Hachijojima - A Picturesque Tokyo Island Just An Hour From Haneda Airport
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Hachijojima - A Picturesque Tokyo Island Just An Hour From Haneda Airport

Tokyo 2017.12.08

Have you heard of Tokyo's Hachiojima Island before? There you can enjoy Hachijo Fuji, a mysterious forest, amazing sunsets, starry skies and nature rich landscapes that you wouldn't imagine possible in Tokyo - all in just an hour from Haneda Airport!

Translated byHilary Keyes

Writer, translator, designer, weirdo.

Written by MATCHA-PR

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Tamashima.tokyo

Have you heard of the perpetually warm Tokyo island of Hachijojima? Within the island is a volcano, and the island overall is known for its unique topography. The Kurishio Current, which is a warm ocean current flows along here, and abundant stocks of seafood are caught at Hachijojima too. This island gained great acclaim as a honeymoon spot for Tokyo residents particularly in the 1960s, and has been a beloved sightseeing spot ever since.

This time, MATCHA's editorial team went to Hachijojima, met with local guides and took part in Tamashima Instameet, a photography event based on the beautiful natural sights of the island. Hachijojima Island is an incredible place. This event was hosted by TAMASHIMA.tokyo, the sightseeing board dedicated to Tokyo islands, including Hachijojima.

Now we'll introduce more about this event, recommended spots and dishes to try on Hachijojima, and a little about the culture of the island!

Scenic Spots on Hachijojima - Hachijo Fuji

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Hachijojima Island Tourism Bureau General Incorporated Association

On the west side of the island is Mount Nishiyama, which is also called Hachijo Fuji which has an altitude of 854m, the highest mountain on the island. It takes about three hours to travel from the base of the climbing path to the summit of this cone shaped mountain (the 7th consecutive level can be reached by car; from there it takes 55 minutes to reach the summit, and about 15 minutes to walk about the bowl).

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Hachijojima Island Tourism Bureau General Incorporated Association

Although the altitude is just 854m, you shouldn't think too lightly of it! To reach the summit, you will have to go over 1280 steps and many huge rocks, so you need to be well prepared for the climb with mountain trekking clothing and footwear.

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Hachijojima Island Tourism Bureau General Incorporated Association

Beyond the stairs and rocks, you'll see mysterious craters appear before your eyes. You can see the ocean in the distance too!

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Tamashima.tokyo

During the event, the writer actually climbed to the top of Hachijo Fuji. It was raining that day, and the conditions were pretty wet but none of that mattered as they were thrilled by the incredible views from the top of the mountain!

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Hachijojima Island Tourism Bureau General Incorporated Association

At the foot of Hachijo Fuji is the Fureai Bokujo (Fureai Ranch), where Kuroge wagyu cattle graze. From the observatory on the ranch you can also see the center of the island and Hachijo Airport.

Japan's Own Jurassic Park! Hego Forest Trail

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Hachijojima Island Tourism Bureau General Incorporated Association

On Hachijojima, there are also mysterious forests that look like those from the movie "Jurassic Park". Here you will find rare plants, such as ferns and blue mosses, growing wild deep in the forests. You're sure to feel a sense of the wild and mysterious when in these woods.

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Please contact the Hachijojima Recreational Organization beforehand if you are planning to visit the forest. As the forest trail is private, it is not visible on Google Maps. Please be very careful when on the island as you cannot enter the forest without permission.

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Tamashima.tokyo

The guide told the participants a lot about the unique landforms, ecosystems and climate of Hachijojima. This was a really informative and interesting stroll through the woods.

Hachijojima Recreational Organization Official Website: http://nonprofit.8jo.org/nonprofit/forest/index.html

Must See Sights on Hachijojima! Sunsets and Starry Skies

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Hachijojima Island Tourism Bureau General Incorporated Association

On Hachijojima there are many beautiful spots where you can view stunning sunsets or catch starry skies overhead. In some places, you'll find plenty of photographers with their shutters snapping away.

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Hachijojima Island Tourism Bureau General Incorporated Association

There are very few lights on the island at night. Those that want to head out and photograph the night sky should bring a flashlight with them, and keep an eye out for shooting stars.

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Tamashima.tokyo

At the event, a Japanese Instagrammer with over 500,000 followers, @moonlightice, gave a photography lecture too. The participants all had a lot of fun, and learned some great tips to make photographs of the natural wonders of Hachijojima even better!

Hachijojima Cuisine - Heartwarming Island Sushi

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

One gourmet dish that you should definitely try on the island is shima zushi (island sushi).

Unlike sushi you find elsewhere, shima zushi comes with mustard instead of wasabi. Made with soy sauce pickled fish and sweet rice vinegar, it has a light, refreshing taste.

You might find yourself feeling unexpectedly nostalgic when you eat it for the first time. Shima zushi is made entirely from fish that can be caught in its waters, which include tai (red snapper) and Japanese flying fish.

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Tamashima.tokyo

The meals were prepared by some of the women of the island. They taught us about the ingredients and how to make each dish, which further deepened our understanding and appreciation for Hachijojima's food culture.

Hachijojima Traditional Arts: Ground Trembling Hachijo Daiko Drums

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Tamashima.tokyo

On Hachijojima, you'll also find the Hachijo daiko drums, one of Hachijojima's traditional arts. Standing one by one on each side of the drum, the Hachijo daiko are played by two people. One plays a steady, constant rhythm while the other strikes the drum with their stick to a rhythm all their own.

As a former penal colony, the Hachijo daiko are said to have been played as a way of recalling the distant hometowns of the island's residents. The sound of the drums is quite dynamic and moving.

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Tamashima.tokyo

While being taught by the Hachijo Taiko drum instructor, the participants get to actually experience a performance of Hachijo Taiko drums. It's a lot of fun to learn about this unique way of playing the drums and its rhythm.

How to Reach Hachijojima - By Plane and Ship

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Photo courtesy of: Hachijojima Island Tourism Bureau General Incorporated Association

There are three daily flights from Haneda Airport to Hachijojima Airport. These flights are run by ANA and take about 55 minutes. Other than traveling by plane, you can also take a ship from Tokyo; run by Tokai Kisen, there is one ship per day, and the route takes from ten to eleven hours.

ANA Official Website: https://www.ana.co.jp/asw/wws/tw/e/

Tokai Kisen Official Website: http://www.tokaikisen.co.jp/english/

Come See Hachijojima Island!

Come Visit Hachijojima Island 1 Hour From Haneda Airport

Unique gourmet dishes and culture, and so much more. If you want to try something a bit different when in Japan, then, by all means, come to the eternal spring-like paradise of Hachijojima Island!

Other than Hachijojima, Tokyo has many attractive islands. For more information about Tokyo islands, please check the Official Tokyo Website!

Official Website:https://tamashima.tokyo/en/


Written by: chen
Sponsored by: Tokyo Metropolitan Government

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