For a relaxing night activity on Tokyo's Oshima Island, gaze up at the starry night sky as you curl up in a sleeping bag or sit back comfortably in a reclining chair! With minimal light pollution, Oshima's skies become a natural planetarium at night.
For some "nightlife" on Tokyo's Oshima Island, book this relaxing stargazing tour with a friendly local guide who's lived on the island for almost 40 years! Being a quiet, remote island, Oshima has minimal light pollution, so at night, its skies transform into a natural planetarium, all covered with brightly twinkling stars. After dinner, between 19:00 and 20:00, your guide will pick you up at your accommodation, then take you to either Mt. Mihara — Oshima's most famous mountain and a symbol of the island — or the Sunset Palm Line along the coast, on the west side of Oshima. Either location is optimal for stargazing. Mt. Mihara's altitude makes it perfect for seeing the tens of thousands of stars shining down on earth, while the very minimal streetlights along the Sunset Palm Line make it easy to see the Milky Way in all its glory. Stargaze in comfort, as you sit back in a reclining chair, or curl up in a cozy sleeping bag or air mattress. Forget about the hustle and bustle of urban living, and just take in the view and the cool night breeze in silence. Admire not only the stars, but also panoramic views of Izu's mountains, as well as shimmering city lights in the distance. When your eyes get used to the darkness, have fun spotting constellations — or even shooting stars, if you're lucky. Feel free to ask your guide about the folklore behind the stars! After nearly an hour and a half of stargazing, your host will drop you back off at your accommodation. Having had a relaxing night out, surrounded by Oshima's nature, you're sure to have a good night's sleep! ## About Oshima Also known as "Izu Oshima,” Oshima is the largest of the Izu Islands, which are located off the coast of mainland Tokyo and are part of Tokyo’s jurisdiction. With relaxing hot springs, fascinatingly unique geographical formations due to volcanic activity, and beautiful nature such as camellia blossoms, it’s a great place to visit for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Some of Oshima’s best-known attractions are Mt. Mihara, an active volcano that’s been featured in some iconic Japanese films; Ura-Sabaku, a black desert covered in tiny, jagged volcanic rocks; and cliffs with striped formations that resemble baumkuchen cakes. Being an island paradise, Oshima offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to get in touch with nature. Most of the best things to do on Oshima are water activities and other outdoor activities: diving, snorkeling, trekking, hiking, and more. Since Oshima's waters are relatively warm all year round, you can enjoy water activities no matter when you visit! (However, please note that snorkeling tours are only available from around May to October.) At night, the island turns into a natural planetarium, making it ideal for stargazing. Without bright city lights, you can clearly see twinkling stars when you gaze up at the sky. ## Getting to and Around Oshima Among the Izu Islands, Oshima is the most easily accessible from Tokyo — you can get there in as little as 30 minutes by plane! Flights depart Tokyo’s Chofu Airport once to thrice a day. Alternatively, from Tokyo Takeshiba Terminal near JR Hamamatsucho Station, take a high-speed jet ferry (about 1 hour and 45 minutes) or large passenger ship (about 6 hours). Ferry services are cheaper than flights. Once you reach Oshima, you can get around by bus. The local bus network covers most of the island — you can save money with one- or two-day ride-all-you-can bus passes. Taxis are also available, but you must call a taxi company to arrange for a ride. If you have an international driver’s license, the most convenient way to explore the island is by renting a car — that way, you won’t have to plan your itinerary around bus timetables! Or, why not rent a bicycle for a leisurely, eco-friendly way to see Oshima at your own pace? For more information on transportation, please check the Oshima Tourism Association’s official website: https://rakuten-travelexp.net/oshima-transport (link in Japanese). ## Miscellaneous Tips Keep these in mind to make the most of your Oshima adventure: - Although Oshima's climate is relatively warm, the weather can be unpredictable – strong winds and/or rain can cause the temperature to drop. Bring at least one piece of weatherproof clothing, such as a windbreaker, and don’t forget your sunblock! - For peace of mind, we recommend booking tours and activities in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. - Bring a swimsuit even if you don’t plan to go swimming — you might change your mind! Also, some onsen facilities on Tokyo’s islands require swimsuits. We also recommend bringing your own towels and toiletries, in case your accommodation may not provide them. - Especially in summer, please bring insect repellent and sunglasses for protection. - Bring lots of cash! While shops and restaurants at Oshima Airport, Motomachi Port, and Okata Port accept credit cards, most of Oshima’s establishments and accommodations only accept cash. (An increasing number now accept e-money and other cashless payment methods, but it’s still best to bring enough cash for your stay.) If you need to withdraw money, Japan Post Bank, Mizuho Bank, and Shichitou Shinkumi Bank ATMs are available on the island. - Mobile-phone coverage for Japan’s major providers — au, Softbank, and docomo — is generally good on Oshima, but it may be limited on the east side of the island, in mountainous terrain, and at sea. But as for Wi-Fi, please note that some accommodations may not provide it. Please check beforehand when planning your trip. When in doubt, we recommend renting a pocket Wi-Fi device. - Most shops and restaurants close much earlier than in mainland Tokyo. In general, closing times for establishments on Oshima range from 17:00–21:00. - There are no convenience-store chains on Oshima. Instead, you can buy groceries, alcohol, and more at locally owned shops around the island. (For medicines, however, please bring what you need.) As previously mentioned, buy what you need before sundown — these shops tend to close early! - For more information, please check GO TOKYO’s guide to Oshima Island: https://rakuten-travelexp.net/go-tokyo-oshima.