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The Izu Seven Islands are comprised of peaks of a submerged volcanic chain that projects out into the Pacific from the Izu-hanto Peninsula. Although there is still a considerable amount of volcanic activity, the island chain is a popular holiday destination, especially among Tokyo residents. If you are not one for crowds, avoid going to the islands during holiday periods. Getting to the islands may prove to be a little difficult, as most require flights or ferries to get to each island.

O-Shima Island

With a size of 91 sq. km, O-shima Island is the biggest among all seven islands. Mt Mihara-yama, an active volcano, is the primary attraction on this island. Buses will take visitors up to the summit from Motomachi Port. Apart from the volcano, the Oshima-koen Park, with its natural zoo and camping grounds, is another attraction on O-shima Island.

To reach the island, visitors can fly from Tokyo via Air Nippon Koku (7550 one way), which will take 40 minutes. Visitors can also choose to catch the ferry service, which runs once daily from Atami (1 hour 10 minutes, 2380 2nd class), Ito (1 hours, 2070), or Tokyo's Takeshiba Pier (7 hours, 4140 2nd class). Accommodations abound at O-shima Island.

To-Shima Island

Located 27km southwest of O-shima Island, this island is the smallest of the seven islands, with a circumference of only 8km. The island is mountainous with no swimming beaches even though its volcano is currently dormant. The island is mainly used to cultivate camellias, thus making it a picturesque place to visit, especially between the months of December and February when the flowers bloom.

Ferry services are available from Tokyo's Takeshiba Pier (9 hours, 4600 2nd class), and accommodations can also be found on the island.

Nii-Jima Island

It is the beaches that have made Nii-jima Island one of the most popular among the seven islands. With an area of 23 sq. km, there are approximately over 200 places to stay on this island alone. Ferries can be taken from Tokyo's Takeshiba Pier (10 hours, 5560 2nd class), as well as from O-shima and To-shima Islands.

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