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Let's vacation at the islands in Tokyo!

Pierre has moved to Japan a few months ago. He asks his colleague, Somchai, about his plan for summer vacation.

Pierre

Somchai-san, have you made a plan for your summer vacation yet?
Somchai
Sure, I am going to go scuba diving at an island with my friends this year.

Pierre

Sounds great. Are you visiting Okinawa, or Hawaii?

Somchai

Well, I am going to an island in Tokyo. It's called Izu-oshima.

Pierre

I had no idea that Tokyo has islands where you can do scuba diving.

Somchai

From the Takeshiba Pier in the Tokyo Port, it takes only an hour and 45 minutes on a high-speed boat to Izu-oshima Island. At the island, you can enjoy diving, beaches, hot springs, camping, and much more. You can also try such local activities as pressing camellia oil or dyeing fabrics with plants.

Pierre

You sound like you know the place very well. Have you visited there before?

Somchai

Yes, I love the island and have gone many times.

Seeing Pierre so interested in Izu-oshima, Somchai shares information with him about other islands of Tokyo.

Somchai
In fact, there are as many as 330 islands in Tokyo, all beautiful and rich in nature. Many islands offer accommodations for tourists who come there to enjoy hot springs as well as water sports on the ocean.

Pierre

I was totally unaware of that!
Somchai
Some of the popular islands for tourists are the Izu Seven Islands including Izu-oshima and also the Ogasawara Islands.

Pierre

What would you say makes the Ogasawara Islands special and worth visiting?

Somchai

Often referred to as the "Galapagos of East," the Ogasawara Islands are known for their unique and abundant nature and ecological system. Since June 2011, the islands have been an official World Natural Heritage Site designated by UNESCO. Depending on the season you visit, such activities as swimming with dolphins and watching whales are also available. It is a great place to go for those who love nature.

Pierre

My kids would be so excited to hear about this. We take a boat or ship to get there, right?

Somchai

Yes, but it is about 1,000 kilometers far away from Tokyo. It takes 25 hours and a half from the Takeshiba Pier to Chichijima Island, one of the Ogasawara Islands.

Pierre

That sounds quite far. Flights must be available to the islands then.

Somchai

Actually, no island of Ogasawara has an airport. Ships are the only transportation available to the islands. They are truly remote islands floating in the Pacific Ocean.

Pierre

I see. I imagine that's why such rich nature is preserved out there. Well, I think I know where I should have a family vacation while I am in Japan!
TOKYO-ISLANDS.COM(Tourist Information on the Izu Islands and the Ogasawara Islands)