These remote islands in the southwest Sea of Japan have been designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
The Oki Islands lie about 40 km north of Shimane Prefecture and have been recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark due the significant number of 'geosites' that can be found throughout the area. The geosites were mainly selected for their striking geological features but also promote Oki's ecological and cultural heritage. The small archipelago consists of around 180 islands, four of which are permanently inhabited. Dogo is the main circular island to the northeast, while Nishinoshima, Nakanoshima and Chiburijima in the southwest are referred to as the Dozen group of islands.
- Experience the Oki Islands' geo-history by exploring the volcanic cliffs.
- Enjoy the local shellfish dishes at 'Kai no Ohkoku', The Shellfish Kingdom, on Dogo.
- Watch the sunset at Rosoku-jima (Candle Island). This candle shaped islands lights up spectacularly at sunset when the sun rests on its peak.
Candle Island boat excursion (Dogo)
Boats depart every day from April to October to see the 'candle' isle get lit up at sunset. Times will vary in accordance sundown. Reservation required.
A half day bus tour of the island's most eye-catching natural features. The tours are operated on Saturdays and Sundays.
Kuniga sightseeing boat (Nishinoshima)
Observe the Oki Islands' steepest cliffs. These tours operate from April to October.
Amanbou underwater observation ship (Nakanoshima)
This semi-submersible ship provides fantastic views of the mysterious world below sea surrounding the island. Night cruises are also available during summer and autumn.
Bull Sumo (Dogo)
An 800-year-old bullfighting tradition that is still practiced today, but you won't find any matadors here. Two bulls square off with each other in a show of strength until one backs down, not unlike Japan's famous sumo wrestlers. The bulls remain unhurt, except for their pride. Events are held 6 times a year (January, May, August, September, October and November).
Oki Shrine night prayer (Dogo)
Experience an authentic Shinto night prayer led by a Shinto priest in this round trip direct from your hotel. Reservation is required three days in advance.
Red-wall sunset sightseeing boat (Chiburijima)
A boat tour around brightly colored 200-meter high cliffs. Tours operate from April to October.
Food & Souvenirs
Sake & shochu
A variety of alcoholic beverages are made on the islands, including a sake containing the islands' award-winning Top 100 Best Water of Japan spring water and an unusual shochu made from local seaweed.
This mineral-rich salt is obtained by sun drying the sea water of Hobomi Bay.
Sazae (turban shellfish)
Sazae are one of Oki's everyday food items. There are numerous ways to enjoy eating sazae. Fresh sazae sashimi is available along with mouthwatering souvenirs of canned sazae, sazae rice, and soy-sauce simmered sazae.
A pottery located at the foot of Mount Takuhi on Nishinoshima where you can experience making pottery and mud-dyeing. The pottery uses the red clay found in the Oki Islands and glazes made from locally sourced trees and seaweed.
Oki Nature Museum (Oki Islands Geopark Visitors Center) (Dogo)
Exhibits provide insight into Oki's nature, ecosystems and historical culture. The perfect place to start your journey around the islands.
Candle Island (Dogo)
This unusual rock formation in the Sea of Japan, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption has been sculpted into a candle shape over time by the waves. See the candle lights up at night when the setting sun rests on its peak.
Iwakura's chichi-sugi cedar (Dogo)
This sacred 800-year-old cedar has been worshiped on the island for centuries.
Tamawakasu Mikoto Shrine (Dogo)
The oldest shrine in the Oki Islands. It is protected by a symbolic 2000-year-old yao-sugi cedar tree.
Dangyonotaki Falls (Dogo)
This picturesque waterfall has a drop of around 50 meters and uniquely incorporates a shrine that has been built directly into the rock face.
Kuniga coast (Nishinoshima)
The Kuniga sea cliffs are often referred to as the most beautiful scenery throughout the Oki Islands. Sightseeing boats give you fantastic views of the cliffs and imposing sea caves.
Matengai cliff (Nishinoshima)
At a height of 257 meters this is Japan's largest sea eroded cliff and is located on the Kuniga coast.
Akao observatory (Nishinoshima)
A popular spot for viewing the scenery where you can see the whole of the Kuniga coast.
Yurahime shrine (Nishinoshima)
Known for its stone torii gate that stands in the water of an inlet frequented by a large group of dolphins.
Takuhi Shrine (Nishinoshima)
Built to worship the god of the sea, the shrine looks like it is slowly being swallowed up by the surrounding cliffs. It sits amongst 1000-year-old trees which add to its sacred atmosphere.
Kirogasaki lighthouse (Nakanoshima)
A lighthouse at the southernmost point of Nakanoshima. A great location for watching the sun rise and set.
'Akahage Yama' (Bald Red Mountain) (Chiburijima)
Enjoy superb 360-degree panoramic views of the Oki Islands and Shimane Prefecture at the top from the observation deck.
An uninhabited island that is connected to Chiburijima by bridge, offering camping opportunities and beaches to explore.