6 Interesting Things to Do in Hachijojima, Japan’s Island of Perpetual Spring

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  • Hachijojima is an island 300 kilometers south of Tokyo, located in the Philippine Sea. It is formed by two mountains, Mt. Hachijo-Fuji and Mt. Mihara, and takes less than an hour by plane and 10 hours by ferry from Tokyo.

    Most of the population lives in the plains between the two mountains. Because of the island’s warm and humid temperature and an abundance of bright flowers and trees, it is often called the “Island of Perpetual Spring.” During the 1960s, Hachijojima was chosen as a honeymoon spot by Tokyo residents and has since been a well-visited tourist spot. Find out what activities you can do in Hachijojima in this article!

    1. Climb Mt. Hachijo-Fuji

    Mt. Hachijo-Fuji, also called Mt. Nishi, is the highest mountain on the island. It has an altitude of 854 meters and its shape resembles Mt. Fuji. It is a long hike to the summit, with about two hours and 1,280 steps of worthwhile trekking.

    When you get to the top, you will get to see a breathtaking panoramic view of the sea and the Kuroshio Current. Do not forget to walk around the rim of the crater called “Ohachimeguri.”

    Mt. Hachijo-Fuji Website
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    2. Visit the Hachijojima Lighthouse

    A lighthouse is a structure that is designed to give light and navigational aid to travelers at sea. As Hachijojima is an island surrounded by sea, a lighthouse in the area is a necessity.

    Tokyo Location Box, an organization that helps filmmakers find filming locations not just in Tokyo but also in remote islands under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, has listed the Hachijojima Lighthouse as a location that can be used for filming.

    Hachijojima Lighthouse Website
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    3. Eat island sushi

    Hachijojima’s island sushi (shima sushi) is made from fresh, local fish and a sweeter variety of sushi rice (shari). What makes this dish unique is that instead of wasabi, the island sushi comes with mustard.

    4. Relax in Uramigataki Hot Spring

    Uramigataki Hot Spring is one of the most famous onsens in the area. It is a rotenburo (open-air bath) surrounded by the forest and with a view of a waterfall. The waterfall’s name is Uramigataki, and people can walk behind it.

    Entrance to Uramigataki is free and people with tattoos are also welcome. It is a co-ed bath where visitors are required to wear swimsuits. Unfortunately, there is only one dressing room, so it is practical to wear your swimsuit already. Try not to bring any valuable objects because there are also no lockers.

    Uramigataki Hot Spring Website *Japanese only
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    5. Watch a Hachijo taiko performance

    The Hachijo taiko drums are one of the traditional arts of the island. The drums are played by two people, one on each side of the taiko – one sets the rhythm, while the other improvises.

    6. Attend the Freesia Festival in Hachijojima Island

    The Freesia Festival in Hachijojima Island is usually held from late March to early April, at the foot of Mt. Hachijo-Fuji. There are various activities held during the festival such as free picking of freesia flowers (up to 20 per person), an outdoor tea ceremony, exhibition and sale of the island’s local products, and Hachijo taiko performances.

    Freesia Festival in Hachijojima Island Website
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    If you are looking for a tropical getaway from Tokyo, then Hachijojima is a highly suggested tourist spot. With the scenic view of the island, you are guaranteed to have a relaxing stay. There are many more activities to do on the island, so feel free to explore!

    Hachijojima Website *Automatic translation available
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    Would you like to stay in Hachijo? Check out all the hotels in the area here!