Izu Ōshima : Paradise Island

Izu Ōshima is just 45 minutes away from bustling Tokyo via a high-speed jet boat from Takeshiba Pier in Minato-ku, Izu Ōshima Island. A breathtaking retreat to paradise, it is the closest and largest island to Japan’s capital.

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Sunset over Izu Ōshima. | Ignat Gorazd

The 1923 Great Kantō earthquake that caused so much devastation  in Tokyo and the surrounding areas of Yokohama, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, and Chiba, started from deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island. The island is also notorious for being featured as the location where the popular fictional creature Godzilla was entombed by the Japanese government in the movie The Return of Godzilla and then again in the sequel, Godzilla vs. Biollante.  The island is most famous for Mt. Mihara (located at the center of  Izu Ōshima) and the island itself was featured in the novel and movie Ringu (Ring) and is considered to be a pivotal location to the story.

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Crater at Mt. Mihara. | Guilhem Vellut

Izu Ōshima Island faces the Izu Peninsula and Mt. Fuji.  It takes only a little over an hour to go around the entire island by car. The abundance of fauna and flora make the small island a scenic treasure as well as an ideal place to fish, swim, and sunbathe along the five beautiful shores of the popular black beaches. Mt. Mihara at the center of Izu Ōshima Island is an active volcano that last erupted in 1990,.  There are hiking trails and natural hot springs that visitors can also enjoy. Other island attractions that present the rich natural wonders of Izu Ōshima also include the Ōshima Island Park, Umi-no-Furusat,  the Camellia Festival, and Hanabi Festival.

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Yuno-hama beach. | Guilhem Vellut