See the majestic and otherworldly sights of Mt. Mihara on the island of Oshima, on this half-day guided trek! Visit Mihara Shrine, learn about volcanic island life, and marvel at unique scenery formed by past volcanic activity on the island.
Less than two hours from downtown Tokyo by high-speed ferry is the island of Oshima, a remarkable retreat filled with sights you’d hardly believe were part of the capital. But Oshima is indeed part of Tokyo, and its peak, Mt. Mihara, is the very symbol of the island. By joining a half-day trekking tour with an experienced nature guide, you can see sights that only Oshima can provide. Your experienced, professional guide will collect you from any hotel on Oshima, or straight from the port you arrive at. After driving to the trailhead on the mountainside, they will introduce you to the remarkable sights of Mt. Mihara with a little English and a lot of enthusiasm. You’ll enjoy learning about the relationship between nature and the earth, and find out why Oshima is so popular with hikers and nature lovers. And hear tales of how its iconic mountain, its unique plants, and its volcanic terrain influence the lives of the islanders. The first half of the trek is made smoother by a paved promenade — no special equipment needed for this hike! On your way up to the crater, you’ll stop off to see Mihara Shrine. At the time of the 1986 eruption, the sacred grounds of Mihara Shrine were untouched by the lava flows, which some people called an act of the gods. Luckily, these days, Oshima has a monitoring system for volcanic activity, so you can keep trekking past the cooled lava to the crater above! These slopes have seen several eruptions in the course of time, resulting in layered black lava flows and quiet paths lined with plants. After each eruption, different growths sprang up at different elevations, adding to the uniqueness of this course. After reaching the crater, you’ll stop for a tea break. From the mountaintop, you’ll take in breathtaking views, with the majestic crater on one side and the sweeping beauty of the ocean to the other. Heading back down, you’ll take a different route through the Omote-Sabaku area on the southern face of the mountain. Here, instead of a paved path, you’ll tackle granular, crumbly volcanic rock — much like a desert (Omote-Sabaku literally means “front desert”). Keep your balance as your feet sink and slide down trackless slopes, a thrilling descent with the desolate expanse of Omote-Sabaku spreading out in all directions. Beyond all of this spreads the ocean panorama, and the other Izu Islands floating on the horizon. Join this popular and affordable course, and enjoy the majestic scenery created by volcanic activity on Oshima!