Little Big Treasure Island
This island is rich in water and lush greenery, and dolphins can be seen swimming around the island. Having a distinctive culture and history, Mikurashima is the nearest “hidden island” from Tokyo, a place where humans coexist with nature.
- Area size
- 20.54 sqm
- 16 km
- Distance from Tokyo
- 200 km
- 320 as of 2018
The area around Mikurashima is one of the world’s top habitats of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Since dolphins live in shallow areas of ocean not far from land, they can be seen even from the upland of the island. Such activities as dolphin watching providing close-up look at wild dolphins from a boat and swimming with dolphins are quite popular now.
Mt. Oyama is the tallest mountain of the island and the second behind Hachijo-Fuji (851 m) among the Tokyo Islands, having steep geographical features. Around the mountaintop is a high altitude moor, usually covered with fog, which fosters a storehouse of rich greenery. Thanks to the geographic features, pristine forests that preserve a precious ecological system extend from the mountaintop to the Nango district.
Nioi-Ebine-Ran (Calanthe izuinsularis) is a species of orchid indigenous to the Izu Islands, which can be seen at this Ebine natural park. Wild Nioi-Ebine-Ran has nearly disappeared due to excessive picking; however, this natural park makes efforts to preserve and cultivate the species by collecting remaining wild roots and fencing off the wild growth area. Visitors can also see such other species as sakuyuri (Lilium auratums) and false daphne, with free admission.
❸”Giant Chinquapin Tree of Mikurashima”
Mikurashima is dotted with forests of such giant trees as castanopsis, podocarpus, and boxwood. In the forests, some 590 giant trees are confirmed to have a trunk circumference more than 5 meters. Among them, the one with trunk circumference of 13.8 meters is known as “The Giant Chinquapin of Mikurashima.” Giant trees of 100 years of age or older can be seen close up in some forests.
Located on the west side of the island, Shirataki is an 80-meter waterfall falling from a sheer cliff top directly to the ocean, creating white, sharp streams of cascading water. Since the cliff is too sheer and impossible to access from the mountainside, visitors can see the waterfall only from a boat on the sea. Shirataki is so voluminous that water never stops falling even when other mountain streams run out of water due to a succession of fine days.
Miyoga-ike is a pond created thousands of years ago by pooled water in a crater with a 400-meter circumference and a 2-meter depth, in which carps first released in the middle of Meiji period (1868-1912) still can be seen. There is a boxwood with the largest diameter in Japan in a virgin forest surrounding the pond, and this mysterious landscape is listed in “New Tokyo 100 Best Views.”
*As the operation schedule and required time varies depending on the season, contact the operation companies beforehand.