Hachijojima - Forget the Stress of the City on One of Tokyo’s Outer Island Paradises
To most people, “Tokyo” is synonymous with “metropolis,” with the city boasting incredible urban scenery and vibrant entertainment that attract people from around the world who want to bask in its effervescent energy. However, just a stone’s throw away from mainland Tokyo are several outer islands that technically belong to Tokyo, yet offer completely different, relaxed atmospheres in contrast to their built-up counterpart. One particularly enchanting Tokyo outer island is Hachijojima thanks to its enthralling nature, food, and cultural activities. We traveled to this tiny island paradise to escape the busy city life and refresh our minds and bodies. Read on to learn more about what you can do on Hachijojima!
Feb 09 2023
*This article was written in collaboration with the Tama Area and Islands Promotion Project by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Hachijojima - Tokyo’s Tropical Island Paradise
287 kilometers to the south of mainland Tokyo floats Hachijojima, a tiny island with an area of only 69.11km² that holds a population of around 7,000 people (as of December 2022). As one of the Izu Islands, Tokyo’s chain of outer islands, Hachijojima is home to abundant nature, unique traditions, and warm hospitality.
The island is easily accessible from Tokyo, as it only takes one hour to reach the island via one of the three Hachijojima-bound flights that depart from Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport) per day. The locals extoll the wonders of the slow island life among the rustic landscape, and it is the prime location for an easy yet relaxing getaway.
Hachijojima has a pleasant climate with little temperature variation throughout the year, with cooler summers and warmer winters than mainland Japan.
It is important to note that Hachijojima has quite a bit of rainfall, and the weather can change in what seems like an instant, so do not forget to prepare rain gear.
Reconnect With Mother Earth Amongst Hachijojima’s Abundant Nature
Though small, Hachijojima boasts largely untouched nature, with the buildings dotting the island being accentuated by the lush green of the mountains and sparkling azure of the ocean in the backdrop. We visited the following places to witness some of the most beautiful natural sights the island has to offer.
Uramigataki Waterfall - Immerse Yourself in the Hypnotizing Serenity of Nature
A short, 10-minute walk along a hilly path from the trailhead brought us to Uramigataki Waterfall, hidden among green trees and mossy rocks. The area is perfect for the beloved Japanese custom of “shinrinyoku” (forest bathing), during which people slow down and bask in the serene atmosphere of nature. We felt as though we were reconnecting with Mother Earth as we listened to the gentle rushing of the water and the swaying of the trees amongst what was otherwise silence.
“Uramigataki” literally means “waterfall viewed from behind,” and true to its name, the path leads behind the falls to offer a unique view of the verdant forest beyond the gentle waterfall. I was able to completely forget the busyness of my everyday life for a moment while standing under the wet rocks and taking in the natural sights and sounds. The waterfall is sandwiched by rocks that block the winds that blow through the island, further emphasizing the stillness of the gorge. The air smells cleaner and feels crisper, helping me delve into a meditative moment amongst what felt like another world.
Ubai Homei Shrine - Relish a Peaceful Moment While Basking in a Mystical Atmosphere
The grounds of Ubai Homei Shrine, which enshrines the tutelary deity of Hachijojima and the island of Aogashima to the south, are enshrouded in a mystical aura that was emphasized by the misty rain that was falling when we visited. Although we were there mid-day, it was quiet, with the shrine buildings standing solemnly amongst the surrounding nature. We could almost hear the raindrops hitting the leaves, and although we were not far from the road, it felt as though we had completely removed ourselves from modern civilization.
When the shrine was established is unclear, but it is said that the Hachijojima locals are descended from a god who was born from Kotoshironushi-no-Mikoto and one of his wives who crossed to Hachijojima. Though we didn't know when the shrine was built, we could tell by the moss on the magnificent stone torii gate that it had been standing there for a while. Time seemed to stand still here, and we found ourselves unmoving, just enjoying the ineffable atmosphere.
We listened to the soothing crunch of the gravel under our feet while we explored, taking in the serenity while leisurely observing every detail of the shrine hall, the torii gate, the round-stone walls, and the surrounding greenery. The sacred tree on the grounds is said to be 700 to 1,000 years old and appears like a mystical beast raising several appendages to the sky simultaneously, further adding to the fantastic ambiance of the shrine.
Nanbara Coast of Permian Rocks - Watch the Sun Set Beyond the Lapping Waves
We could not visit a southern Tokyo island without witnessing a fiery sunset, so we headed to the jagged Nanbara Coast of Permian Rocks to watch the sun set the sky ablaze as it sunk over the horizon. The rocky coast offers front-row seats to this natural marvel, creating a stunning panorama for the perfect snapshot.
I felt as though I was igniting my adventurous spirit as I fought the wind to make my way across the black volcanic rocks towards the edge of the water. The sun's rays poured through the clouds on the way down, creating golden beams that made the surface of the water sparkle and illuminated the sprays made by the waves as they crashed upon the rocks. The sun turned red as it neared the horizon, painting the sky vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and pink.
We were absolutely mesmerized from when the sun cast its golden rays above the ocean until it almost completely disappeared and the sky shone with a deep navy color, but not hypnotized enough that we did not have the time to capture incredible pictures that looked like images from a storybook.
Even when the sun is high in the sky, the Nanbara Coast of Permian Rocks offers stunning scenery, with the black, jagged rocks offset by the blue sky and ocean casting white sprays of seawater.
Hachijo Kojima Observatory - Gaze at the Star-Filled Sky
With little light pollution, Hachijojima is the perfect place to enjoy a night sky filled with more stars than you can see around the city of Tokyo. There are numerous spots across the island to take in the twinkling of the stars, but we chose to visit the Hachijo Kojima Observatory located partway up the western side of Hachijo Fuji.
During the day, the elevated platform offers sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and the nearby island Hachijo Kojima, but during a clear night, it is surrounded by a star-filled sky that seems to illuminate the surroundings. There is nothing like staring up at the starry sky to feel the expanse of the universe, and I found myself contemplating life’s bigger questions while losing myself in the royal blue sky.
Foot Bath Kirameki - Soak Your Feet While Watching the Rolling Waves
Near Aigae Port is Foot Bath Kirameki which is, true to the name, a foot bath where visitors can soak their feet in hot spring water while gazing out upon the Hachijojima coast. After doing plenty of moving and walking around the island, my feet were ready for some pampering. I eagerly dipped them into the clear, steaming waters and let the fatigue wash away as I felt my muscles relax. I could have sat there for hours, watching and listening to the waves gently rolling out in the sea.
The foot bath is outdoors and free to use, so anyone is welcome to pop by and use it at any time during its opening hours. The water temperature is around 44.8°C (112.64°F), so it can take a second to get used to, but once your feet adjust, it is truly a relaxing experience that makes for a great break while touring around the island.
Enjoy Local Flavors While Feasting on Hachijojima’s Unique Island Cuisine
Hachijojima’s unique climate, topography, and culture have brought forth a creative food culture that utilizes the natural bounties of Hachijojima to nourish the body and soul. We enjoyed a wide variety of cuisines on the island, and tried flavors we had never tasted or even thought of before.
Ryozanpaku - Savor Local and Traditional Hachijojima Flavors
For dinner, we headed to Ryozanpaku, which is one of the most popular “izakaya” pubs on the island. It was opened in 1979 and is now run by the second-generation owner who was more than happy to explain the restaurant's beloved dishes to us. The extensive menu (with names of the dishes also written in English) includes numerous local Hachijojima specialties that are made with locally-produced ingredients, and we were raring to try flavors one would be pressed to find elsewhere.
One local specialty we were especially excited to try was “shimazushi,” a local Hachijojima variation of sushi that features marinated raw fish atop a bed of rice with a smear of Japanese “karashi” mustard for extra flavor. We were instructed to eat the shimazushi as-is, and sure enough, it did not need any extra seasoning, as the sweet marinade of the fish was cut by the faint spiciness of the karashi.
Ryozanpaku prepares its fish dishes depending on how bountiful the fish catches are in Hachijojima, and we were lucky enough to enjoy a wonderful selection of various types of Japanese sea bream, all of which offered slightly different flavor profiles that we thoroughly enjoyed comparing as both shimazushi and sashimi. Ryozanpaku also has several dishes that feature ashitaba, a perennial plant that grows in abundance in Hachijojima and plays a huge part in the island’s local cuisine, appearing in many different forms. Here, we tried crunchy ashitaba tempura which had a slightly bitter, vegetal flavor with a light, savory batter, and ashitaba beer, which had the taste and carbonation of a regular beer, but also included a pleasant grassy taste emphasized by the green, slightly pulpy texture.
As Ryozanpaku is incredibly popular amongst both locals and tourists, you should certainly make a reservation if you wish to visit. Reservations can only be made by phone. English-speaking staff are not always available, so if you don't speak Japanese, we recommend making a booking another way, such as through your hotel.
Aigae Suisan - Embark on a Culinary Challenge Featuring Hachijojima’s Marine Bounty
Aigae Suisan is a seafood restaurant that specializes in a local delicacy called “kusaya,” which is fish that has been fermented in a salty brine. Kusaya has a history that dates back to the Edo period (1603 - 1867), and although still enjoyed by many across the Tokyo outer islands, can shock many when they first encounter it.
Kusaya has an incredibly pungent smell that can be difficult for many noses to handle at first, but its taste pairs wonderfully with Japanese sake such as shochu, making it a beloved drinking snack among the locals. Being aware of kusaya's reputation, we were skeptical that international tourists did in fact order and enjoy kusaya, but the proprietor brightly informed us that while many ordered it as a culinary bucket list item and unique travel experience, there were also plenty of people who were surprised to find that they actually enjoyed eating it.
As we wanted to experience everything Hachijojima had to offer, we of course had to order a plate to try, and can attest that the smell certainly lived up to its reputation. The proprietor’s earlier words encouraged us, and we did end up reveling in the unique culinary experience, finding that the taste was more mellow than the smell. It is quite difficult to describe the sensation of eating authentic kusaya, so if this has intrigued you and you are up for the challenge, be sure to add it to your Hachijojima travel itinerary as well!
In addition to regular kusaya and other original dishes containing kusaya such as ajillo, Aigae Suisan also has plenty of other seafood dishes on the menu that can be enjoyed by even those who may be adverse to kusaya. In addition to the kusaya, we also ordered “akahata no ichiyaboshi” (blacktip grouper that had been salted and dried overnight), “aburi shimazushi” (cooked shimazushi), “jizakana yukke” (spicy seasoned raw fish), and “kinmedai no nitsuke” (splendid alfonsino simmered in soy sauce). All of these had milder flavors and were wonderfully seasoned, pairing well with sake but not interrupting the natural taste of the fish.
Ikkyuan - Slurp Up Delicious Ashitaba Noodles
Yet again adding to the list of ashitaba variations, we visited the popular local noodle restaurant Ikkyuan to fill our bellies with springy noodles infused with ashitaba. Acting as mainly a one-man operation for around forty years, Ikkyuan has gained a following for its delectable ashitaba udon.
Ikkyuan offers both cold and hot versions of Japanese udon and soba noodles with various toppings such as meat slices and mochi (rice cake). Not yet having had our fill of ashitaba, we each ordered a tempura set (one hot udon and one cold soba) that came accompanied by crispy ashitaba and shrimp tempura. The noodles had a faint green color due to the ashitaba, which added a light grassy flavor that paired wonderfully with the slightly salty broths. The thick udon noodles are handmade and had a chewy yet firm texture that amplified their freshness.
The restaurant can be particularly crowded around lunchtime, but as the restaurant is run almost single-handedly by the owner, he does not often take reservations, so either avoid the lunch rush or prepare for a short wait. The menu is entirely in Japanese and does not have pictures, so if you do not speak or read Japanese, we recommend deciding on what foods you want to eat in advance through the Internet or elsewhere.
Dairyu Farm and Otoko Meshi Shokudo - Harvest and Feast on Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms
During our active trip full of Hachijojima sightseeing, we were eagerly looking forward to our barbecue lunch at Otoko Meshi Shokudo, a restaurant that is operated with Dairyu Farm, a shiitake mushroom producer on the island. Dairyu Farm grows a variety of shiitake mushrooms called “Umikaze shiitake” that are only available on Hachijojima. Not only did we get to feast on these delicious shiitake, but we actually got to harvest some ourselves and get a glimpse into mushroom farming!
Upon entering the shiitake greenhouse, we were greeted with rows and rows of blocks sprouting countless plump, round shiitake mushrooms. The Hachijojima-born owner passionately explained to us the attention and care that goes into growing the shiitake, including using 100% domestically-produced blocks for shiitake growing to ensure that they are of top quality. The shiitake that grow from these blocks are also affected by the Hachijojima climate, bringing forth large, juicy mushrooms that have a distinct shiitake flavor yet are light enough that even people who are not shiitake fans can enjoy them. In fact, the versatility of their flavor has made them so popular that they are used in several high-end restaurants in mainland Japan!
The owner demonstrated how to properly harvest the mushrooms and told us that we were allowed to collect as many as we wanted as long as it did not go past the handles of the basket while standing. This was more than plenty to us, as we harvested around two kilograms of mushrooms in total! Dairyu Farm has guests package their own mushrooms to take home, allowing a glimpse into the daily routines of farmers who provide us with the wonderful produce that blesses our kitchens every day.
After we collected our generous portion of mushrooms, we were ready to taste these beloved Umikaze shiitake for ourselves and indulge in a barbecue feast. What appeared before us was a massive tray filled to the brim with various kinds of meat and vegetables ready to be added to the grill, and after listening to the owner’s instructions, we happily began placing the hearty bounty onto the racks. Barbecuing the ingredients brought out their delicious innate flavors, and we had a grand time deciding what should be grilled next as we continued to scarf down our feast. Part of the barbecue included the shiitake that we had just harvested, and we were amazed at how succulent they were. They indeed had a light flavor that was delicately sweet yet had a deep umami, and we could not stop commenting on how savory they were between bites.
Otoko Meshi Shokudo features a mouthwatering menu with dishes created with Umikaze shiitake, including pasta, hamburger steaks, curries, and more conjured up by the owner himself. However, what caught our eyes were the shiitake desserts, including a “shiitake gateau chocolat” cake. We were informed that it used shiitake flour, and we undeniably had to taste this unique concoction. To our surprise, our tongues were met with a pleasantly sweet flavor, and what we had was a scrumptious chocolate cake with a delightfully spongy texture. The shiitake gateau chocolat was much lighter than most other chocolate cakes we have had, and was the perfect sweet way to end our feast.
Kominka Cafe Nakanogo - Savor Local Flavors Inside a Charming, Traditional House
Hidden behind Hachijojima’s characteristic round-stone walls lining the streets and lush green foliage is Nakanogo, a cafe located in a traditional “kominka” house that emanates a feeling of nostalgia. The 167-year-old house has been passed down through generations of the cafe owner’s family, and while it now hosts the cafe, the architecture largely remains unchanged, offering a glimpse into the traditional life of Hachijojima. Within the wooden walls are several floor tables surrounded by cushions and “shoji” sliding doors that open to the greenery outside. During the winter months, a sunken hearth opens in the middle of the cafe, warming the space while emitting relaxing crackling sounds. The cafe is fairly small, so it is recommended to only visit with a group of four people of less.
Ready for a leisurely afternoon treat, we flipped through the handwritten menu (although currently only in Japanese, an English menu is in the works!) that featured enticing items such as bagels and cakes, but we certainly did not expect to see an “Ashitaba Cinnamon Roll” on the menu. Intrigued and ready to add another ashitaba variation to the list, we ordered one along with a chiffon cake made with locally-grown lemons, as well as guava juice and black coffee.
The cinnamon roll was soft and each crevice was painted with a generous helping of cinnamon, bringing a sweetness that was perfectly balanced with the subtle grassy flavor of the ashitaba, whose presence was evident in the faint green color of the dough. The chiffon cake was equally as sumptuous, with a light and airy texture and subdued lemon flavor that was detectable in each bite. The desserts were not heavy at all, and wonderfully satisfied our sweet tooths as we relaxed while taking in the sounds of the crackling hearth and the rustling of the plants. The owner informed us that Nakanogo makes use of seasonal produce on the island, making us desperately want to come back at other times of the year to see what other treats may appear and so we could unwind in the stillness of the charming, traditional house once more.
Jersey Cafe - Savor Treats Made With Hachijojima’s Premier Dairy
Hachijojima is now also famous for its dairy products thanks to the local Yuyu Ranch that sits adjacent to Lido Park Hotel. Its cows are free ranged, resulting in rich milk that is used to make all sorts of mouthwatering dairy products. Yuyu Ranch provides delicious dairy to establishments all over the island, and a collection of tantalizing desserts made with milk from the ranch’s Jersey cows can be found at the stylish Jersey Cafe.
We found ourselves wavering between the glistening sweet treats lining the refrigerated case, but ultimately decided to indulge in the shop’s recommended ashitaba and milk mixed soft serve, ashitaba parfait, and Jersey milk pudding. Each were delectably creamy and had a mellow sweetness, but the ashitaba had a matcha-esque flavor that added depth to the sweetness but was not quite as bitter as normal matcha. The parfait also included red adzuki beans and mochi balls, creating a lovely traditional Japanese flavor profile.
The menu does have a little bit of English, making it easier to understand what is available. The products are gone once they are sold out, but the wide variety of options means that there is no lack of choice! The soft serve is particularly popular, so if you see it still being sold on the menu, don’t hesitate to order it before it sells out.
Hachijo Curry Hiro - Taste Internationally-Renowned Curry Made By a Local Chef
A short drive along a tiny road off one of the main streets of Hachijojima brought us to a small building with bright red siding that created a vibrant contrast with the surrounding greenery. Although the sign on the front of the building read “mama’s kitchen,” this was indeed the location of our scrumptious curry lunch, prepared by a chef who won an award on a Japanese television show for his curry.
I was able to have a lovely conversation in English with the Hachijojima-born owner, who enthusiastically shared his curry-related endeavors and explained his applauded European-style curry. The curry is made with thirty spices and is simmered for around four days, creating a luxurious flavor that delights the taste buds. The owner proudly informed us that the curry includes produce grown in the garden right next door, such as onions and chilis. We ordered the three recommended curries: beef, pork, and chicken, and felt our mouths start to water as we spooned the smooth roux and the juicy chunks of meat over beds of steaming rice.
Each curry had a slightly different flavor profile, and we relished getting to savor and compare each one. The most popular item on the menu is the beef curry, which offered a pleasant acidity that highlighted a complex flavor profile and complemented the tender chunks of beef. The pork curry included Chinese spices such as star anise that added an extra level of spiciness that emphasized the savoriness of the pork, and the chicken curry had a mellow sweetness that would surely be enjoyed by anyone.
Hachijo Curry Hiro doesn't take reservations, so it's first come, first served. Their curry is so popular that they even get customers from far away, so expect a bit of a wait, but also expect their food to be well worth that wait!
Connect With Local Hachijojima Culture With Captivating Activities
Interacting with the locals is one of the best ways to experience true Hachijojima culture, and there are several experiences throughout the island that offer a glimpse into island life. We delved into meditative moments while partaking in these activities, helping us leave the stresses of city life behind.
Hachijo Mingei Yamashita - Create Your Own Woven Masterpiece
"Kihachijo" is a traditional woven fabric from Hachijojima that is made with silk threads that have been dyed by local plants, with traditional colors including yellow, reddish brown, and black. Although the history of Kihachijo can be traced back to the Heian period (797 - 1185), it gained popularity in mainland Japan during the Edo period and became a highly-regarded fabric.
Hachijo Mingei Yamashita is a Kihachijo studio with a weaving room that contains four traditional wooden looms and glass cases enclosing beautiful Kihachijo pieces that are available for purchase along the walls. The kind instructor welcomed us inside the retro wooden building and showed us the different patterns available with each loom, which were all traditional Kihachijo designs, and then guided me to the loom I would be using to create my own Kihachijo piece. Before settling in at the loom, the instructor demonstrated how to use the loom, and then moved aside to let me begin weaving for myself. Although she does not speak English, she can still direct while observing your movements.
Although slightly intimidated by the thousands of threads before me and the dexterity I would need to create the designs, while it required quite a bit of concentration at the beginning to get the hang of things, once I got in the groove, the weaving process was incredibly meditative. The seemingly delicate threads were surprisingly sturdy, allowing me to focus on my movements and the colors of the threads. Lulled by the clacking of the loom, I sent the threads back and forth while moving my feet along the pedals, visualizing my next step as I went along. It felt as though I was swept away in a dance, and before I knew it, I had reached my goal length and quickly snapped back to reality.
Reservations are required for the weaving experience, which can be made by phone (in Japanese) up until the day prior. Hachijo Mingei Yamashita is able to send customers’ creations abroad. For those who are too antsy to spend time sitting at the loom but want to take a piece of local culture back with them, there is an adjoining souvenir shop that sells many gorgeous Kihachijo items, such as pouches, ties, cases, and more.
Yuko Nature Yoga - Reconnect With Your Mind and Body Amongst Lush Nature
We met Yukiko Tamai, our instructor and the owner of Yuko Hachijo Island Therapy, which offers yoga classes and aromatherapy courses. Tamai, who has been practicing yoga for almost thirty years and received her teacher’s license in 2014, explained that the original meaning of the word “yoga” was “to connect,” referencing the connection between big and small (the world and humans respectively). She offers yoga classes at the coast and in the forest, each begetting different effects that refresh the mind and body.
We convened at the coast to move our bodies under the sun while listening to the sound of the waves, and I followed Tamai's fluid movements while she gave kind instructions and would occasionally move over to my mat to adjust my poses. I felt the tenseness in my body melt away, basking in the sunlight and breathing in the salty sea air.
After bringing some heat to my muscles by bending and stretching under the sun, we moved to the forest to cleanse our minds with meditative yoga. While sitting atop a mossy rock and hearing the rustling of the trees and trickling of the falling water, the weight of the world seemed to wash away, and my stresses along with it. This is the perfect way to feel reconnected with nature, and I began to truly understand Tamai’s explanation of the meaning of “yoga.”
There are several yoga courses available, which are customizable to a degree upon consultation with Tamai. Although Tamai does not speak English, it is easy to follow along with her movements and she will come to adjust your body as needed.
Hachijo Fuji - Climb to the Tallest Point in the Izu Islands
Hachijo Fuji is a volcano on Hachijojima that stands 854 meters tall, making it the tallest point in the Izu Islands. There is a hiking trail leading up and circling the mountain that offers panoramic views of Hachijojima and the Pacific Ocean on clear days, and hikers can walk through knee-high grass while taking in the surrounding sights.
Eager to witness the breathtaking views of Hachijojima, we made our way to the trailhead to embark on the hour-long hike up the mountain. The trail is almost completely rocky stairs with a cement ramp running alongside it, so be sure to don appropriate footwear to ensure that you do not slip and to protect your feet. Along the way, we passed by a torii gate blending into the overgrown foliage and enjoyed the sense of peace that came with the crunch of gravel and dirt under our feet.
We took several breaks along the climb to catch our breaths and enjoy the vista spreading out before our eyes, with the ocean and coastline illuminated by the sun, appearing smaller and smaller as we made our way up.
There is a flat area halfway up the mountain where climbers can relax while surveying the surrounding scenery before continuing on to the path that winds through brush and circles the crater covered with verdant greenery, offering stunning views from every angle. Standing at the summit felt as though we were walking through the air, perched atop the narrow trail standing close to the clouds, and we lost track of time as we marveled at the beautiful scenery from Hachijo Fuji.
Lido Park Resort Hachijojima - Relax in a Luxurious Island Hotel
During our stay on Hachijojima, we decided to spoil ourselves by staying at the Lido Park Resort Hachijojima, one of the leading lodgings on the island. This spacious hotel hosts Western-style rooms, a vast restaurant with both breakfast and dinner options, indoor and outdoor public baths with a playroom, and more facilities to ensure that you have everything you need to relax and unwind.
From the minute we stepped into the hotel, we were impressed by the grandeur of the lobby, with the wooden accents and rich colors of the carpeting adding to its regal atmosphere. The lobby and restaurant look out over the ocean, and cows from the adjoining ranch can even be seen grazing at times. The grand staircase leads from the lobby to guest rooms on the second floor and even to an observation deck on the roof, from where you can watch the sunrise and starry sky. You can even rent sleeping bags to sleep under the infinite stretch of the universe! After full days of moving around the island, we were eager to soak in the calming public baths and dive into our bouncy beds. The guest rooms look out over the ocean, and I relished falling asleep to the sound and waking up to the sight of the azure sea.
We opted for the breakfast-only option, which featured a buffet that included both Western and Japanese options. Some of the highlights of the breakfast buffet are dishes that are made with locally-produced milk from Yuyu Ranch, and these include fluffy French toast, freshly-made yogurt, sweet milk jam, and tart lemon curd. Even I, who is not a huge fan of dairy, could not deny how delicious these dishes were, and focused my breakfast selection around these items. With the wide selection available, even the pickiest of eaters will have no trouble finding something suitable for the palate and that will bring plenty of energy for another day of exploring Hachijojima.
Before You Go...
Mingei Aki - Buy the Perfect Souvenirs to Commemorate Your Trip
Mingei Aki is one of Hachijojima’s leading and largest souvenir stores, located in a traditional 100-year-old house and operating for around fifty years. Whether it is for yourself or a loved one, you will be spoilt for choice walking among the shelves packed to the brim with all kinds of souvenirs, from treats and food products to traditional crafts.
We were enchanted by the breathtaking traditional crafts and spent quite a bit of time carefully observing the detail that went into each piece. Our eyes were also drawn to the food corner, where our newfound love for ashitaba led us to grab ashitaba tea and biscuits that we could snack on after leaving Hachijojima to remind us of our magical time on the island.
Unsure of How to Schedule Your Trip? Try This Itinerary!
Land at Hachijojima
→ Move to Hachijo Mingei Yamashita (approx. 5-minute drive)
→ Enjoy the Kihachijo experience (approx. 1 hour)
→ Move to Hachijo Curry Hiro (approx. 5-minute drive)
→ Enjoy curry lunch (approx. 1 hour)
→ Move to Kominka Cafe Nakanogo (approx. 15-minute drive)
→ Enjoy cafe time (approx. 40 minutes)
→ Move to Uramigataki Waterfall (approx. 1-minute drive)
→ Enjoy forest bathing (approx. 20 minutes)
→ Move to Ubai Homei Shrine (approx. 15-minute drive)
→ Enjoy a spiritual moment (approx. 20 minutes)
→ Move to Ryozanpaku (approx. 10-minute drive)
→ Enjoy dinner of local flavors (approx. 1.5 hours)
→ Move to Lido Park Resort for a restful night (approx. 10-minute drive)
Enjoy breakfast buffet at Lido Park Resort
→ Move to Hachijo Fuji (approx. 15-minute drive)
→ Enjoy a nature hike (approx. 3 hours)
→ Move to Dairyu Farm (approx. 25-minute drive)
→ Enjoy mushroom harvesting and a feast (approx. 2 hours)
→ Move to the Nanbara Coast of Permian Rocks (approx. 20-minute drive)
→ Enjoy a stunning sunset (approx. 40 minutes)
→ Move to Aigae Suisan (approx. 10-minute drive)
→ Enjoy a traditional meal with kusaya (approx. 1.5 hours)
→ Move to Hachijo Kojima Observatory (approx. 25-minute drive)
→ Enjoy viewing the starry sky (approx. 1 hour)
→ Head back to hotel
Enjoy breakfast buffet at Lido Park Resort
→ Convene at yoga meeting place (approx. 15-minute drive)
→ Enjoy yoga in nature (approx 2.5 hours)
→ Move to Foot Bath Kirameki (depends on where yoga session is held)
→ Enjoy soaking your feet while watching the waves
→ Move to Ikkyuan (approx. 20-minute drive)
→ Enjoy ashitaba noodle lunch (approx. 1.25 hours)
→ Move to Mingei Aki (approx. 5-minute drive)
→ Enjoy shopping for souvenirs (approx. 30 minutes)
→ Move to Jersey Cafe (approx. 5-minute drive)
→ Enjoy sweet dairy treat (approx. 30 minutes)
→ Head back to the airport, say goodbye to Hachijojima for now
Experience More Than Just the City Life While in Tokyo
The wonders of Hachijojima ignite the five senses and offer a tranquil escape from the hectic city lifestyle to allow you to rediscover and appreciate the wonders of the earth. Located close to mainland Tokyo, it is an easily accessible retreat that reveals a different side of Tokyo. You are sure to create unforgettable memories with this unique trip, so head over to Hachijojima to experience Tokyo’s unknown slice of island paradise.
Tourist information site for the Tama area and islands of Tokyo
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.