How to Get Mikurajima Island and Where to Stay - DOLPHIN island -
Dolphin island in Japan
Do you love dolphins? Who do not love them, right? (sorry, if you are a dolphin hater!)
Mikurajima island (Mikura-jima (Jima/shima means "island" in Japanese) , "御蔵島") is famous for dolphin watch. Beside, like Hachijo island, you will see so many type of tropical fishes and turtles which you may only expect from Okinawa area (south west tropical islands in Japan).
With this article, we introduce you everything about Mikurajima island how to get there, where to stay (exact address on the map of bungalow, guest houses and a hotel), what to do and what you need to be careful with when visiting the island.
Now let us begin!
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Mikurajima Basic information
The island is covered by deep forest. This means the island has a plenty water.
The island is one old volcano but there is NO hot springs ("onsen") and there is NO soft sandy beach. For Onsen, you may want to combine your Mikurajima trip with Hachijojima island trip. It is on the same ship route.
The island has steep roads and biking is not allowed. Yet, for the hiking, we would say this island is a great destination.
There are shops and guesthouses on this island - which is good!
The important rules of the island are 1) to book a place of stay before landing the island (otherwise, you will be rejected) and 2) to bring a health insurance card (original) with you if you have a Japanese one to join the dolphin watch tour.
Let us brief about this island.
Size of the island: 20.54km2
Highest point of the island: 851m
No. of household: 172
Source: Mikurajima village office
The contact of village office
What to do on Mikurajima island?
Like many islands we featured, Mikurajima island is also part of Tokyo but totally different from the common image of "Tokyo" full of tall buildings (similar to the shock to many when learning Okutama area is also part of Tokyo).
Swimming with Dolphin and Dolphin watch
You can see dolphin so close. You dive into the ocean and swim with dolphins. You can not swim? Do not worry, you can watch from the ship.
You reserve a dolphin watch at your guest house. You hop on the ship owned or contracted by your guest house.
If you stay at one of the bungalows, you contact the ship captains for the tour directly.
And..watch out for jellyfish! Wear the proper protection against them! And just in case, bring your health insurance card with you.
Good time for Dolphin watch?
When is it good to do the dolphin watch? It is from April till November. Mikurajima village office says their official rule is from 15th March till 15th November.
The island has rough and high tides from December till March thus the ship is not reliable to travel any more.
Type of Dolphin in Mikurajima
The type of dolphins you see in the shore of Mikurajima island is Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin. It is around 2.6 meter big.
Basically all dolphins are with tags so that the authority can study on their demography. It is usually around 120 dolphins are around the island. Most of female dolphins stay around the island till their deaths but male dolphins go somewhere once they reach a certain age after they have families.
They are not always playful with human beings.
Scuba diving and swimming
The island is idea for scuba diving. You can usually rent all scuba kits from guest houses (but make sure you call them and check if they have all).
For swimming, it is not the best place.
Seashore of this island are rocky cliff.
The island has very beautiful nature and great spot for scuba diving.
But the island is not for sand beach. If you expect the fine and shallow sand beach with beach parasol and you will get disappointed. There is only one area you are allowed to swim. The area is near the port, 3-5 meter depth (kinda deep!). Not for kids.
If you going into mountains of the island, you need a professional hiking guide. There are several hiking routes on the island, some of which do not need guide. You communicate the guesthouse or tourist office to see if you need one for the route you want.
Price range of the hiking tour guide is around 40USD or more per person for a half day and around 70USD or more for a full day , depending on which route, how many in group. In the summer time, there are constant shortage of hiking guides for one full day because many of them also work to guide the dolphin watch.
One guide can take 7 people or less. If 8 people or more, there must be two guides in total.
The most popular hiking route is to walk for ca 14 km to the giant and old itajii trees ("Su-da-jii" in Japanese).
The hiking road is not paved for most part. The route is quite with ups and downs. You need a good hiking gear. Stretch well before you embark your walk trip.
And the weather can change suddenly.
There is no hot spring on this island.
What to eat and drink
Mikurajima Dolphin Candy
Tasty Mikurajima water
How to get Mukurajima
An inside footage of ship to Mikura-jima island (one of several ships, Tachibana-maru "橘丸")
How to get Mikurajima
There are 3 ways
It is around 8 hour cruise from Takeshiba Sanbashi bay in Tokyo to Mikurajima.
It is around 30 min flight from Oshima island.
It is around 30 min flight from Hachijojima island.
There is one round trip flight every day via Oshima and Hachijojima.
To get the island, you need to use the Toho airline
For inquiry/reservation: + 81 4996 2 5222
1) To Mikurajima via Oshima: Chofu airport to Oshima island (Shinchuo airline), then from Oshima departing at 14:55 to Mikurajima airport arriving at 15:25 (Toho airline).
From Mikurajima: Mikurajima airport departing at 10:55AM to Oshima island arriving at 11:30AM (Toho airline), then from Oshima to Chohu airport.
For inquiry/reservation: + 81 422 31 4191
2) To Mikurajima via Hachijojima: Haneda airport to Hachijojima island (ANA), then from Hachijojima departing at 10:25AM to Mikurajima airport arriving at 10:50 (Toho airline).
From Mikurajima: Mikurajima airport departing at 15:30 to Hachijojima arriving at 15:55 (Toho airline), then from Hachijojima to Haneda airport (ANA).
For inquiry/reservation : +81 570-029-222
Flight is around 300-400 USD round trip depending on season.
You take a Tokai-Kisen ship
For inquiry/reservation : +81 3-5472-9999
Very important to check this chart to see if the ship departs from and arrives at Mikurajima with no problem (All in Japanese, you see the date and if the ship has any problem (due to weather condition) with its travel. O means no prob. X means that the ship was canceled for the trip)
Starting from 9000 JPY (for the shared room) up to 25210 JPY (for deluxe compartment) one way (as of July, 2017)
The typical time table as below ( It is NOT an exact time table which changes from time to time and you need to check with the ship company from its website or call +81 3 5472 9999 Open 8:30AM - 20:00)
To Mikurajima Island from Tokyo
Take the ship at 22:30 (night) from Tokyo (Takeshiba Sanbashi port)
Arriving at Miyakejima Island at 05:00AM
Leaving Miyakejima Island at 05:05AM
Arriving at Mikurajima Island at 05:55AM (you get off here)
Leaving Mikurajima Island at 06:00AM
To Tokyo from Mikurajima Island
Arriving at Mikurajima Island at 12:30PM ( lunch time) (You get on here)
Leaving Mikurajima Island at 12:35
Arriving at Miyakejima Island at 13:25
Leaving Miyakejima Island at 13:35
Arriving at Tokyo at 19:40 (Takeshiba Sanbashi port)
Takeshiba Sanbashi port
Example of room in Ship (Tachibana-maru)
Live picture of Mikurajima
You can see how the weather is like on the island right now from this link. See anything interesting? Just check this out!
Where to stay on Mikurajima
There are 7 guesthouses (among which one hotel "type" place) and 5 bungalows on this island.
1) It is very important to book one of those in advance, or you are not allowed to land on Mikurajima island.
2) Around 5-8 August, several guest houses are closed (even if the dolphin watch tour can go on) due to the Reitai festival.
3) In summer time, Mikurajima is so popular that you need to book 2-3 month in advance (usually by telephone or fax) and a possible lottery system (!) to decide if you can book or not.
4) Many guest houses ask you to bring a health insurance card (original) if you have a Japanese. Esp. if you join a dolphin watch tour, you may need to go to see a doctor in case of emergency. If you have a foreign travel insurance, it may depend on its term.
Start with Cheapest...
1. Fu-re-ai Hi-ro-ba Bungalow
You can not camp on this island but you can stay at bungalows!
Name: Fu-re-ai Hi-ro-ba Bungalow （ふれあい広場 バンガロー）
Room charge: 2000JPY (with no meal)
Contact: +81 4994 8 2022 (8:30AM-17:00)
Website (You can book from 2 month in advance by telephone)
Note: Max 4 people for one bungalow. There are 5 bungalows in total (meaning 20 people to stay) 2 min 100JPY for shower.
You can check the room availability from this link ("空有" means available, "空無" means not available)
Go there to check in Bungalow
Nice GUESTHOUSES often with ship captains
Name: Guesthouse Marui （民宿まるい）
Non-summer time 8600JPY per person if staying alone in one room, 8000JPY per person if 2-3 people staying in one room.
In summer time 9800JPY per person if staying alone in one room, 8600JPY per person if 2-3 people staying in one room.
Contact: +81 4994 8 2318
Name: Guesthouse Teppoba （民宿 鉄砲場）
Room charge: 8750JPY per person if staying alone in one room, 7750JPY per person if 2-3 people staying in one room.
Kid price available starting from 6000JPY (4-6 years old)
Contact: +81 4994 8 2209
Website (You can book from late March for the stay from April - Oct)
Name: Guesthouse Nishikawa （民宿 西川）
Room charge: 8000JPY excl. tax per person with dinner and breakfast
Contact: +81 4994 8 2106
Website (You can book from late March for the stay from April - Oct)
Note: there are many cats living around this guest house.
Name: Guesthouse Choya （民宿 丁や）
Room charge: 8000JPY
Contact: +81 4994 8 2165 (if no answer, try this +81 4994 8 2218)
Website (You can book from 2 month in advance)
Note: The food is big here. Many good reviews.
Name: Guesthouse Mitomi （民宿 Mitomi）
Room charge: 4500JPY (with no meal)
Contact: +81 4994 8 2273
Website (You can book from 3 month in advance)
Name: Guesthouse Yamaju （民宿 山じゅう）
Non-summer time 8600JPY per person if staying alone in one room, 7600JPY per person if 2-3 people staying in one room.
In summer time (16 July-30 Sept) 9200JPY per person if staying alone in one room, 8000JPY per person if 2-3 people staying in one room.
Kid price available starting from 5100JPY (4-6 years old)
Dolphin watch special price: one night stay with dinner and breakfast and dolphin watch for two people 15300JPY per person. (you need to be a group of two)
Contact: +81 4994 8 2525
Website (You can book from 2 month before your arrival by telephone or fax)
Note: the public area on the 1st floor is a smoking area. Not good for kids. You may need to share a room in the peak time.
If you lIke A hotel type...
Name: Mikuraso （御蔵荘）
Room charge: 8700-13400 JPY per person
Contact: +81 4994 8 2555
Website (You can book from 3 month before your arrival by fax)
Note: Good reviews. There is a souvenir shop in this hotel. For early arrival, you can sleep on tatami room in the lobby. The water in the bath tab is not always hot enough.
Mikurajima has several festivals. A big one in August around 5th-8th. There is also a firework festival.
If also going to Hachijojima...
When you combine your trip to Hachijojima with Mikurajima, you can also check the below info where to stay at Hachijijima island, the island full of hot spring.
Where to stay on Hachijojima Island
Hotel Seapiross ( ホテル リゾートシーピロス)
Source: the hotel's official website
You can book this hotel from the below link!
Name: Hotel Seapiross ( 八丈島 ホテル リゾートシーピロス)
Address: 1304-3 Mitsune, Hachijo, Hachijojima island, Tokyo 100-1511
( 100-1511東京都八丈島八丈町三根1304-3 )
7 mins from Hachijojima airport. Pickup service available (please book in advance)
Walking distance from Sokodo port. It is also close to Sokodo beach.
TEL： +81 4996-2-5757
Checkin: 15:00 (you need to check in at 20:00 at latest)
Note: The hotel has a detached house which you can also book and stay for extreme privacy
SEADIVE GuesthouSe ( formerly known Shelltone) ( シーダイブ ゲストハウス )
Source: the guesthouse's official website
Name: SEADIVE Guesthoues ( formerly known Shelltone) ( シーダイブ ゲストハウス )
Address: 1312-4 Mitsune, Hachijo, Hachijojima island, Tokyo 100-1511
Note: 5 min by car from Hachijojima airport. The closest stay to Sokodo port (only 1 min walk!).
TEL： +81 4996-2-5840 or +81 90-7179-3922
Checkin: Between 15:00 and 18:30 (If earlier or later than this time frame, please let the guesthouse know)
NOTE: It is a guest house close to the beach and with a ping-pong table. Rental bike is available. NO PJ available.
Lido Park Resort Hachijo ( リードパークリゾート八丈島 )
Name: Lido Park Resort Hachijo ( リードパークリゾート八丈島 )
Address: 5392 Mitsune, Hachijo, Hachijojima island, Tokyo 100-1511
8 mins by car from Hachijojima airport. Pickup service available ( need a reservation)
TEL： +81 4996-2-7701
Checkin: 15:00 (Need to check in latest 19:00)
NOTE: Outside swimming pool is available in summer. If you need dinner, please book it in advance. There is no shop around and you may just need to buy an instant noodle from the shop in the hotel for dinner.
Hachijo View Hotel (八丈ビューホテル)
Name: Hachijo View Hotel (八丈ビューホテル)
Address: 4422-1 Okago, Hachijo-machi, Tokyo 100-1401
5 min by car from Hachijojima airport. 15 min by car from Sokodo port. Pickup service available
TEL： +81 4996-2-3221
Checkin: 15:00 (Need to check in latest 24:00 mid night)
NOTE: Cool Shochu bar. Swimming pool available. Buffet for breakfast. A lot of beautiful dinner.
Hotel Lido Azzurro (ホテル リード・アズーロ)
Name: Hotel Lido Azzurro (ホテル リード・アズーロ)
Address: 5489-1 Mitsune, Hachijo, Hachijojima island, Tokyo 100-1401
7 min by car from Hachijojima airport. 7 min by car from Sokodo port. Pickup service available
TEL： +81 4996-2-3121
NOTE: Swimming pool available. Park gulf is available for 500 JPY.
Source: the guesthouse's official website
Name: Funamiso (船見荘)
Address: 1754 Mitsune, Hachijo, Hachijojima island, Tokyo 100-1401
10 min by car from Hachijojima airport. 10 min by car from Sokodo port.
TEL： +81 4996-2-0731
Checkin: 10:00AM (latest 21:00) Yes, you can check in from 10:00AM! Better inform the house if you are coming late.
NOTE: Parking space for 10 cars. No key on your room. There is a safe outside of your room.
Mantenbo (プチホテル 満天望)
Source: the hotel's official website
Name: Mantenbo (プチホテル 満天望)
Address: 930-2 Okago, Hachijo, Hachijojima island, Tokyo 100-1401
10min walk from Osato bus stop of Hachijo bus
TEL： +81 4996-2-7250
Checkin: 15:00 (latest 24:00 mid night)
NOTE: Parking space for 5 cars. There are two shared bath rooms for male and female. The baths close at 22:00. There is no restaurant around. Better order and eat at the hotel.
Have a nice trip!
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Source: Wikipedia, each hotel's official website, Tokai-kisen official website, ANA official website