is an inhabited volcanic island in the Izu archipelago in the Philippine Sea, off the coast of Honshu, Japan, east of the Izu Peninsula and southwest of Bōsō Peninsula. As with the other islands in the Izu Island group, Izu Ōshima forms part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Izu Ōshima, at 91.06 km² is the largest and closest of Tokyo's outlying islands, which also include the Ogasawara Islands.


The island is a stratovolcano with a basaltic composite cone, dating from the late Pleistocene period, between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. It rises from an ocean floor with a depth of between 300 and 400 meters. The island has a roughly circular coastline of approximately 52 kilometers in length. The highest elevation, , is an active volcano with a height of 758 meters. The mountain has been recorded to have erupted numerous times through history and is mentioned as far back as Nara period written records. Major eruptions occurred in 1965 and 1986, each forcing the temporary evacuation of the inhabitants. The last recorded eruption was in 1990. The epicenter of the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, which devastated Tokyo and the surrounding region, was deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island.

Important Bird Area

The island has been recognised as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports populations of Japanese wood pigeons, Ijima's leaf-warblers, Izu thrushes and Pleske's grasshopper-warblers.


Izu Ōshima has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification ''Cfa'') with warm summers and cool winters. Precipitation is abundant throughout the year, but is somewhat lower in winter than the rest of the year.


The island is administered by the Ōshima subprefecture of the Tokyo Metropolitan government. serves as the local government of the island. Ōshima Town consists of the six traditional hamlets of Okata (岡田), Motomachi (元町), Senzu, Nomashi, Sashikiji and Habuminato (波浮港), with Motomachi as the administrative center.


Izu Ōshima is a popular site for touristsTokyo Island
"Oshima island"
/ref> from both Tokyo and Shizuoka due to its close proximity to the mainland. There are a number of ferries which leave from Takeshiba Sanbashi ''Pier'', near Hamamatsuchō, Tokyo. Ferries also leave from Atami in Shizuoka. There are several flights per day from Ōshima Airport to Chōfu Airport in Chōfu.

In popular culture

Mount Mihara and Izu Ōshima featured prominently in ''The Return of Godzilla'', as the location in which the JSDF successfully trapped Godzilla after luring him to the crater, whereupon charges were detonated, sending him falling into the magma-filled volcano. Mt. Mihara appeared again in the direct sequel, ''Godzilla vs. Biollante'', in which Godzilla was released when the volcano erupted. Mt. Mihara and Izu Ōshima were also featured in Koji Suzuki's ''Ring'' and its film adaptation as pivotal locations for the story. In the Pokémon franchise, Cinnabar Island is based on Izu Ōshima. In the anime Vividred Operation, Izu Ōshima is the home of several protagonists.


File:Izu-Oshima-IMG 4759.jpg|Mt. Mihara with azaleas in the foreground File:MiharaMountainTop.JPG|Summit crater File:Izu Oshima Volcano Museum.jpg|Izu Oshima Volcano Museum, Motomachi, Ōshima, Tokyo

See also

* List of islands of Japan * Izu Islands
Tokyo Islands
- English Ship booking and information website of Tokyo Islands(Izu Islands)



* Hammer, Joshua. (2006)
''Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II.''
New York: Simon & Schuster. (cloth)

External links

Ōshima Town Official Website

- Japan Meteorological Agency * - Japan Meteorological Agency

- Geological Survey of Japan
Izu-Oshima: Global Volcanism Program
- Smithsonian Institution
Tokyo Islands
- - English Ship booking to Tokyo Islands(Izu Islands) and travel Information Page of Izu Oshima and other islands in Tokyo * {{DEFAULTSORT:Izu Oshima Category:Izu Islands Category:Islands of Tokyo Category:Important Bird Areas of the Nanpo Islands