals of their own. Each island has its own distinctive feature, such as volcanic scenery in Oshima and Miyakejima, islands with commanding views even from their low mountain peaks, and islands with dense forests where a guided tour is required because of the deepness of forests. Enjoy trekking and hiking in the daytime and a spectacular star-filled night sky that cannot be seen in big cities.
※Minami Ioto Island is the highest with 916 meters of elevation among all islands of Tokyo including uninhabited islands.
Oshima is designated a Japanese Geo-park. Geo-park means a “park “where the “geo”graphy can be learned. Oshima is a volcanic island created by repeated eruptions, which still emits volcanic fumes, where the process of the island’s growth can be learned. The island has numerous scenic spots including Urasabaku, which is the only place called "sabaku", or desert, in Japan.
The Tokyo Islands are rich in hot springs. Various hot spring spas such as one by the sea or another in the mountains await your enjoyment. Most open-air hot spring spas near the coast are mixed-baths that require wearing a bathing suit. Refresh yourself while watching the sunset or star-filled night sky. There are also such unique facilities as a sand steam bath and a sauna of volcanic gas. Why don’t you try “conquering” all these hot spring spas?
Historical Sites and Spiritual Spots
The Izu Islands have many myths of island creation and have local shrines dedicated to gods by ancestors. These shrines and their gods worshiped by islanders and scenic sites created by wild and harsh nature draw much attention as spiritual spots. Get in touch with the hearts and minds of islanders and get a small share of the power by visiting such places as Runin Cemetery, a banished exiles’ cemetery, or family temples that local people sweep clean everyday.