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  • izu islands for foreigners

    My family will be coming over in late July for my wedding and I am trying to put together some ideas of things to do that, due to the financial situation and flight/hotel prices , would not be to crazy expensive. They`d like to do a bit of swimming etc and unless they buy the rail pass places like shimoda etc are just oo expensive to get to.

    Can anyone recommend gaijin friendly places on oshima or nejjima or any of the other islands including places to stay?

    Thanks in advance potters

  • #2
    There will be millions of tourists in Izu in late July..so as a rule everything will go up.
    I visited there several times and noticed that people there always tried to make money off everything!! I mean everything!
    I went to this supermarket to buy fruits and saw a juicy looking peach in a box so I picked up one to see if it doesn't have any brown spots or anything.
    And the supermarket guy came up to me and said,"You have to buy it once you've touched it" so I left.

    Anyway, back to the topic,
    I recommend "okinawa"as
    they have an international airport,
    the beaches are very clean,
    probablly there are more people who can speak English,
    you can find tours that include hotel stays, car rentals,and flights etc.

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    • #3
      The Izu islands are great - nowhere near as packed as mainland Izu and very beautiful... I've been to Oshima, Hachijojima, Shinekijima and Nijima so far. I can't help you with accomodation as my Japanese friends book it but there is a boat out is from Takeshiba at 10:30 on Friday nights. You sleep (or party!) overnight and gets to the first island about 6:30am and the night late morning. IF you don't book a cabin type you you can sleep on the floor with the other guests, but the space is pretty tight and its just like sardines. OK is the boat isnt packed and you get 2 or 3 spaces but rubbish if its packed and you are not extremely friendly with the people either side.

      Then we normally get the fast ferry back to Atami (1 hour trip) and get the shikansen back up to Tokyo. Be aware the islands are sparsely populated and shops are few and far between.... take the majority of what you need (booze, food etc) over on the ship rather than expecting to buy it on the islands.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Gaijin 06 View Post
        I can't help you with accomodation as my Japanese friends book it
        The great Japanophile Gaijinme06IQ can't even book his own accomodation in Japan! What a loser.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jacque_S View Post
          The great Japanophile Gaijinme06IQ can't even book his own accomodation in Japan! What a loser.
          I didn't say I couldn't book it, I said I don't.. hence I don't know the names or addresses of the places we stay.

          I expect basic comphrension skills are well beyond your miserable little existence though.

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          • #6
            I guess the concept of having friends is an alien one to you though Jackass Perhaps if you had made some, you would still be in Japan and not living at home with your Mum. Kurogane the second?

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            • #7
              The problem with the plan is that the rain can be freuqent and massive in the islands that time of year. A bad spell of rain, and the entire vacation is ruined.

              I agree with the above poster about ripoffs - my hotel in Miyake Island had a 3 p.m. check in time, although the ferry arrives early in the morning, and thus charged all the arriving guests a half-day rate that wasn't stated during the booking. The option was to be turfed out with all your luggage til 3. I've since spent my beach holidays in Thailand.

              Shikinejima has a free campsite, although it's very, very basic.

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              • #8
                I agree with the above. We were planning to go to Shikinejima but a typhoon out to sea made the water too choppy so our boat was cancelled- this is quite common apparently. We were able to go as far as Oshima, but it is a large enough island that you need to rent a car to get around, and the beaches are nothing special and quite rocky in places. It rained the whole of the third day we were there and we were left with nothing to do but visit the squirrel petting zoo. (really)

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                • #9
                  Oshima, Nijima, Kozushima, Shikenijima are the ones I've been to. And yes, all great. Oshima is of course, much bigger and you'll rely on buses and taxis to get around, unless there is a car ferry from Tokyo---is there one?

                  For my money though, I would still head down to Shimoda, especially if its not on a weekend. The JR pass wouldn't help you ENTIRELY anyway, because JR doesn't run past ITO. But, with the JR pass, YES, it could help.

                  Still, unless people are travelling extensively the JR pass won't help---you need to make a few far off trips to have it pay for itself.

                  So.......how about taking the Odoriko line from Shinjuku down to Shimoda. No stops, a nice train line, no worries about bad weather, and, you can find a nice Ryokan/Minshuku on a good beach in Shimoda for 6000-7000 a night INCLUDING dinner and breakfast?

                  If you are interested, have a look at the Japan Inn Group's website. The one minshuku in Shimoda that is part of the group is spotlessly clean, very affordable and they speak passable English. Western breakfast with coffee on the table, and a beautiful swimming beach with nice sand is just a 5 minute walk. There aren't surfers there, so, it won't have the throngs of people/cars that people imagine in Izu.

                  I think they charge 6500 per person for accomodation, breakfast and a very big dinner. His dinners would be worth at least 3000 per person alone in a restaurant. We've been to that particular minshuku more than 10 times and keep going back.

                  Another idea might just be to rent a car---they are fairly reasonable. Drive to Numazu on the Tomei, rather than to Atami, and drive the West Coast of Izu, then cross inland to Shimoda. Beautiful drive and you can take your time. Might work out cheaper than the train, even for a couple of nights.

                  If you want more info, please PM me.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by psychokitty

                    Another option is to go to the west coast of Izu from Numazu. A ferry leaves from the port (take a bus or taxi from the station) and goes to Heda and Toi (and may even go as far as Dougashima).


                    Really nice beach near Shimoda -
                    I stayed at Yumigahama and liked it. We stayed at a cottage perched up on the hill and really liked it (name???)
                    I also liked Sotogaura (south of the popular Shirahama). It is a little quiet bay with minshuku on the shores popular with families and old people.

                    Shirahama does have beautiful sand but is really quite a scene. If you are looking for some eye candy - it`s great I imagine!
                    We take the ferry--it's great. Adds to the cost, but the peace of driving down the west side pays for the trip IMO.

                    The beach I mentioned above is Sotogaura. Great for families.

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                    • #11
                      thank you

                      That`s what I`m talking about - my faith in gaijinpot has been restored. Thanks to all who responded and gave me a starting point

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by withnail View Post
                        That`s what I`m talking about - my faith in gaijinpot has been restored. Thanks to all who responded and gave me a starting point
                        Yeah, it's a good thread.

                        I was just imagining taking my family to one of the islands--putting myself in your shoes as it were. Maybe Shimoda might be a better option simply because, as one poster rightly pointed out, the weather is unpredictable that time of year. Stuck on Nijima with bad weather would be a BORE, IMO, because it's the water and beaches that make it.

                        On the other hand, Shimoda isn't such a drag on rainy days. There is a nice walk around one of the points and the Hydrangea (sp?) gardens will be in full bloom, there are good restaurants and cafes, a boat ride around the harbour, onsens a plenty, and shopping. If you have great weather, then there are plenty of beaches to choose from and the driving--during the weekdays--is nice as well. There is a rather dingy aquarium, but still, if someone wants to see some turtles and dolphins, there is that option. Everything is a short ride/walk/bus from the station as well. No long journeys and you're not at the mercy of the boat schedule.

                        Just a thought....

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                        • #13
                          Thanks again

                          Would it really be that predictable at the end of July? I would have thought rainy season would have upped and left by then, non?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by withnail View Post
                            Would it really be that predictable at the end of July? I would have thought rainy season would have upped and left by then, non?
                            That's a good question. It certainly seems to have become wetter and more unpredictable in the last decade or so. That's what the locals seem to say too. I've had great weekends in July here and long weeks of rain. A few years ago it basically rained the entire summer, until September. We were going stir crazy so booked a cheap 4 day package to Saipan (and extended it another 2 days) just to get the sunshine and views (not to mention being in an English speaking area where I wasn't the gaijin for a week).

                            So, yeah, traditionally mid july marks the end of rainy season, but it can be up and down around the end.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by psychokitty
                              Veeeeery good point. Spent a couple of rainy days on SHikinejima......very very boring.
                              You could always go scuba diving. Doesn't really matter if it is raining then... and there is an "underwater onsen" where turtles go to sleep..... very very cool and probably quite unique.

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