Hachijo-fuji, Sokodo port and far Hachijo-kojima
A hotel & Hachijo-fuji
Hachijôjima is an island in Izu Islands.
("O" in the word is pronounced long in Japanese.)
It is located about 280 km south of Tokyo and about 180 km south of Izu-Oshima.
There is Hachijo-kojima which is an uninhabited island about 7 km west of Hachijojima.
Hachijojima is about 13 km from northwest to southeast and the width is about 5 to 8 km.
This island has two volcanoes.
They are Hachijo-fuji (八丈富士, 854 m) at the northwest part of the island and Mount Mihara (三原山, 701 m) at the southeast part.
This island was formed by the connection of the volcanoes.
The last eruption of Hachijo-fuji was in 1606.
But the last eruption of Mount Mihara was in prehistoric times.
Pasture on the mountainside of Hachijo-fuji
Urami-ga-taki falls in Mt.Mihara
In Hachijojima, it is warm and rainy through the year because of warm ocean current.
The average annual temperature is about 18 degrees C, and the average temperature in the coldest season is about 10 degrees C.
And it is always windy in this island.
It is said that people were living in this island around 6,500 years ago.
Since the late 12th century, here has been governed by Japanese government.
From the 17th to the 19th centuries, here had been one of the places of exile.
Now, about 7,000 people lives in the island.
Fisheries and flower growing are the main industries.
Most villages and the airport are on the central valley between the volcanoes.
And Sokodo port that the ferry from Tokyo arrives is on the northeast side of the island.
Stone wall in Hachijojima
Sea around Hachijojima
The point of the sightseeing is mainly the nature of the island and scenery from the volcanoes.
The whole island is in the national park.
Various flowers bloom in the island all year round, and there are many scuba diving spot around the island.
Hachijo Visitor Center is in the botanical park near the airport.
You can get some information about the travel.
Some public bathhouses of hot spring are dotted at the south foot of Mount Mihara.
There are a few outdoor bathes in the facilities.
Ashitaba in Hachijojima
One of the island's specialties is Kihachijo (黄八丈).
It is a fabric using plant dyeing silk.
Yellow, auburn and black silks are combined.
It is designated as a national traditional craft.
"Ki" in the word means "yellow", so the kimono of Kihachijo has the yellowish color with quiet tones, literally.
As local specialties of Hachijojima, Kusaya and Ashitaba are known.
Kusaya is dried fish with characteristic smell and is made in some island of Izu Islands.
The unpleasant smell is awful, but it is said that Kusaya in Hachijojima is mild.
Ashitaba is a vegetable with high growth power, and the leaf and stalk are edible.
It may be served in the ryokan or minshuku in the island.
In the island, several route buses are operated.
And you can use taxi, rental car, retal motorcycle or rental bicycle to tour around the island.
How to get here
By Airplane, about 50 minutes from Haneda airport.
By ferry, about 10 hours and 20 minutes. (Takeshiba 22:30 - Sokodo 8:50)