The southern part of Oshima Island is an area in which you will find historic streets that give off an air of nostalgia. Starting with Habu Port (Habu Minato), which was built more than 200 years ago, there are multiple tourist and nature attractions to see in this classic part of town.
At Habu Port there’s a popular croquette shop, a store specializing in cormorant fishing as well as Minato Sushi where you’ll find local specialties such as island sushi and lobster miso soup. Then there’s Tokyo Voneten selling a variety of unique taiyaki cakes, making it a great neighborhood for eating and strolling.
Below are some recommended destinations for exploring the historic streets of Habu Port area.
30 minutes drive from Motomachi port or 20 minutes by foot from the ‘Seminar Iriguchi’ stop on the bus.
Drive a little further down from Habu Port on the Oshima circular road and you’ll see Fudeshima island sticking out of the ocean. It was named after the fact that it appears like the tip of a fude or paintbrush.
Oshima island is most known for its volcano, Mt. Mihara, but once upon a time there were a total of 3 volcanic mountains in Oshima, and Fudeshima volcano was one of them.
Fudeshima Volcano is thought to have been active several hundred thousands of years ago, and it is believed that the trail of hardened magma that ran from the volcano eroded over thousand of years due to waves hitting against its side, resulting in its current paintbrush shape.
Due to its ability to withstand stormy seas, It’s also known as the rock in which God dwells. Close to Fudeshima island is Fudeshima beach which was officially listed as one of Japan’s 100 best beaches.
Exposed Strata (a.k.a Baumkuchen)
15 minutes drive from Motomachi Port or 30 min from Okada Port. If you’re taking the local bus hop on one departing from Motomachi Port and get off at the ‘Chisou-setsudanmen’ stop. Unfortunately, there are no direct buses from Okada Port so you will have to change at Motomachi Port to get on the correct bus line.
Oshima island is home to some incredible nature, making it hard to believe sometimes that it’s considered a part of Tokyo Prefecture. Among those the ‘Chisou-setsudanmen’ or exposed strata is one with strange attraction. The strata came to form through repeated volcanic eruptions in the past, and is therefore made up of a mixture of volcanic ash, lapilli and pumice stone that piled on top of each other to form multiple layers of earth which is now exposed through the cross section on the side of the mountain. Due to its appearance, the locals lovingly call it ‘baumkuchen’, a German cake made of many layers.
As you drive down the road, the moment the scenery opens up a giant baumkuchen appears before your eyes. The cross section is 30 meters high and continues for 600 meters, allowing for a giant panoramic view of the many layers formed over the years.
You also get a fantastic view of the ocean not far from this wall – the view is so grand you’re sure to forget you’re in Japan.
Habu Port Lookout
Drive 25 minutes from Motomachi Port or 35 minutes from Okada Port. Alternatively it’s a 30 minute bus ride to the ‘Habu Minato Miharashidai’ stop.
The Habu Minato Miharashidai, or Habu Port Lookout is located along the Oshima circular road. The viewing platform allows viewers to look down on Habu Port from high above. The historic port was the setting for famed Japanese writer Yasunari Kawabata’s most iconic novel, Izu no odoriko or The Dancing Girl of Izu.
From the lookout you can see the perfectly concave port, the small fishing boats anchored within it, and the traditional Japanese homes lining the streets which all together create a picturesque scene of Japan’s bygone days. This is a popular spot for taking photos of such nostalgic landscapes.
Oshima island’s southern area where nature and history combine to create a unique atmosphere. A destination worth stopping by.