Sponsored by Tourism Oita.
Japan boasts thousands of islands so it is difficult easy to miss many of the most exceptional “islands of Japan.” Follow me to discover the northern part of Ohnyujima Island in Oita Prefecture.
About Ohnyujima Island
Located northeast of Saiki City, Ohnyujima is an island with a circumference of about 17-kilometer, covering an area of 5.66 square kilometers. Fishing is its main industry and it is only about a ten-minute ride by boat to reach the island’s shores. The trip costs just 200 yen.
For further information of the boat’s schedule, please check the official site.
An Island Tour
There is a restaurant near the boat terminal. If you are hungry, you can have lunch there during 11:30 to 13:30.
You can choose your menu on the spot, including udon at 550 yen. The restaurant owner tells me that the food is entirely cooked with local products. In other words, we can eat local fresh ingredients which is very appreciated.
You can start your walk to the northern part of the island accompanied with the sounds of crickets and birds, and the smell of the sea. Your hiking will start while admiring the sea and water of Saiki Bay. Then if you take a closer look, you may be able to see the fish swimming.
As I visited there during summer, the walk is very pleasant despite the summer heat. Afterwards, you will pass by rows of typical fishermen’s houses.
You will eventually come across a small local shrine. You can make a prayer at shrine if you choose to and then return to the main path. As you reach hiking trails, you will come across more scenic views and is to travel into the center of the island’s forest. This path is especially pleasant in summer as the fresh sea breeze passes through the trees.
Hillside or seaside? There are forks in the road that will take you closer to the shore or deeper into the forest. The choice is up to you. I chose the sea though I wish I had brought sandals to enjoy the view stretches of sandy shore.
The path is easy to access, and you will pass through the orchards of farmers and local fishing village inhabitants. The mikan farms seems to be the most popular in this region as you will find them everywhere.
While enjoying the seashore, you will meet many inhabitants of the island: I wanted to ask them about animals and insects, but I hesitated to do so. You will see few people except in the fishing villages during your walk.
You will also come across several beautiful beaches during your trek. You can go there to soak your feet in the waters of the Seto Inland Sea or simply sit on the sand and take your time to admire the views.
After walking around the seaside, you can explore the hillside if you feel like it.
There is a path that leads you to the highest peaks of the island. But be careful: you need to climb! You do not have to be an experienced hiker, but you have to keep in mind that the path is quite steep and goes on for a certain length of time. It takes between 45 minutes and one hour to reach the summit while taking breaks.
I advise you to go up to the peak because the view point at the top is so breathtaking. Listening to the sound of crickets as you climb, you will come across some view points before you reach the summit and enjoy the final panorama landscape.
There is a real sense of grandeur at this lookout, a true escape away from the mundanity of daily life and into nature. The definitely recommend this activity! You can sit on a bench and enjoy the view in peace. The wide-open expanse of the village and Saiki Bay leave plenty of room for your spirit to set sail.
After enjoying this view for as long as you want, you can return down to the port and take a boat back to the mainland.
Ohnyujima Island is vast and very easy to access. Its northern part will offer you two assets: seaside and landside hiking trails. Although it is not a popular tourist site yet, you can make the most of your time in Oita and Saiki by discovering this island!