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Shikinejima is a tranquil island, one of the smaller of the Izu islands. The emerald green ocean is popular among ocean lovers and divers. Apart from the beautiful ocean, there are also natural onsen (hotsprings) dotted among the rocks. The island can be enjoyed both in summer and winter. Let’s enjoy an authentic experience of Mother Nature!
Must-see spots on Shikinejima Island
Even though Shikinejima is a small island, there are many things to do so you won’t be bored! Here is a list of things to do.
There are roughly 4 beaches on Shikinejima island. All beaches come with a beautiful emerald green ocean and are good places for swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving.
Tomari beach is the most popular beach on Shikinejima. The reason why it is so popular is due to the clearness of the water and the shape of the beach. The beach looks like a big shell and since the beach is surrounded by rocks, it is hard for waves to penetrate. One of the perfect places for snorkeling and swimming. It’s also a safe place to play for children.
In summer, there is a beachside house. You can rent parasols or swim rings here. Also it does some catering so you can stay here the whole day long. Also you might be able to see dolphins from here. If you do you can consider yourself lucky!
|Warning: Do not go past the rocks further into the ocean.
Details: restrooms/ showers/ dressing room/ shops (summer only) / parking lot / lifeguard (summer only)
Oura Beach(Campsite and BBQ facilities have been closed. *The date might be extended.)
Oura beach is a good place for swimming and enjoying the sunset. Also it features a campsite and BBQ facilities. If you want to go camping, this is the best place for it. On the right side, facing the ocean, you will find a rock shaped like a horse. It’s a naturally formed rock.
|Details: restrooms/ water showers/ shop (summer only) / parking lot/ lifeguard (summer only)|
As you pass through the woods, you will find a white sandy beach with rocks. Nakanoura beach is a popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving. You will find coral close to the beach and also a lot of fish!
|Datails: restrooms/water showers/changing rooms/kiosk (summer only) / parking lot/lifeguards (summer only)|
Ishijirogawa Beach is pretty easy to access from the center of the island. There are some restaurants and accommodations around. It is a good place for snorkeling and scuba diving. The waves are relatively calm, so swimming is also possible.
|Details: restroom /water shower/shop (summer only) / parking lot/lifeguard (summer only)|
There are 4 hot springs and most of them are free to use. Also except for Ikoi no ie, you need to wear a swimsuit. If you feel uncomfortable being naked around other people you shouldn’t be here.
This onsen is available only twice a day, at the time between low and high tide. The path down to the beach from the parking lot involves a descent down a cliff, and feels like a bit of an adventure. Once at the beach, follow the rock walls to find multiple natural onsens. Be warned, the hot water close to the cliff is extremely hot. If you want to enjoy an onsen, it is better to try ones that are close to the ocean. The hot springs there will have an enjoyable temperature since they are mixed with water from the ocean.
|Time of business: Twice a day (Please check for the best time to go at the tourism association or at your accommodation)
The ochre-colored bath in front of the ocean is Matsugashita-miyabi-yu onsen. There are several baths and there is also a foot bath. You need to change into your swimwear here. There is a changing room at the right in front of the foot bath. This onsen is loved by islanders so It is easy to mingle with them. Since the hot spring is ochre-colored, if you sit at the bottom of the hot spring, the color of your swimsuit may get tainted a little.. Of course, you can wash it off, but if you don’t want your swimsuit to change its colored, please be careful.
*Please enter the bath after you take a shower in front of the onsen.
|Business Time: 24 hours
Details: public toilets/showers/swimwear wear/changing rooms/parking lots nearby
It is located between Matsugashita Miyabiyu and Ikoi no ie. The only colorless and transparent hot spring is Ashitsuki Onsen. Pass Matsugashita Miyabiyu and you will discover warm hot water surrounded by rocks. The onsen is called a medicinal hotspring. It is said to be effective against scratches and abrasions.
|Business Time: 24 hours
Details: toilet/changing room/water shower
Ikoi no ie hotspring
A cozy hot spring that can accommodate about 10 people. This is the only indoor hot spring on Shikinejima that has washing spaces and separate facilities for men and women. If you want to scrub your body at an onsen, this is the only place which allows for that.
|Business time: 10:00am – 8:00pm (last admission 7:30pm)
*Thursday only, 15:00 – 20:00 last admission 19:30
Regular holiday: Wednesday
Fee: Adults 200 yen, children 100 yen
Amenities: soap only / towels 100 yen
Other details: changing rooms / parking lot
Ria coastlines, emerald green ocean or the other Izu Islands… There is a lot to see if you go up the observatories on Shikinejima. Let’s see what are the charm points of each of them.
Kanbiki observatory is one of the most popular observatories on Shikinejima. It is located at the westernmost place on the island. Go up the stairs and look back. From there, you can see the ria coastlines, the Izu Peninsula, Mt. Fuji and other Izu islands when the weather is clear.
|Other details: toilet|
If you want to feel some fresh air and see the beautiful ocean after enjoying the local hot springs, this is the place. It is easy to access from each hot spring, which just takes a couple minutes from each hot spring.
Gunjiyama Observatory is the easiest place to visit from the center of the island. It is close to Ishijirogawa Beach and if you stay at the center of the island, you can go here by foot. You might miss the place since the sign is small.
There are 3 observatories around Mikawa bay. These lookout points are located in the middle of the hiking trail. You can go to Oura beach, Kanbiki observatory, Toujinzu castle and the three observatories on the trail. It takes five hours to go around. Please enjoy the trekking and the observatories.
Other tourist spots
Shikinejima has a lot more to offer! There are historical, cultural and photogenic sightseeing places.
This well was used before water supply was installed. It took three years to complete the well, starting in 1888. Maimaizu means: snail. It was named like that because the road down to the well resembles a snail. A settlement was built around this well.
Tomari Shrine, with its impressive white torii gate, is the largest shrine on the island. This shrine was built in 1687.
To get to Touyou temple,the only one temple on Shikinejima, will take about 10 minutes by bicycle from Kanbiki Observatory and about 8 minutes by bicycle from Nobushi Port. You will be surprised by how different the cemetery is from its mainland’s cousins. There are colorful flowers not only Asteraceae, so you might not notice they are graves when you see them for the first time.
Also, when you go there, you can find the leaf of the nagi that is famous for being good for marital bliss and to ward off bad luck. Take the leaf of the nagi that the priest has prayed for and bring it back from the box set up on the grounds of the temple to make a good luck charm.
There are some places you might want to take a photo off in front of the photogenic places.
The wall of Ikemura Shop
Ikemura shop is a small supermarket on Shikinejima. At the wall of the Ikemura shop, there is a picture of colorful wings. Let’s take a photo with the wings while you sit on the bench in front of it!
Paradise(A vacant house)
Here is a vacant house, it must have been a shop in the past. Of course, you can’t enter the house though, why don’t you take a photo in front of the house, which is marked by the word “Paradise”?
Must-do Activities on Shikinejima Island
This small island is a treasure trove of nature. This is the perfect place to enjoy activities and relax. Let’s have a look at what we can do on the island.
When you go to the island, you’ll want to play in the ocean. Shikinejima is a popular place for scuba diving! Not only you can find tropical fish, but there is also a rare spot where hot springs boil from the ocean floor. To find a diving shop, please go to the website of the Shikinejima tourist office. https://shikinejima.tokyo/play/diving/
You don’t have a license for scuba diving? No problem. You don’t need any licenses if you join scuba light. The program is open to ages 8 to 80. You can breathe underwater without carrying a tank on your back and dive to a depth of 6 meters.
Due to the influence of the Black Current, a wide variety of fish can be caught throughout the year. There is only one fishing tackle shop on the island. There are poles to rent, so you can go to the island without having to bring your own.
Not only the ocean, but also the land is attractive on Shikinejima. If you like hiking, there is a 5-hour hiking track.
There are details of hiking tracks on the website of the Shikinejima tourist office. Please change to your language with google translate.
If you don’t have an international drivers license or you simply want to enjoy cycling, these are the best places to go. There are a lot of e-bikes to rent on this island. We recommend renting an electronic one since there are a lot of slopes. In summer time, it is better to make a reservation before going. It easily gets booked up full.
Camping (All Campsite and BBQ facilities have been closed.)
There are two campsites, Oura Campsites and Kamanoshita site. If you want to know more about campsites on Shikinejima. Please read this article, there is information on how to make a reservation as well.
A nearby island, Kozushima is recognized as a Dark Sky Island by IDA though, you can see countless stars on Shikinejima as well. If you are lucky, you can see the stars and the Milky Way.
Recommended stargazing locations
Konokuchi park, about a 10-minute bicycle ride from Nobushi Port, has only few streetlights and a 180-degree view of the sky, so you can enjoy a sky full of stars. It is easy to access from the center of the island.
Tomari beach, about a 10-minute walk from Nobushi Port. The beach is surrounded by a bay, and it is difficult for streetlights to shine into it, so you can see the starry sky. You have to take the stairs to the beach, so watch your step!
What you need to be careful when you do stargazing. (The Reference is The website of Shikinejima Tourism Association)
There are few streetlights on Shikinejima Island at night, so please be sure to bring a flashlight to the observation points.
- Please be sure to bring a flashlight to the observation points.
- Please do not make any noise when you go out at night, as some residents are sleeping.
- Please make sure to tell the staff at the inn before you leave.
- The night breeze can be chilly even in summer, so we recommend that you bring long sleeves.
- Don’t forget to wear insect repellent in summer.
What is there to eat and drink?
If you come to Shikinejima, you should try the local taste! Not only fresh fish or shells, there are more specialties!
A tataki-maru is rice wrapped in fish paste and deep-fried. There are some kinds of tataki-maru such as ham and cheese or Kusaya which is a kind of dried fish in Shikinejima. You can get one at Miyatora store.
Family Store MIYATORA: How to go to MIYATORA
“na2iro” is popular for its Ashitaba chiffon made from Ashitaba, a specialty of the Izu Islands.
You can usually eat it at Island Cafe 963 (open seasonally), but if you want to take it home as a souvenir, make a reservation at least three days in advance. They don’t have a store, so they can either ship it to you or pick it up on the island.
Have you ever tried Shochu before? The shochu “Kanbiki” and “Shikine,” which can only be purchased on Shikinejima Island, are recommended as souvenirs. Shikine is a rare sweet potato shochu liquor that is made in batches of only a few hundred bottles a year.
Ashitaba is a kind of leaf from the family Sericea which grows on the Izu Islands. There are many ways to eat Ashitaba such as Ashitaba tempura or Ashitaba dressed sesame seeds sauce etc… Basically you can eat it at dinner or breakfast at Minshuku(Japanese style inn) on Shikinejima.
Where and what local food can you try?
Since there are not that many restaurants on Shikinejima and also most restaurants don’t provide local foods, it is better to have dinner or breakfast at the places where you stay. Most of the accommodations are minshuku, which is a japanese style inn, so they provide two meals per day. If you want to eat outside of your accommodation, there is an izakaya, Sengyo which will provide you with local foods.
Find Accommodation on Shikinejima Island
Let’s find an accommodation on Shikinejima. Here is the list of accommodations on the Island. Some owners of accommodations on the website are difficult to communicate in English, so it is better if you can speak in Japanese or use google translate.
There are basically 2 ways to go to Shikinejima from Takeshiba port in Tokyo by Jet ferry or large ferry. 1 way from Shimoda, Shizuoka prefecture by ferry. Another option is to go to Niijima by airplane and continue on to Shikinejima by Nishiki which is a connecting ferryboat between Niijima and Shikinejima.
Boarding Terminal Guide from here.
By Jet Ferry from Tokyo
It takes about 3 hours by jet ferry from Takeshiba port to Shikinejima Island. There is at least one service a day except for the winter time. Jet ferry is suitable for someone who wants to go faster, is easy to get sea sick or wants to leave Tokyo in the morning. The ship ticket will be around 8,500 yen to 11,000 yen for one way. The price will be adjusted seasonally.
Book tickets for jet boats here!
By Large Ferry from Tokyo
It takes about 10 hours from Takeshiba port to Shikinejima Island. There is at least one service a day except for dates of the maintenance. There are approximately 5 kinds of seats in a large ferry and the prices are different for each of the seats. If you want to leave Tokyo at late night, want to go at a lower price or are simply a ship lover, a large ferry is an option for you. The most affordable seat will be sleeping together with other passengers in a shared space, and it takes approximately from 5,300 yen to 7,000 yen for one way.
Book tickets for a large ferry here!
By Ferry from Shimoda, Shizuoka prefecture
Do you come to Shikinejima from western areas such as Osaka, Kyoto, and Fukuoka? If you consider to use Shinkansen to come to Tokyo, why don’t you take Tokaido Shinkansen which is HIKARI or KODAMA and take off at ATAMI station. You change to JR Ito line bound for Izukyuko line and head to Izukyu Shimoda station. It takes about 7 minutes by cab or 20 minutes on foot from Izukyu Shimoda Station to Shimoda port.
By Airplane and connecting ferryboat from Chofu, Tokyo
For those who don’t want to spend a lot of time traveling anyway, the best option is to fly. From Chofu Airport, which is about a 15-minute bus ride from Chofu Station, take a 35-minute flight to Niijima.
Once you arrive at Niijima, you can transfer to a connecting boat for a 15-minute ride to Shikinejima. Although there is some waiting time for the connecting boat at Niijima, the time spent on the vehicle is minimal. The one-way flight is 14,100 yen, and the liaison boat is 430 yen each way, so the total cost is 14,530 yen for one way.
*Chofu Airport is a bit far from the center of Tokyo. It takes almost 1 hour by train from Shinjuku station. Where is Chofu Airport?
Tips for traveling around Shikinejima Island
Now you know a lot of things about Shikinejima! However, before planning to go there, there are tips for traveling around Shikinejima Island that you must know.
It is better to order breakfast and dinner at your accommodation
Since there are not many restaurants or Izakayas, we recommend ordering breakfast and dinner at accommodations. Most accommodations provide you 2 meals a day, so please ask them when you book.
Bicycle is the best way to go around
You can rent a car here but the roads are narrow and there are many rental bicycles on this island! It is better to rent a bicycle to go around. In summer, it is easy to be fully booked so we recommend booking a bicycle before you go.
Bring some cash just in case
Electronic money or credit cards are becoming more popular on the island, but it is best to carry cash with you. Since there are no convenience stores on this island, you cannot withdraw cash easily, so be sure to secure cash before boarding the boat.
There are no services of jet ferry in Winter
Especially in January and February, there are no jet ferries. You need to take a large ferry from Takeshiba port in Tokyo, a ferry from Shimoda or a flight from Niijima and come to Shikinejima by a connecting boat. Please check the schedule before you plan to go to Shikinejima.
Book tickets for ferries here!
Easy to do island hopping to Niijima or Kozushima
If you come to Shikinejima, why don’t you go to other islands as well? There are connecting boats between Niijima and it takes only 15 minutes for one way. Basically there are 3 times in a day for around trips. You don’t need to make a reservation for this.
To go to Kozushima, catch the large ferry in the morning and it takes 50 minutes or catch a jet ferry and it takes about 30 minutes.
Of course, except for Niijima or Kozushima, you can go to Toshima or Oshima if you ride on a large ferry, a jet ferry or a helicopter though, Niijima and Kozushima are closer.
This small, beautiful island is easy to get from the center of Tokyo! Get away from the crowds of the city and enjoy the unspoiled nature while listening to the sound of waves and birds chirping!