Niijima Island

Niijima, one of the Izu Islands, is a hidden gem that offers a well-preserved natural landscape and a wide range of activities for surfers, divers, and nature lovers. Located 163 kilometers south of Tokyo, Niijima is easily accessible from Honshu by plane or boat. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the underwater world, or indulge in traditional cuisine and cultural experiences, Niijima has something for everyone.

Niijima is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, and one of the best ways to experience it is by watching the sunset from the Yu-no-Hama outdoor baths. These baths offer a breathtaking view of the ocean and provide a unique and relaxing experience. The sight of the sun sinking below the horizon while you soak in the warm water is truly unforgettable.

For those interested in traditional 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. The distinctive green Niijima glass is a unique souvenir that captures the essence of the island’s culture and craftsmanship. The center offers workshops and demonstrations, allowing visitors to learn about the art of glassmaking and create their own masterpieces.

Niijima is also a paradise for divers. The clear waters surrounding the island are teeming with marine life and offer excellent visibility. From colorful coral reefs to underwater caves and shipwrecks, there is a dive site for every level of experience. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced diver, Niijima has something to offer. Dive shops on the island provide equipment rental and guided tours, ensuring a safe and enjoyable diving experience.

In addition to its natural beauty and recreational activities, Niijima is known for its unique cuisine. One of the must-try dishes on the island is kusaya, a local dried fish. The preparation of kusaya is based on a 300-year-old cooking method exclusive to Niijima. The fish is marinated in a special sauce and then dried, resulting in a salty and flavorful delicacy. Another local specialty is sushi made from the fresh fish caught off the coast of Niijima. The combination of the fresh fish and locally brewed soy sauce creates a taste sensation that is not to be missed.

To fully immerse yourself in the culture of Niijima, a visit to the Niijima Glass Art Center is a must. Here, you can learn about the history and techniques of glassmaking and even try your hand at creating your own glass artwork. The center offers workshops and demonstrations, allowing visitors to gain a deeper appreciation for the art form.

After a day of exploring the island, there’s nothing better than soaking in a hot spring bath. Niijima is home to several natural hot springs, known as onsen. One of the most popular onsen is the Yunohama open-air hot spring, located on the west coast overlooking the sea. The hot spring offers stunning views and is open 24 hours a day, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind.

In conclusion, Niijima is a hidden paradise that offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors. From its pristine beaches and world-class surfing spots to its rich cultural heritage and delicious cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to relax and unwind, Niijima has it all. So why wait? Start planning your trip to Niijima and discover the beauty and charm of this hidden gem in japan.

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