Miyakejima Island in the Izu Shoto Island Chain of the Tokyo Islands | Part 3
Another spot where people revere is the Toiro-ike Pond, a caldera lake formed 2000 years ago by volcanic activity. During the past 2000 years, the area surrounding the lake gradually turned into a forest, creating mystic views. Miyakejima is also called “Bird Island” where 250 kinds of birds live, and this area is home to birds like the Izu thrush or the Iijima's Leaf Warbler, found only on the Izu and Tokara Islands.
At night, the pond is in complete darkness, and what you see there will be millions of stars shining above, over the pond.
In Miyakejima, many events & festivals are held through the year;
Surf-fishing competition in April,
Cycle Road Race in June,
Diving Festival in June and Oct,
Triathlon in Aug,
Volcano Walking in Mar,
Swimming with dolphins from Mar-Nov
After enjoying these events, don't forget to experience the Onsen Hot Springs at Furusato-no-yu, a bathing facility offering ocean views and special cuisine of the Miyakejima, including authentic fresh Sushi.
Miyakejima 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 Miyakejima Tourists Association for details.
Available Activities in Miyakejima Island
Beach resort activities, Scuba diving*, Fishing, Volcano Walking, Rock climbing, Cycling, Onsen hot spring bathing. Bird watching, and total relaxation :-) Just do nothing.....
* Scuba Diving
There are several diving services shops.
(A note of caution)
There are still off limits areas due to a high concentration of sulfur dioxide. Also, pay attention to warnings and take appropriate action even if you are in a safe area.
Fresh seafood is available and other Japanese cuisine like Sushi and Sashimi. Tempura of Ashitaba herbs and Kusaya are specialties of Miyakojima and the other Tokyo islands. There are about 20 restaurants in Miyakejima..
How to get there
From Tokyo (Takeshiba Terminal) by Tokai Kisen large passenger boat (travel time is approximately 7 hours)
One flight a day (travel time 40 min.) between Haneda airport and Miyakejima airport operated by ANA
*Remember there are cases that both transportation are cancelled due to bad weather or other unfavorable conditions.
Accommodations available in Miyakejima are small Hotels, Ryokan (Japanese Inns) and 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 the city. 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 while booking.)
It is recommended to make a reservation for accommodation after you booked for a boat/air trip. If you let the staff at the accommodation know of your arrival time, he/she will pick you up at the port.
Transportation in Miyakejima
You can take local buses (820 Yen for a round trip of the island) to go to sightseeing spots, buses run every 2 hours or so. It will be much more costly, but taking a taxi is quicker. Renting a car*/motor bike* are other options. (*You need a license) The cheapest way would be renting a bike, but remember the roads are part of valleys and hills that require strenuous biking.