Treasure Hunting On An Island In Tokyo!? A Look Into Rogaining On Oshima Island.

4 minutes read

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Photo by Adventure Divas
As a child, everyone dreams of an epic treasure hunt…. But did you know that you could experience that joy felt at the moment of discovery in Oshima island, an island that is part of Tokyo? Team up with some friends for a game of rogaining to hunt down some treasures (checkpoints).

Rogaining is a sport that was founded in Australia 40 years ago, and the upcoming championship on Oshima island will be the 5th taking place there. Here, we take a closer look at the many charms of rogaining on Oshima island.

Rogaining – What is it?
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Many of you may never have heard of rogaining. A sport of long distance cross-country navigation, simply put it’s like a treasure (checkpoint) hunt. What you’ll need – compass, digital camera/camera phone, writing equipment, comfortable shoes and a good spirit.
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On the day you will be handed a map and sheet of paper printed with photos. With those two in hand you make for the various locations pictured on the sheet and shoot photos recreating the same pose as the ones in the reference photos. The objective is to recreate as many photos as possible in the given timeframe.

Teams are made up of 2-5 members, so it’s like a real life RPG game that you enjoy with family, friends and significant others.
At Oshima, a game of rogaine uses half the island. As that’s a pretty wide area to cover you are allowed to use buses, but bicycles and taxis are prohibited. As you need to be at the goal before the allotted time runs out, teams need to come together to make good judgements.

The appeal of rogaining on Oshima island
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Oshima is an island abundant in nature that just so happens to be a part of Tokyo. At the center of the island is a volcanic mountain called Mt. Mihara with a visible crater. The island is large enough that for their full marathon race, they use the coastline as the run course. For rogaines, only half the island is used. What’s nice about Oshima is its diverse landscape – you get to explore beautiful mountains and beaches as well as towns.

Just under two hours from the heart of Tokyo and yet it’s a world apart – the ocean is a transparent blue, while the mountains a lush, vibrant green. It’s a fascinating place where you can see and feel the vitality of Mother Nature.

Rogaine courses at Oshima island is split into two categories, the 6 hour and 3 hour courses. There are prizes for the top 3 teams of both categories with a chance to win free tickets from Tokai-kisen!
With eyes on the prize, it’s worth a try.

Great fun for children and beginners!
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Photo by Adventure Divas
What with the long hikes through towns and mountains using only a compass and map, rogaining may at first sound quite challenging to some, but it’s actually a very welcoming event, even if the fact is you haven’t picked up a compass since grade school. There are women-only teams and even teams that include children in strollers.

Coming together with your teammates to brainstorm tactics, searching for as many checkpoints as possible, and all the while surrounded by a wealth of nature. That’s what’s so amusing about rogaining. In the process of finding hidden bases and checkpoints, you naturally end up discovering the island’s appeal. What’s more, the locals like to take part as well, creating an atmosphere great for socializing.
It’s not just about winning. It’s a special kind of event where you are surrounded by nature that you will find hard to believe is a part of Tokyo, all the while experiencing the warmth of humanity.

Discounted fares. You can even hop on a ferry after work!
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If you plan on rogaining, the ideal length of stay would be 1 night and 3 days. How do you do that? Let’s take the upcoming rogaining event as an example. The event will take place on Saturday, October 22nd, so if you hop on an overnight large ferry leaving Takeshiba Terminal (Tokyo Hamatsucho area) the night before, you will arrive in Oshima first thing Saturday morning. From there you can go straight into a game of rogaine, stay the night, and return home the next day.

What’s nice is, even if you’re a busy person and work late nights on weekdays, you just need to catch the ferry on Friday night after work and you will still be able to make it to the event.

For those able to travel during the day on Friday there’s good news! For a limited time starting October 1st, there will be a special fare priced at JPY 6,000 for a two-way trip on the high speed jet ferry. That’s half the regular price!

(For more details see here→Tokai Kisen)(Japanese Only)
*This campaine has finished.(added on 7th of July, 2017)

While the deal may be restricted to specific departure times, as it’s valid any day of the week, we highly recommend anyone with a more flexible schedule to make use of it.

Applications for Oshima Rogaining Championship close Monday, October 15th.

Fall, that time of year when the body itches to move! Whether with friends, family or a significant other, how about a treasure hunting trip in the wild? Who knows, you might even get hooked on the sport.

Izu Oshima Geopark Rogaining Championship
Date: Saturday October 28, 2017
Official website here
Application Form is here.

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