Izu Islands is a group of volcanic islands under the administration of Tokyo. Among these islands, Izu Oshima is the largest of the Izu Islands located about 100 kilometers south of the capital. It takes about one hour to circle by car to get to the island. The island is a famous tourist destination for those who want to escape from the crowded city.
At the heart of Izu Oshima is the 758 meter tall Mount Mihara, an active volcano which is the source of several interesting sites and various hot springs on the island. Beaches at the island’s northern and western coasts are the venue for snorkeling, sunbathing and other beach activities during summer. Oshima is also known for its camellia flowers, which can be spotted almost everywhere from around January through March.
How to get to Izu Oshima
By high speed ferry
Tokai Kisen runs high speed ferries (jetfoils) between Izu Oshima and Tokyo’s Takeshiba Ferry Terminal (about two hours, around 7500 yen one way, one departure per day, more during peak seasons), with some ferries stopping at Kurihama or Tateyama (seasonally) en route. Takeshiba Ferry Terminal is located just beside Takeshiba Station on the Yurikamome Line. There are also high speed ferry connections between Oshima and Atami (one hour, about 5000 yen one way, one departure per day, more during peak seasons), with some ferries stopping at Ito en route.
By regular ferry
Tokai Kisen also runs regular car ferries almost daily between Izu Oshima and Tokyo’s Takeshiba Ferry Terminal. The one way trip takes about 5-7 hours and costs around 4500 yen in the cheapest class. The ferry in direction of Oshima runs overnight, while the return journey is during the daytime.
By air from Chofu Airport
New Central Airservice operates three daily flights in each direction between Tokyo’s Chofu Airport and Oshima Airport. The one way trip takes approximately 25 minutes and costs 11,800 yen. To get to Chofu Airport, take the Keio Railway from Shinjuku to Chofu Station (15 minutes, 240 yen one way) and transfer to a bus (15 minutes, 220 yen) or taxi (15 minutes, about 1500 yen) to the airport.
By air from Haneda Airport
ANA flights between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Oshima Airport were discontinued in October 2015.
How to get around Izu Oshima
Izu Oshima’s largest town is Motomachi around Motomachi Port on the island’s west coast. Smaller towns are also located around Okata Port in the north and Habu Port in the south.
Izu Oshima has a unique system whereby all ferries use either Motomachi Port or Okata Port depending on weather and sea conditions. The port to be used is decided on a daily basis and announced on the ferry operator’s website (Japanese only). You can also check with staff at the hotel or ryokan you are staying at. Rental car pickups and bus services will be adjusted according to the selected port of the day.
Because public transportation is not too convenient on Izu Oshima, rental cars are a convenient way to tour the island. Rental outlets are found at Motomachi Port, but with prior arrangement, cars can also be picked up and returned at Okata Port or the airport. Alternatively, rental bicycles are available near Motomachi Port for typically 600 yen per hour or 1500 yen per day. With a circumference of about 50 kilometers and a mountain at its center, the island is not easily explored by bicycle entirely, though.
Oshima offers a bus network with relatively frequent service along the coastal roads, except the eastern coast which is not served. Bus service into the island’s interior is infrequent. Bus fares range from 250 to 890 yen depending on distance traveled.
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