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Updated: October 19, 2022
Located 287 kilometers from Tokyo, city residents flock to Hachijojima's onsen resorts and relaxing accommodation to enjoy tropical mini-breaks without the effort and expense of traveling to Okinawa or Hawaii. The island boasts popular surfing and diving spots along with great hikes up Mt. Hachijo-Fuji, the tallest peak in the Izu island chain. The temperate subtropical climate supports a wide variety of wildlife and local plant life, and the volcanic terrain creates gorgeous views combining lush grasslands and rugged mountains overlooking the crystal-clear ocean.
Hachijojima can be accessed by boat or plane.
From Tokyo Takeshiba Pier: The large passenger ships depart at night, via Miyakejima Island and Mikurajima Island, and arrive at Hachijojima the next morning. Travel time: about 10 and a half hours.
From Haneda Airport: Flight time: about 50 minutes.
Looming above the island, Mt. Hachijo-Fuji offers unbeatable views out across the ocean. As you hike up the peak, you'll encounter cattle peacefully grazing on the grassy plateaus of the Fureai Ranch. Those who prefer to cycle or drive up the mountain can take the Hachimaki Road, accessible from the seventh station on the mountain.
The island's volcanic origins become clear upon exploring the "Nanbara Coast of Permian Rocks," a lava field that stretches 500 meters along the coast. Lush vegetation flourishes all over the island, and islanders use the native plants, such as ashitaba, in local dishes.
In addition to hiking, you could rent a bike, go fishing, play golf, or even do some yoga outdoors. Go swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving from one of several sites along the island coast, and if you’re lucky you might see some sea turtles. There are several camping and BBQ sites to enjoy. Visit one of the recommended spots for stargazing at night, or to watch the sun rise and set. During the summer months, you may even glimpse the island’s famous bioluminescent mushrooms glowing in soft green.
Soothe your body in the open-air baths at Miharashi-no-yu hot spring, while taking in the unbeatable views over the Pacific Ocean. The facilities are open night and day, so you can enjoy both crisp blue skies and majestic starry nights. You may even catch sight of humpback whales during the winter whale-watching season.