Some may wonder if a short getaway to the islands from Tokyo for just the weekend may seem hard. However, there are a couple of islands accessible with even a day trip possible. Here are six recommended islands that don't require flying from Tokyo.
Sarushima Island: A 10-minute boat ride to a mysterious world
Sarushima is located in Sarushima, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, and is the only uninhabited island in Tokyo Bay. This historic island was once used as a fortress by the former Japanese army, and its historical heritage, designated by the national government, still remains intact. The fantastic French-style tunnels and the moss-covered spots that still retain the atmosphere of that time are like wandering into the magical wonderland. The entire area around Sarushima is shallow water, and the entire island is a fishing spot, so visitors can enjoy outdoor leisure activities, such as swimming, fishing, and barbecuing.
It takes less than 30 minutes to get there from the nearest station, Yokosuka Chuo Station, including the ferry ride, making it a popular island for those who are worried about seasickness and families with children.
The Sarushima Beach is closed for the year 2021.
Approx. 1 hour (by train & on foot) from Shinagawa, Tokyo to Kanagawa "Mikasa Terminal" → approx. 10 minutes by ferry
Volcanic Island of Izu Oshima
Izu Oshima, which is said to have been inhabited for about 8,000 years, is the largest island in the Izu Islands, located in Oshima Town, Tokyo.
About 97% of the island is regulated by the Natural Park Law, so the beautiful and protected natural scenery is very appealing, and the unique landscape of the volcanic island is one of the highlights.
The island is also famous for its beautiful, crystal clear waters, which make it a good diving spot for beginners, as well as for its abundant hot springs, where you can enjoy the magnificent nature, and the Ura Desert, the only desert in Japan.
It takes about an hour to drive around the island, and there are a variety of ways to get around, including public transportation, rental cars, rental bikes, and rental bicycles, making it very convenient for sightseeing.
High speed jet boat from Takeshiba Passenger Boat Terminal in Tokyo (1 hour 45 minutes minimum)READ MORE
- Izu Oshima Geopark
- Izu Oshima Island Ferry ―Tokai Kisen
Niijima Island: Mecca for surfers at Hawaii in Tokyo
Niijima is one of the Izu Islands, along with Izu Oshima, and is dotted with Moyai statues made of "koga stone," a globally valuable specialty of the island, and offers a tasteful view of the town.
Niijima, with its beautiful milky blue sea and white sandy beaches, is like a paradise. It is famous for its parafluid waves, so much so that it has become a venue for international surfing competitions, attracting surfers from Japan and abroad as the "Island of Waves. Of course, even beginners can enjoy lessons and rental boards, so you can experience marine activities on waves as good as those on the North Shore, the surfing spot in Hawaii.
This is a great place for those who want to enjoy the scenery as if they were at a foreign beach and resort while in Tokyo.
High speed jet boat from Takeshiba Passenger Boat Terminal in Tokyo (2 hours and 20 minutes minimum)READ MORE
- A Surf Trip to Niijima
- Outdoor Activities
Shikinejima Island: Good for families with children
Shikinejima, one of the Izu Islands, is a small island with a circumference of 12 km that can be visited by bicycle rental or on foot. Shikinejima is famous for its spectacular view of the intricate, blade-like rias coastline and the star-filled sky that makes you feel as if you are in a planetarium.
The beautiful emerald green sea and rocky coves are photogenic, and the Tomari Beach is popular as a snorkeling spot with few waves, which children can enjoy. There is also a camping spot with beautiful sunsets and a free open-air hot spring nearby, making it a great island for families to enjoy.
There are no convenience stores on the island, and the supermarkets close early, so be sure to check out the takeout restaurants beforehand.
As of August 2021, the campground is closed.
High speed jet boat from Takeshiba Passenger Boat Terminal in Tokyo, about 2 hours and 20 minutes minimum.
Toshima Island: Swimming with Wild Dolphins
Located between Izu Oshima and Niijima, Toshima is the smallest island in the Izu Islands with a circumference of about 8 km, and is popular for its natural beauty of sheer cliffs.
About 80% of the island is surrounded by a lovely camellia forest, which is also known as "Camellia Island." The main attraction of this island is its pristine nature and dolphin watching, where you can watch the wild dolphins that live around the island from a boat. It is also famous as a rare island where you can experience both dolphin swimming and diving with curious dolphins that sometimes come close to you.
The island is also a popular fishing spot for those in the know, and you can even catch amberjack, a high-class fish, from the pier! On clear nights, the Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye all year round under the night sky, making for an enchanting and romantic experience.
High speed jet boat from Takeshiba Passenger Boat Terminal in Tokyo, approx. 2 hours and 25 minutes minimum
Kozushima Island: Famous for Star Gazing
Kozushima Island, which can be reached by car in an hour, is also known as "Dark Sky Island," with its mysterious starry skies, which were the first in Tokyo to be recognized as a starry sky protection zone, and its beautiful, crystal-clear waters, which were once selected as the best in Japan.
The island is also said to be the legendary island where seven gods gathered to create the Izu Islands in the "Water Distribution Myth," and spiritual spots with mysterious power are scattered throughout the island.
Among them, Mt. Tenjo, a sacred mountain that was the setting for a myth, has various attractions such as an observatory with a spectacular view, the heart-shaped Fudo Pond, and the back desert, and trekking activities are also popular while enjoying the beautiful scenery that has been selected as one of the "100 Famous Mountains of Flowers.
From Takeshiba Passenger Boat Terminal in Tokyo, take a high-speed jet boat for a minimum of 3 hours and 5 minutes.READ MORE
- What to Do in Kozushima
- Best Things to Do