Kouzushima, the Tokyo island for enjoying outdoor activities | Part 3
As Kouzushima is a volcanic island, you can see unusual looking lava rocks along the seashore or on the mountains. In fact, Kouzushima is famous for production of Obsidian since ancient time (30,000-5,000 years ago), Obsidian is used as a material to create knives or tips of arrows that have been excavated at archaeological sites in the mainland of Japan, more than 200km or even 400km away from Kouzushima Island. It is mysterious how ancient people managed to go to Kouzushima and bring back the obsidian. In the first place, how they knew that they could obtain obsidian in that far island!?
The black stones in the photo below are obsidians. There is an atelier called Youseki Kobo, offering group lessons to create charms with obsidians. Creating the charms might be more fun than you expect as it involves some struggling to handle tiny beads. You might find yourself saying “Oops!” or “Doh!” or "Yes!" while you are creating. Afterwards, the moment comes when you find yourself showing your work proudly with a smile. The charms you create will be a good souvenir from Kouzushima Island. The lesson is one-hour long and the fee is 1,500 Yen per person. (Prior booking is required).
Kouzushima Island Information
The information below is collected from the Internet and leaflets. Unfortunately, most information available is only in Japanese, and so limiting to most people, although prior booking is required for many activities. Make an inquiry at Kouzushima Tourists Association for details.
Available Activities in Kouzushima Island
Beach resort, Diving, Snorkeling, Fishing, Surfing, Camping, BBQ, Hiking, Onsen hot spring bathing , and total relaxation :-) Just do nothing.....
There are several diving services shops.
* Hiking at the mountain Tenjo (Tenjouzan)
To climb up the mountain Tenjozan, you need to ask for a guide or a join a tour with a guide, by making up a prior reservation.
For details, contact Kouzushima Tourists Association.
Three camping sites with facilities are available for free or with fees. Prior booking is required especially in summer, as it gets crowded.
Fresh seafood is available and other Japanese cuisines, like Sushi or Sashimi. Tempura of Ashitaba herbs and Kusaya are specialties of Kouzushima and other Tokyo islands. Kouzushima is so rich in natural pure water, Moriwaka, a brand of shochu liquor made from Kouzushima water, is worth a try.
How to get there
From Tokyo (Takeshiba Terminal) by Tokai Kisen jet boat (travel time 4 hours)
A Tokai Kisen overnight passenger ship operates from Takeshiba Terminal and Yokohama Osambashi Terminal (travel time: 12 to13 hrs.)
From Shimoda Port at Izu persona, sea transport operated by Shinshin Kisen is also available. (Travel time: 2 hours 20 min.)
Three flights a day (travel time 45 min.) between Tokyo's Chofu Airport and Kouzushima operated by New Central Service.
*Be sure to make a reservation prior to travel, for both boat and by air. It is essential especially in summer as seats are booked so quickly. Reservations are accepted from 2 months before your departure day.
Accommodations available in Kouzushima are mostly small Ryokan (Japanese Inns) or Minshuku (Pensions), rooms in the traditional Japanese style of accommodations. Do not expect modern facilities. Room rates of Minshuku pensions are lower than hotels in cities. Amenities like toothbrush or towels might not be provided, so you need to bring your own. Rooms of pensions usually come with breakfast and dinner service. (It depends on the pension you stay. Make sure when booking.)
It is recommended to make a reservation for accommodation after you booked a ticket for boat/air. If you let the staff at the accommodation know of your arrival time, he/she will pick you up at the port. You can take local buses (200 yen per ride) to go sightseeing spots, but the buses run every one hour or so. It will be much more costly, but taking a taxi is quicker. Renting a car*/motor bike*/ bike will be other options. (*You need a license) The cheapest way is by walking, but remember it takes much time. For example, it takes about 1 hour and a half by walking from Kouzuko port to Akasaki Walking Path, it takes about 30 minutes from Kouzuko port to Kouzushima Onsen Hoyou Center (Hot Spring Recreation Center).
Transportation in Kouzushima
Kouzushima Related Web Links
You can take local buses (200 yen per ride) to go sightseeing spots, but the buses run every one hour or so. It will be much more costly, but taking a taxi is quicker. Renting a car*/motor bike*/ bike will be other options. (*You need a license) The cheapest way is by walking, but remember it takes much time. For example, it takes about 1 hour and a half by walking from Kouzuko port to Akasaki Walking Path, it takes about 30 minutes from Kouzuko port to Kouzushima Onsen Hoyou Center (Hot Spring Recreation Center).