Tokyo Islands (Izu Islands & Ogasawara Island chains)


Where is the best location to travel to escape the busy, noisy crowded and congested city of Tokyo, Japan and have a refreshing vacation? You can choose Onsen hot spring resorts in the Hakone resort region, or the distant Beach resorts in Okinawa? Yes, these famous tourist attractions are great places, however, there is another place that you should consider, a little bit closer: The Tokyo Islands, of course! These small island chains close to downtown Tokyo is where you can find an unique experience in adventurous travel, so much different from the urban travel experiences of the megalopolis of Tokyo.

 

Click here to enlargeIt is not a well known fact, though, the Tokyo prefecture includes 219 small islands located in the Pacific oarsman, containing many unspoiled, natural environments; 11 of those small islands are Onsen (Hot Springs) or beach resort areas, known for white sandy beaches and blue waters of the Pacific. 

The 11 islands of Tokyo are named Izu Oshima (伊豆大島), Toshima (利島), Niijima (新島), Shikinejima (式根島), Kouzushima (神津島), Miyakejima (三宅島), Mikurashima (御蔵島), Hachijojima (八丈島), Aogashima (青ヶ島), Ogasawara-Chichijima (小笠原父島) and Ogasawara-Hahajima (小笠原母島).

Tokyo Islands consists of 2 island chains, one is called Izu Shoto and the other is called Ogasawara Shoto. As the map above shows, nine of the eleven islands are part of the Izu Shoto Island Chain and each island has their own characteristics.

Omega-com, a multilingual communication service company, and the Tokyo Islands Tourist Federation organized an event to promote the islands for international travelers, to allow them to learn more about another side of Tokyo, an area of Tokyo that allows you to enjoy pristine natural surroundings.

In this series of articles we will introduce some of those islands and tell you about our experiences of touring the Tokyo Islands...

* FYI _shima or _jima means "island" in Japanese.

Tokyo Islands (Izu Shoto Island Chain)


Izu Oshima 伊豆大島 
A resort island, accessible by a 105 minute boat ride from downtown Tokyo, offers various recreational activities such as hiking on the volcanic mountain, cycling and diving. There are abundant spa facilities, including Onsen hot springs and swimming pools.



Toshima 利島
A small island that retains the charm of small, old shrines amongst untouched nature, and known for some 200,000 camellia trees that produce camellia oils. From the top of Miyatsuka-yama, a 508m mountain in Toshima, provides spectacular views of the mainland, including Mt. Fuji and the Izu Peninsula.
 See here for more info


Niijima 新島
A paradise island for surfers and marine sports lover! A white sandy beach coast spreading out over 6km long is waiting for you. And, thankfully, the hot springs facility “Yunohama Hot Spring” is available for free.
 See here for more info


Shikinejima 式根島
A small island with picturesque places that look like a Bonsai floating in the ocean. Emerald waters shine at white sandy beaches surrounded with pine trees, very Zen-like and a relaxing place to visit.
 See here for more info


Kouzushima 神津島
An island with a mountain that provides scenic views of the Pacific Ocean. The white sandy beaches also let you forgot you are still in Tokyo. Many types of outdoor activities are available, including snorkeling, diving, and camping.
 See here for more info


Miyakejima 三宅島
A volcanic island with unusual views, formed by eruptions and lava flows. Thousands of tropical fish live in the surrounding ocean, with crystal clear water. In the nearby quiet forest you find a peaceful environment, only interrupted by 250 types of birds that welcome you, with their signing.
See here for more info


Mikurashima 御蔵島
A forest island, covered with native bush and abundant in water. People often visit Mikurashima for dolphin-watching and even swim with them.


Hachijojima 八丈島
A resort island known for Hachijo-fuji, a 854m high, look alike Mr. Fuji, with panoramic views. Offers various types of marine activities as well as Onsen hot springs. Fishing enthusiasts will visit Hachijojima love their big catches. See here for more info


Aogashima 青ヶ島
A small volcanic island 358km far from Tokyo downtown. Aogashima is a geothermal steam-emitting double volcano, where the steam is used for heating sauna's and producing high quality salt.
See here for more info



Ogasawara Islands - Chichijima, Hahajima 小笠原諸島(父島、母島)
The oceanic islands called “he Garapagos of the East”, retain the beauty of untouched nature where a number of indigenous species can be found. In 2011, the Ogasawara Islands were added to UNESCO's list of World Natural Heritage sites.

http://www.ogasawaramura.com/en/
http://ogasawara-info.jp/en/



[ Tokyo Islands Information ]
 
Takeshiba Boat Terminal 


Tokyo Islands Related Sites
Tokyo Islands Tourist Federation
Tokyo Metropolitan Islands Promotion Corporation (Japanese site)  

Tokai Kisen Ferry Service
Tokyo Island Shuttle Helicommuter (Toho Air Service Co.,Ltd.) 
New Central Airservice
All Nippon Airways (ANA)