Oshima Island: A laid back island for the hiker and onsen-seeker

Hello friends, my goal today is to get up to date on my blog. I have been trying to catch up and now I am so close! So, here I go!

As I have told you, I am on the island called Oshima. It is SE of Tokyo by about 5 hours by ferry. Anne and I took the ferry Sunday evening and slept in the cheapest area, the tatami floor. I didn’t take a picture, but we slept on the ground pretty much. We were given a designated area that was distinguished by duct tape. A nice group of guys sleeping near us bought us blankets to rent and we ended up becoming friends. I even got to practice my Japanese with them. When the ferry left the port, I went outside to watch Tokyo disappear into the distance. Tokyo is a very beautiful city at night. 

When everyone went back into their designated duct tape squares, I decided to stay up on deck for a short while longer. I really like the smell of the ocean and the air was crisp. I also really like to sing when I’m near the ocean (am I the only one?). Maybe it is because I watched The Little Mermaid a hundred times as a child, but the sound of waves crashing and the wind rushing through my hair makes me want to sing even louder! So I did just that. I spent 30 minutes singing to myself. It felt wonderful. I forget how much I like singing.

Here’s a shot of Anne and I. Isn’t she cute? : )

I slept pretty well on the floor, especially since the boat cradled me like a baby. Anne woke me up the next morning and told me we were nearing the harbor. We prepared our stuff and headed up to the deck. We exited the ship onto Oshima Island, the Tokyo citizen getaway. Even from the harbor, the island looked beautiful. There were tropical trees, beaches, and small coastal towns in the distance. We realized we had to wait an hour for our bus, so we set up a picnic on a dock to watch the sun rise above the mountains.
A benefit of traveling with a French girl is that we are never short of chocolate, butter, bread, and cheese. So, we feasted. One funny thing that happened was that Anne made a butter, jam sandwich and just as she was going to eat it a hawk swooped down and took it right out of her hand! I was a terrible friend and laughed so hard. Her face was priceless!
We caught our bus and drove through a small town called Otachi. It was nice to get out of a big city. I loved seeing the small businesses opening shop, the children walking to school, and the fishermen setting up their ships. Even the smell was calming. (Also, I felt like I was in the movie Ponyo.)
We reached another town called Motomachi and were lucky enough to be picked up by our hostel owner. She drove a tiny van and brought us up the hillside. The hostel turned out to be a guesthouse hidden away behind trees and Camilla flowers. The songbirds perched in the trees welcomed us with their chirps as we entered Morio’s Guesthouse.

The guesthouse was an old Japanese home with all the things you would find in a japanese manga: sliding doorways, tatami floors, no shoes inside, short tables, no chairs only floor pillows, and outdoor patios to sit on. We relaxed for a short while, but then decided to climb up the nearby mountain, Mount Mihara. It was a really fun hike. It reminded me of hiking in the Amazon because the trail was very hard to follow. We followed a canal for a while, then we went off trail, got lost twice, found our way again, and eventually found our way up to the mountain. My favorite part was the time we got lost and went off trail. We found a wall that stopped us dead in our tracks. I noticed a vine hanging from a tree and climbed it to see what was above the wall. We ended up following a false path, so here’s me posing, while climbing back down. During the whole ordeal, we sang the Indiana Jones theme song.

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While climbing up we found an old shrine with 7 Buddhas. We paid our respects and threw some coins into their dishes. We got to the top of the mountain and found ourselves in a cloud. We couldn’t see anything! Nonetheless, it was worth it. We walked back down and cooked a pasta feast! It was glorious. We also found out we could borrow the hostel owners car the next day. Guess what we did the next day…?

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We rented a cute asian truck! It was quite the experience to drive on the opposite side of the road.

We drove around the whole island. We lucked out and the weather was very beautiful. We drove back up the mountain to see what we missed. Tah dah! A volcanic crater!

We decided to hike the crater the next day. So we continued around the island and found lots of pretty sites.

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I decided to hike down to the water. Here was the trail I had to take.

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This is called Semba, I’m sure my geology friends could explain the formations to me.
And here is our cute van just chillin’.

At the end of our day we found a free dancing performance. We saw 6 tiny Japanese women dance the local Oshima dance. They were so cute.

I’ll finish off Oshima in my next post. I gotta make some dinner.

<3 Molly

One Comment on “Oshima Island: A laid back island for the hiker and onsen-seeker

  1. Hey Molly, I didn’t really know much about those islands off of Tokyo, but it looks really nice!

    Like

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