63rd Izu Oshima Camellia Festival
28 January – 25 March 2018
Izu Oshima Island
Izu Oshima, the island of camellias
A volcanic island with a mild climate, Izu Oshima is located less than two hours away by boat from Tokyo, at 100 km south of the metropolis. Every year, Izu Oshima Camellia Festival (tsubaki matsuri)” is held on the island during the blossoming season of tsubaki (Japanese camellias), for two months from the end of January.
Pretty, exotic and elegant, camellia flowers start blossoming in January. They continue to bloom until the beginning of April, when the island’s native cherry trees (Oshima-zakura) also go into full bloom.
A great many kinds of camellias, ranging from the native species to horticultural varieties, can be seen here and there on the island. Major sites include camellia gardens (Tokyo Metropolitan Oshima Park and other reputed gardens) and “Tsubaki Tunnel”, a stretch of 100 meters of road lined with camellia trees, which looks like a tunnel made of branches.
Izu Oshima Camellia Festival 2018
During the festival period of about two months, Camellia Plaza and stalls will be open. Night festival will be held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2 February to 18 March. You can also rent, for free, a kimono costume of “anko” (meaning “a young woman” in the island’s dialect) for your selfies.
Tsubaki Plaza 28 January – 25 March, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm “Edo Mikoshi” & “Anko Parade” 28 January Camellia Queen Contest 3 February Camellia Marathon 11 February Surf fishing competition 24 February – 4 March
Tourism in Izu Oshima
Other than for the festival, the island is also an ideal place to recharge yourself and explore natural wonders. You won’t want to miss the scenic views of the island designated as a geopark (Mount Fuji seen from the shore, the volcano Mount Mihara and Urasabaku desert…).
The island offers activities such as onsen (hot springs), hiking and cycling, diving and fishing, shopping for local products including the renowned camellia oil, culture experiences, tasting local dishes like bekko-zushi and soba noodles with “ashitaba” leaves…
Trip to Izu Oshima from Tokyo
To Izu Oshima, it is possible to make a one-day trip from Tokyo or stay longer there for holidays. As a bonus, travel to the island will cost you less during the festival.
For instance, a round trip ticket by high-speed vessel from Tokyo is as cheap as 3,900 yen (Tokai Kisen Co. Ltd. until 8 April 2018; conditions apply). One more reason to take a long weekend to celebrate spring on the island, sometimes dubbed “Japanese Hawaii”.
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