Toshima Island
Tokyo, Water Activities

A Quick Guide to Toshima Island

Toshima Island is located 130 kilometers from the coast of Tokyo and is the smallest of seven islands of Izu. Toshima is a 4.12 square kilometer island with a 7.7km coastline and is most recognizable as a summer escape for divers who seek the best dolphin watching location in Tokyo. Activities are mostly centered around water; diving, swimming, fishing and hiking. However the beauty of Toshima is in the escape itself. To simply wander around aimlessly would be a day well spent on Toshima Island but to help you uncover the best of the area, here is a list of my recommendations.

Main Village

One of the main attractions of Toshima is wandering around the village and the best part about this place is that you can walk from A to B, something that’s not so easy in most other islands, so everything is right within easy reach.

Where to Eat

Because Toshima is a small island, there are only a few diners and cafes in the village and I visited Diner Tezuka which is open from 12:00 pm to 13:00 pm for lunch. You may also buy rice balls and bread at an island grocery store. In addition, there is a souvenir store, Moriyama, on the east side of the village in case you are looking for own-brand goods in Toshima to take home on your travels. Moriyama is also popular for its gelato so be sure to stop by on one of your morning walks.

Wander the back streets

Toshima is an island which is delightful to stroll through; it’s full of cobbled pathways, charming stairways and calm viewpoints and the alleys near to the small village are filled with trinkets and treasures. Be sure to follow the narrow staircase that leads up to “Hashike” barge open space. Large ships couldn’t berth at Toshima Island until 1980. Before that, locals used barges to carry supplies from large ships to the island.

Shrines and Temples

There are 7 shrines and temples on Toshima. Each of them is maintained well and cleaned up by local worshipers and you still feel locals warm respects to shrines and temples.

Beach & Pool

Being the smallest island, Toshima is less crowded and more of a local treasure than a tourist hotspot. Due to high surges occurring frequently and many geological rocks spread around, locals had built their own handmade beach and public pool for children on the islands to learn how to swim. 

Toshima Folk Museum

This museum is located along Toshima round road and is home to a lovely collection of folk crafts. The charm of the museum lies not only in the collection but also in the beautiful courtyard.

Deep-drilled well

There used to be no rivers or wells on the island and people put water jars in their garden to collect and store rainwater. Whenever a water shortage happened, water was shipped from Niijima and Kozushima islands. 

Camellia trees 

Throughout Toshima Island you’ll find plenty of Camellia. People planted camellia for protection against wind. Camellia oil is edible and is used to make cosmetics, hair oil, and hand cream. Camellia combs are also very popular. Locals gather and burn dry leaves and twigs of Camellia to produce fertilizer for Camellia trees. 

Angelica keiskei called Ashitaba

Angelica keiseki, Ashitaba in Japanese, is filled with a strong reproductive life force. It is said that if you pick the leaves, the next day you can see new leaves. Japanese islanders planted Ashitaba for their nutrition. One thing that will forever be new for me is the range of Ashitaba products, because no matter how many times you visit the seven islands of Izu you can discover something new.

How to get there & around

It’s two and a half hours from Takeshiba by jetfoil ship and 10 minutes from Oshima island by helicopter. In addition, Toshima Port is famous for high wave surge and once in five times ships cannot come alongside the pier, so when I landed at Toshima I was full of joy after over 2 hours cruising. On the island, you don’t need to worry about your transportation. There are no taxis and rent-a-cars; just walking is appropriate to see around.

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