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Sightseeing on Hachijojima Island

January: Hachijojima Island Industry Festival

All industries in Hachijojima Island participate in this festival, which is held annually in early spring. The Agriculture and Forestry Department organizes a competitive exhibition of cut leaves, flowers, plants, and vegetables; an orchid flower arrangement workshop; exhibitions and sales of potted flowers, vegetables, and ornamental plants; a Hachijo lemon fruit market, and other shops. The Commerce and Industry Department organizes a competitive exhibition of commercial and industrial products produced in Hachijojima Island; exhibitions and sales of special products and local goods; events where guests can taste local cuisine such as shimazushi (island sushi), kusaya (fish dipped in salt water and dried in the sun), ashitaba donuts, and sake brewed in Hachijojima Island. The Fisheries Department organizes stalls where you can taste island cuisine that features fish and buy processed foods. Many visitors attend this annual event.

Industry Festival

July: Hachijojima Island Cultural Festival of the Performing Arts

This is an annual cultural festival of the performing arts held in Ojare, the multipurpose hall in the town of Hachijo. Many performances and dances have been passed down in Hachijojima Island. The dances and sounds have shaped and taken root in the islanders’ lives. The festival is an opportunity to blend the old culture that has been passed down with recent culture to create new culture. Because few young people are familiar with the older culture, one of the major objectives of the festival is to pass on the culture of Hachijojima Island to younger generations.

Cultural Festival

Hachijo Fuji: A Beautiful Cone-Shaped Peak

With an altitude of 854 meters (2801.8 feet), the beautifully-shaped Hachijo Fuji is the highest peak in the Izu Islands. It is also known as Mt. Nishi, or the west mountain. This mountain has an easy climbing route with steps to the top and takes anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes to walk. At the top of the mountain, you can walk around the edge of the crater on a course called called Ohachi Meguri, which means "tour around the bowl." More than anything, this mountaintop is a great viewpoint from which you can look down on the coastline of the island and the deep blue sea. You can drive halfway up the mountain on Hachimaki Road, and you can climb Hachijo Fuji with no special climbing skills or equipment. However, please wear comfortable and slip-resistant walking shoes.

Hachijo Fuji

Mt. Mihara - Elegant Nature and Multiple Waterfalls Including Karataki, Iotaki, and Otaki

With an altitude of 700 meters (2,297 feet), Mt. Mihara is the place to see Hajijojima’s panoramic views. It is also known as Mt. Higashi, or the east mountain. This mountain was created more than 100,000 years ago, and is home to many rivers and waterfalls, as well as dense vegetation. Karataki, or Kara Falls, boasts a height of 36 meters (118 feet). The water falls onto forward-leaning rocks and splashes out into the wind. These falls make a very good spot to listen to birdsong. There are two hiking trails: The Iwonuma and Karataki Trail, and the Mt. Mihara Summit Trail. You can also drive to the summit of Mt. Mihara on the paved Mihara Forest Road. However, because there is no parking for vehicles at the summit, we recommend taking a taxi.


The View from Noboryo Pass - One of the Best Scenic Landscapes on Hachijojima Island

Noboryo Pass is the steepest and most winding of the several metropolitan routes that go around Hachijojima Island. It has been selected as one of the One Hundred Views of New Tokyo. Its name, which means “Rising Dragon Pass” in Japanese, comes from the fact that the pass looks like a dragon winding up the slopes when viewed from the top of the mountain. The observation deck near the summit provides the most fantastic views of Hachijo Fuji, Mt. Kamidome, the island of Hachijo-kojima, Sokodo Port, Kozu Port, and Mitsune City. This road is ideal for driving and cycling.
Access: 15 minutes by car from Hachijojima Airport or Sokodo Port

The View from Noboryo Pass

Hachijojima History and Folklore Museum

At the Hachijojima History and Folklore Museum, you can see exhibits of traditional and archaeological artifacts, as well as exhibits detailing aspects of the island’s history, such as its former use as a penal colony. The museum is home to natural and cultural treasures, as well as traditional tools and other items that were actually used by the local people. Visitors can also learn about the detailed history of people who were exiled to the island, including former daimyo Hideie Ukita. The historic museum building formerly served as the Hachijo government branch office, and has since been renovated and designated a National Registered Tangible Cultural Property. The museum’s outdoor gardens are also well tended, allowing visitors to experience the idyllic nature that has existed on Hachijojima Island since the distant past.
Access: Eight minutes by car from Hachijojima Airport or 13 minutes by car from Sokodo Port

Hachijojima History and Folklore Museum

Hachijojima Island’s Fishing Industry

Fishing is a major industry in Hachijojima Island. Locally caught fish including flying fish, bonito, yellowfin tuna, and bottle butterfly tuna, and seaweed is also harvested locally. Round scad and flying fish make good ingredients for the local specialty kusaya. Due to recent increases in restrictions on tuna fishing around the world, the price of tuna has been rising even here in Japan, where large amounts of tuna are imported from other countries. Because large amounts of yellowfin and bottle butterfly tuna are caught in the seas around Hachijojima Island, it is expected that shipments of tuna from the island will increase to meet increasing demand.

Fishing Industry

Cultivation of Flowers and Ornamental Plants

Hachijojima Island’s agricultural area stretches from the flat land in the center of the island to the southern part of the island, and most of this land is used for crop farming. The mountainsides of of Hachijo-Fuji are used for livestock farming, and aloe, which is resistant to cold, is cultivated as a raw material for food and cosmetics in the sand and gravel soils of the western slopes. Ornamental plants, such as Phoenix roebelenii, and flowers such as freesia are shipped to markets in Tokyo and abroad. Hachijojima Island’s agricultural production is among the greatest of the municipalities of the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Ornamental Plants

Hachijojima Island Kusaya: A Thick and Tender Local Delicacy

Kusaya, a type of dried and salted fish, is a local specialty with a tradition of over 300 years. Kusaya was first made during the Edo period (1603-1868). At the time, fish was often covered with salt and then dried in the sun to preserve it. However, because salt was very valuable, the people of Hachijojima Island reused the same salt water many times in order to conserve salt. Each time the salt water was used, the flavor of the fish would be added to the salt water, enhancing the taste. This highly flavorful salt water marinade came to be known as kusaya-jiru. The kusaya of Hachijojima Island is made with blue round scad and flying fish, which are thick and tender. It is well-known and praised for its mild flavor.


Cooking with Ashitaba, a Healthy Vegetable

Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) is a perennial herb in the family of Apiaceae. This leafy plant, also known as Hachijo-so, has a distinct, bitter taste. The name ashitaba, which means “tomorrow’s leaf,” comes from its strong regenerative capabilities. Ashitaba is said to have such a strong life force that even if you pick its leaves, it will produce new shoots tomorrow. It is rich in nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. It is commonly used in home cooking, and is especially delicious as tempura, or boiled and served with kusaya and mayonnaise. Ashitaba is a special food product of Hachijojima Island.


Surfing and Diving

The Tacos Cup, a summer surfing competition, is held every year on Shioma Beach. Hajijojima’s naturally formed surf break results in a great wave with a long ride, and the beautiful view from atop the waves is a draw for surfers. In addition, the entire area around Hachijojima Island can be used as a diving point. The ocean around Hachijojima Island, where the Kuroshio Current flows, is a crystal marine blue that is also called “Hachijo Blue.” The unique topography of undersea arches created by lava also contribute to the fantastic world waiting for you beneath the waves.


Mountain Climbing, Hot Springs, and Kihachijo Weaving

In Hachijojima Island, you can try many inland recreational activities including mountain climbing, hot springs, and weaving. There are seven hot springs on the island. In particular, Miharashi-no-Yu is particularly recommended for its outdoor baths offering a wide view of the Pacific Ocean in the daytime, where you may even see whales if you are lucky. Nighttime bathing, under a sky full of stars, is also popular. Kihachijo is a type of fabric created by dyeing threads with dye made from natural vegetation, and then weaving them by hand into cloth. The making of kihajchijo has been passed down on the island for generations, and is kihachijo is considered one of Japan's three major varieties of pongee. On Hachijojima Island, you can enjoy learning to weave kihachiijo or try wearing traditional clothes made from this fabric.



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