niijima
niijima

NIIJIMAPERFECT GUIDE

Surfer’s Paradise With Neverending Blue Marble Waters

The contrasting white sands and painterly light blue of the ocean leaves visitors to Niijima with the quiet impression. About 3 hours away on a high speed jet boat from the city. Here is a list of our most recommended destinations including attractions, restaurants, cafes, events and transportation for a 2 day trip to Niijima.
niijima
  • MUST-SEE
    MUST-SEE
  • MUST-DO
    MUST-DO
  • MUST-EAT
    MUST-EAT
  • ACCOMMODATION
    STAY
  • ACCESS
    ACCESS

Must-see spots on Niijima

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Located 160 kilometers from Tokyo, Niijima is a secluded island covering 23.87 square kilometers with a population of about 2,500 people. The island is primarily composed of rhyolite and is famous for its pristine white sandy beaches and rugged, rocky shores. It is uniquely known for the black biotite rhyolite, called Koga Stone, which is believed to be found only on Niijima now.

The island’s charm is enhanced by the blue marbled ocean, cliffs that offer a striking contrast, numerous artworks throughout the town made from Koga Stone, and the ancient shrines and temples that dot the landscape. With its rich natural and cultural offerings, Niijima is packed with attractions waiting to be explored.

  • Habushiura Beach

  • Fujimitoge Observatory

  • Ishiyama Observatory

  • Boro Sanbashi (Pier)

  • Secret(Shiro Mama Cliff)

  • Jusansha Shrine

  • Stone zoo

  • Glass Art Center

  • Niijima-mura Museum

  • Shinsui park

Habushiura Beach

Habushiura Beach

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Habushiura Beach

Habushiura beach is a well known surf spot. Its water’s beauty far exceeds that of other places. It’s beyond mere description how clear and transparent the water is. The water at Habushiura beach is of a color you won’t find anywhere else. A pastel light blue, as blue as though it were painted by an artist.

The cherry on the cake at Habushiura beach is this white building. Its presence is so grand it’s almost asking to have its photo taken. The tourists heed to this by snapping away tons of photos.

*The waves are strong here so please keep away from the water’s edge.

Habushiura beach
3 Honmura, Niijima-mura, Tokyo

Fujimitoge Observatory

Fujimitoge Observatory

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Fujimitoge Observatory

Fujimitoge Observatory offers an all inclusive viewing spot of the ocean, mountain and city. You can go from the base of the mountain to the top in 10 minutes by car. There is also a hiking course which will take around 2 hours on foot. (Bycicles are not allowed). An observatory recommended for anyone who wants an all encompassing view of Niijima.

Fujimitoge Observatory
Official website here

Ishiyama Observatory

Ishiyama Observatory

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Ishiyama Observatory

It takes about 20 minutes by car from Niijima port. You will arrive at Ishiyama Observatory which is a mining ground for Koga stone. There is a large Koga stone object, Moyai. You can look over Shikinejima, Kozushima and other small islands. You will be surprised by how blue the ocean is. As might be expected from a Koga stone mining ground, the place is scattered with stone. Everywhere you look there’s stone.

Boro Sanbashi (Pier)

Boro Sanbashi (Pier)

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Boro Sanbashi (Pier)

Boro Sanbashi is the islanders’ favorite scenic spot. The pier is ideally suited for taking pictures of its photogenic surroundings.

It takes just 2 minutes by car or around 20 minutes on foot from Niijima port.

Secret(Shiro Mama Cliff)

Secret(Shiro Mama Cliff)

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Secret(Shiro Mama Cliff)

As the name suggests, this is a secret place on Niijima. This is one of the best surfing spots in Japan and also, beautiful white cliffs stretch along the coast. This scenic spot is very attractive, however the cliffs are prone to collapse. PLEASE DO NOT GET CLOSE TO THE CLIFFS. Please make sure that you view the cliffs from the coast line from a safe distance.

Jusansha Shrine

Jusansha Shrine

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Jusansha Shrine

As there are 13 deities, it goes by the name of Jusan(13) sha Shrine. The combination of a Japanese shrine and  tropical trees are unique. The mountain that rises behind the shrine is also a sight to behold.

Jusansha Shrine

Stone zoo

Stone zoo

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Stone zoo

If you come to Niijima with kids, this is the place to visit! There are animals made of stones. The stone zoo is located next to the Habushiura campsite. Enjoy finding your favorite animal!

Glass Art Center

Glass Art Center

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Glass Art Center

The Niijima Glass Art Center is in a stylish building standing in an open space facing the ocean.

Here, Koga stones are used as raw material to make pieces of glass art. There’s a line of glass art in unique shapes and colors that can be bought to take home as a souvenir. They also offer classes for making glass goods from Koga stone.

Glass Art Center
URL: http://www.niijima.com/facility/community/glassartcenter.html
(only Japanese)
Hours:10:00 to 16:30
Toll:Free
Holiday:Every Tuesday, year-end and New Year holidays

Niijima-mura Museum

Niijima-mura Museum

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Niijima-mura Museum

Niijima-mura Museum is a place to learn about the history of how Niijima came to be, such as how in the Edo era, criminals who were exiled ended up on the island, or how one of those criminals is rumored to have been Tonomo Souma, last leader of the infamous Shinsengumi. There’s a lot of trivia, and while I originally thought I’d be done in about 10 minutes, I ended up staying for close to an hour.
The staff are very knowledgeable too, and will happily answer any questions that you may have. I left feeling smarter, and enriched with new knowledge.

Niijima-mura Museum
2-36-3 Honmura, Niijima-mura, Tokyo
Hours: 9AM – 5PM
Official website here (Only Japanese)

Shinsui park

Shinsui park

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Shinsui park

The stone and water-themed water park is like being in Rome. There is a restaurant, Rest House, within the park as well.

Must-do activities on Niijima

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A visit to Niijima Island wouldn’t be complete without engaging in ocean activities. The inviting blue marbled ocean is perfect for a swim. But there’s more to Niijima than just its beaches. The island features three easy hiking trails, which take about 1.5 to 3 hours to traverse, offering scenic walks through nature. As a volcanic island, it also boasts unique features like hot springs. Niijima’s hot springs allow for swimsuit use and are open 24 hours a day, providing spectacular views of the horizon, sunset, and stars at any time. The island also offers enjoyable activities even on rainy days, making it a great destination in any weather.

  • Swimming

  • surfing

  • Onsen (hotspring)

  • Koga Stone Carving Workshop

Swimming

Swimming

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Swimming

Maehama Beach

This beach is one of the most popular beaches on Niijima. During summer time shade from the sun will be provided for on the beach. So you don’t need to bring your own parasol.

If you wish to visit with kids or if you are not very proficient at swimming, this is the best place to relax at the beach as it is shielded from high waves.

Kurone beach

Located adjacent to Niijima port, Kurone Beach is ideal for families with its gentle waves. It is conveniently near the waiting area for ship passengers, complete with restrooms and shower facilities readily accessible from the beach. During the summer months, visitors can enjoy refreshments from a snack bar right on the beach.

surfing

surfing

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surfing

In Niijima, there are a lot of surfers raised, also many champions have visited. Here is the very famous place for surfing. The strong waves, emerald blue sea, bright blue sky and clear air….Many surfers are just fall’in love. Surprisingly, the key pioneers of this restoration drama were surfers who came from abroad. These surfers who traveled all over the world were struck by Niijima’s rich nature, beautiful sea, and world class waves, and began to share their find with the world. If you are surfer, here is the mast visit place for you.

Onsen (hotspring)

Onsen (hotspring)

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Onsen (hotspring)

Yunohama Roten Onsen

Yunohama Roten Onsen is conveniently located just 10 minutes from Niijima port. What’s more, this rotenburo, or outdoor hot spring, is free for all to use. The view from the highest rotenburo, which has an Ancient Greek inspired design, is quite something. You can see so far that the curve of the horizon is visible. A view like this for free? How generous of you Niijima! What’s more, it’s open 24 hours a day, so you can even go whenever and however many times as you please.
As it’s cleaned frequently, it’s kept in good condition despite being free. As it’s a mixed gender bath, visitors are required to wear a swimsuit so it’s a great destination for both families and friends. It’s great fun for larger groups as well.

Yunohama Roten Onsen
Setoyama, Honmura, Niijima-mura, Tokyo
Official website here

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Mamashita Onsen

Mamashita Onsen is located 15 minutes on foot from Niijima port. There are not only hotspring or outdoor hot spring, but also a sauna and a sand bath! The cost is 300yen for hotsprings and a sauna, also 700yen for a sand bath. You don’t need to wear a swimsuits here for hot springs because here is separated by genders. Here is also good place to chat with islanders.

Mamashita Onsen
Setoyama, Niijima-mura, Tokyo
Fee: Hotsprings- 300yen
Sand bath- 700yen

Koga Stone Carving Workshop

Koga Stone Carving Workshop

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Koga Stone Carving Workshop

Carve anything you desire from the world’s rarest and most precious stone! Koga stone is an extremely rare material, primarily found near Niijima. A similar stone may be mined on Italy’s Lipari Island, but this is uncertain. Koga stone is easy to work with and exceptionally light, making it ideal for creating memorable travel keepsakes. Carve your favorite character or design and take it home as a decoration.

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Stone Carving Workshop, ISHINOKO

  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Items to Bring: Towel, drink, clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Age Requirement: 11 years and older
  • Dates: Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays
  • Languages: English and Japanese
  • Instructor(Sculptor): Kouu Kirishima
  • Booking: Advance reservation required
  • DM to ISHINOKO(Instagram account)

Must-eat on Niijima

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If you come to Niijima, we are sure you want to enjoy foods as well. Here is the list of dishes you must try on Niijima Island.

  • Shima zushi(Sushi)

  • Kusaya

  • Niijima vegetable

  • Shochu

  • Angelica leaves (Ashitaba leaves)

  • Niijima Salt (Shiosai no shio)

Shima zushi(Sushi)

Shima zushi(Sushi)

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Shima zushi(Sushi)

Shima zushi is a kind of sushi with raw fish marinated in a special sauce, including soy sauce, sake and some other ingredients. And in the end, putting some mustard on the rice to make it a little spicy. This is a famous local Sushi in the Izu Islands.

Kusaya

Kusaya

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Kusaya

Kusaya is a japanese style salted, dried and fermented fish. It is believed that Kusaya originated in Niijima. Although the smell of kusaya is strong, the taste is nice. It is good finger food to go alongside some nice alcoholic beverages.

Niijima vegetable

Niijima vegetable

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Niijima vegetable

Islanders grow a variety of vegetables on Niijima. Ashitaba, American potatoes, Japanese islands’ shallot and onions, etc. The climate, with its brilliant sunshine and heavy rainfall, produces delicious vegetables.

Photo by Naginoki Farm: https://shibasayaka.wixsite.com/-site

Shochu

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The Izu Islands are known for their shochu (Japanese liquor). On Niijima, the only distillery on the island is hard at work making shochu. Shimajiman(嶋自慢) is a famous brand from Niijima.

Angelica leaves (Ashitaba leaves)

Angelica leaves (Ashitaba leaves)

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Angelica leaves (Ashitaba leaves)

Ashitaba, known as “tomorrow’s leaf” due to its remarkable regenerative properties, is a staple food across the Izu Islands, including Niijima. You’ll find dishes incorporating Ashitaba leaves in every local izakaya. Whether served with sesame paste, as tempura, or stir-fried, make sure to savor this quintessential island flavor.

Niijima Salt (Shiosai no shio)

Niijima Salt (Shiosai no shio)

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Niijima Salt (Shiosai no shio)

Niijima salt is carefully produced in a kiln built from Koga stone, located in a forest relatively untouched by human activity and filled with fresh air. Derived from the pristine milky blue ocean waters of Niijima, this salt offers a sharp and clean flavor. It’s perfect for everyday cooking. We encourage you to try it alongside other Niijima ingredients or to enhance your own dishes.

Accommodation on Niijima

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Now let’s find an accommodation on Niijima. Go to the website of Niijima Tourist Association. You will find some places to choose from on the website. However, for some accommodations it will be difficult to place a booking in English so it is better to have a Japanese speaking person take care of the reservation or try your luck with Google translate.

Access to Niijima

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The main transportation to Niijima is three ways to get to Niijima: by large ferry, jet ferry or plane.

  • By large ferry from Tokyo

  • By jet ferry from Tokyo

  • By plane

  • Liaison boat, NISHIKI, between Niijima and Shikinejima

  • By Ferry from Shimoda, Shizuoka prefecture

By large ferry from Tokyo

By large ferry from Tokyo

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By large ferry from Tokyo

The great thing about going by sea is how affordable it can be. If you choose to take the large ferry operated by Tokaikisen, a two way ticket leaving Takeshiba sanbashi port in Tokyo will take 10 hours and 35 minutes, and it takes around 17,000 JPY for round trip. The large ferry will save you a lot of money but takes a long time to get you there. That said, many of the large ferries leave late at night, so you can sleep through most of the ride.

Large Ferry reservation:Tokaikisen

By jet ferry from Tokyo

By jet ferry from Tokyo

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By jet ferry from Tokyo

The high speed jet ferry, which would get you there in as fast as 2 hours and 20 minutes is roughly 25,000 JPY for round trip. In the summer, high speed jet ferries are available almost daily, but beware that in winter, the majority of boats departing for the islands are the large ferries.

Jet Ferry reservation:Tokaikisen

By plane

By plane

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By plane

The other option is to fly. You will land at the New Central Air Service on a small plane, and the flight is just 35 minutes from Chofu airport in Tokyo! It’s the best option for anyone looking to minimize travel time. The disadvantage of flying is the cost of tickets which comes at a higher price than the boats at roughly 25,000 JPY.
Plan your transportation accordingly to your schedule, budget and preference.

Plane reservation:New Central Air Service

Liaison boat, NISHIKI, between Niijima and Shikinejima

Liaison boat, NISHIKI, between Niijima and Shikinejima

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Liaison boat, NISHIKI, between Niijima and Shikinejima

Three round trips a day are made by small boats between Niijima and Shikinejima. If you want to do some island hopping, Nishiki is a convenient way to do so. No reservations are required and tickets are purchased on the day.

Tickets shop in Niijima

Tickets shop in Shikinejima

By Ferry from Shimoda, Shizuoka prefecture

By Ferry from Shimoda, Shizuoka prefecture

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By Ferry from Shimoda, Shizuoka prefecture

Do you come to Niijima 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.

Book tickets for a Ferry from Shimoda port 03-5472-9999 or 0558-22-2626 (Not online in English)

Traveling Tips of Niijima

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  • Transportation on Niijima

  • Best Season To Visit

  • That Moyai Statue In Shibuya? It Comes From Niijima

  • Dietary Considerations for Vegetarians, Vegans, and Those with Religious Affiliations

Transportation on Niijima

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Since Niijima is not a big island, you can go around by bicycle. However, if you want to go to Wakago, which is the north side of Niijima, you need a car and go through the tunnel. Bicycles are prohibited from entering the tunnel. Here are some pros and cons of transportation on Nijima.

By car

If you want to go around Niijima, you need a car. It costs about 12,000 yen per day to rent. On the last day, you need to fill up the tank. Please make sure you have an international driver’s license if you want to rent a car in Japan.

https://english.jaf.or.jp/driving-in-japan/drive-in-japan

A car rental store is available, staffed with assistants who can communicate in English.

KOKUBO MOTORS.inc

https://kokubomotors-niijima.studio.site
CONTACT

By bicycle

If you don’t need to go to the Wakago area and want to cut costs, it’s better to choose bicycles. There are only 5 bicycles at Niijima port so it might be hard to rent from the Niijima port. When you arrive at Niijima(Niijima port or Wakago port), it is better to ask your accommodation to pick you up. If you do camp, you need to ride on a bus. You can rent a bicycle in town(Honson).

By bus

There are local buses but only 3 round-ways a day. The rides are free of charge. If you have plenty of time and want to conserve your budget, or if you want to go to Wakago area, it is good to use the bus. However, you should be mindful about the schedule.

The schedule of the bus is here
The route of the bus is here(Only In Japanese)

Once again, if you want to go to Wakago area by bus, please check the schedule of the bus. If you miss the bus, you need to catch a taxi, which is hard to find since there are not many taxis on Niijima.

Best Season To Visit

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A common misconception is that the best time to go to an island is in the summer. Sure, it’s very nice in the summer, and there’s always the advantage of being able to swim in the ocean.
As a result, the izu islands are packed during the summer season. Many in the know of how busy it gets book hotels 2 to 3 months ahead. There aren’t that many restaurants and eateries, so you end up having to fight for seats. It’s best to call ahead and book a table.
There’s a free camping site on the island, so if you own a tent, it’s a great place to camp in the summer too! (You need to check that it is available in that year before going) But other than that, just about everything else needs advanced preparation.

Here is a recommendation for visiting outside of the summer season. It’s a lot quieter during the other periods of the year and it doesn’t get too cold in spring or fall. The beaches are closed but the water is still very clear. If anything, the water is more beautiful in fall and winter. The sky is clear and the night sky is dazzling. As there are no street lights near Habushiura beach, it’s possible to catch sight of many, many stars. Plus, it’s much easier to book hotels outside of the peak season. True island aficionados visit outside of the summer season.

That Moyai Statue In Shibuya? It Comes From Niijima

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You may know of the famous moyai statue outside of Tokyo’s Shibuya station. The statue, which over time has come to be a popular meeting spot, actually originates from Niijima island. Don’t believe us? Come see for yourself. You’ll see why when you’re here. The whole island is full of moyai statues! There are so many that it’s fun to look out for one with a face that you like. The sheer number of statues makes for an enjoyable art piece.

Dietary Considerations for Vegetarians, Vegans, and Those with Religious Affiliations

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If you follow a vegetarian, vegan, or specific religious dietary practice, please note the following:

On Niijima, there are no restaurants offering vegan/vegetarian or religiously specialized dishes. Limited options are available in terms of shops that can provide such ingredients. Even at guesthouses where meals are provided, accommodations cannot be made for these dietary preferences.

If you have specific dietary requirements, we recommend bringing your own food to ensure your needs are met. Alternatively, if you’re open to experiencing the local cuisine, please keep in mind that options for vegetarian, vegan, or religiously affiliated diets are not available.

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