Tropical island paradise might not be what people most associate with Tokyo, but in fact there are a number of untouched islands with white sand beaches, lush forests and turquoise seas right inside the city limits.

The Izu and Ogasawara Islands lie to the south of downtown Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean and can be accessed by regular passenger ship from the city centre Takeshiba Terminal. Some of the larger islands even have aeroplane connections with the mainland.

Far from the neon of Shinjuku and the Harajuku’s buzzing crowds, life on Tokyo’s islands has a more relaxed pace. Visitors come to enjoy beautiful beaches and stunning views, to snorkel in the shallows, dive in deeper waters and even swim with dolphins.

The islands are packed with volcanos and mountains, hiking trails for all abilities and flower festivals. Each island also has a unique character and charm, attracting visitors for all kinds of reasons from birdwatching to unusual sculptures, and volcano-powered hot springs to locally-produced drinks.

Tokyo’s islands offer a different perspective on the city and are well worth the visit for those who take the time to make the trip.

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