Niijima, one of the Izu Islands, is a hidden gem that offers a well-preserved natural landscape and a plethora of activities for surfers, divers, and nature lovers. Located 163 kilometers south of Tokyo, this island paradise is accessible by plane or boat, making it a perfect destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway.
One of the highlights of Niijima is its breathtaking sunset views from the Yu-no-Hama outdoor baths. Imagine soaking in a warm bath while the sun sets over the horizon, painting the sky in vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple. It is a truly magical experience that will leave you in awe of the island’s natural beauty.
For those interested in arts and crafts, Niijima is famous for its glass art. The island is home to the Niijima Glass Art Center, where visitors can try their hand at making authentic Niijima glass. This unique cultural experience allows you to create your own glass masterpiece under the guidance of skilled artisans. The distinctive green Niijima glass is a perfect souvenir to take home and cherish as a reminder of your time on the island.
Niijima is also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With its world-class surfing spots, the island attracts surfers from all over the world. Habushiura Beach, located on the east coast of the island, is particularly renowned for its challenging waves. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, riding the waves at Habushiura Beach is an exhilarating experience that should not be missed.
In addition to surfing, Niijima offers excellent diving opportunities. The clear seas around the island are teeming with marine life, making it a popular destination for divers. Explore the vibrant coral reefs and swim alongside colorful tropical fish as you discover the underwater wonders of Niijima. Sperm whales and humpback whales also pass by the island regularly, providing a unique opportunity for whale watching.
After a day of adventure, relax and rejuvenate in one of Niijima’s hot spring baths. The island is home to several natural onsen hot springs, including the Yunohama open-air hot spring. Located on the west coast overlooking the sea, these hot springs offer a soothing and therapeutic experience. Immerse yourself in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding nature.
No visit to Niijima is complete without trying the local cuisine. One of the must-try dishes on the island is kusaya, a type of dried fish. The preparation of kusaya is based on a 300-year-old cooking method exclusive to Niijima, resulting in a salty and flavorful delicacy. The fresh fish caught off the coast of Niijima also make delicious sushi, which can be enjoyed with locally brewed soy sauce. Indulge in these culinary delights and savor the unique flavors of the island.
For those who prefer land-based activities, Niijima offers several hiking trails that showcase its natural beauty. There are four courses around the island, each offering different levels of difficulty and stunning views. Trek through lush forests, climb volcanic hills, and discover hidden waterfalls as you immerse yourself in the island’s enchanting landscapes.
In conclusion, Niijima is a destination that offers a diverse range of experiences for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and culture enthusiasts. From world-class surfing and diving to traditional glass art and hot spring baths, there is something for everyone on this picturesque island. Whether you are looking to relax and unwind or embark on thrilling outdoor adventures, Niijima is sure to leave a lasting impression. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the rich nature and traditional charm of Niijima.
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