Off the western coast of Izu in Shizuoka Prefecture is a group of islands known as Sanshirojima (三四郎島), which consists of Zojima, Nakanoshima and Takashima. Boat tours will bring visitors around the islands, of which Zojima is the most interesting as it is shaped like an elephant.
Ever heard of a tombolo? No, it is not a musical instrument, but a submerged landmass that is exposed only during low tide, and links islands together. The 30m wide tombolo at Sanshirojima connects to Dogashima Coast in this rare geological phenomenon. Please find out the tide timings beforehand to make sure you don’t miss out on this!
Legend has it that in late Heian period (794-1192), a young man called Izu no Sanshiro sought refuge on Nakanoshima to escape his enemies from the Taira clan. There, he fell in love with a warrior’s daughter, Koyuki. When the day came for Sanshiro to join Yoritomo’s army, Koyuki ran across the tombolo bridge but tragically drowned in rough waves during high tide.
Most of the activities can be found on mainland, where the rugged coastline of Dogashima (堂ヶ島) stretches from Sebama Beach to Cape Ajo. Resulting from volcanic eruptions a long time ago, Dogashima is home to a large number of dramatic rock formations, plunging cliffs and caves. Cave tours are popular with tourists, such as those offered by Izu Dogashima Yurasen (starting from 1,200 yen for 20mins).
Designated as a Natural Monument, Tensodo (天窓洞) lives up to its namesake, which means “skylight”, due to the rays shining through the big hole on the cave ceiling.
You must try the fresh seafood that is readily available in Dogashima! Here are some photos to tease your palate:
Catch the sunset at Koganezaki (黄金崎) or “Golden Cape”, created by lava flow and shaped into magnificent cliffs. It is possible to even spot Mount Fuji on a clear day from this vantage point! Otherwise, Dogashima Coast itself provides a great view of the sunset too!
To make things easier:
- Follow this recommended itinerary to West Izu (JR-East)!
- This one covers more sights in the whole Izu Peninsula (JNTO).
Isn’t this a lovely place?