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Hachijōjima (八丈島 Hachijō-jima , Hachijō Island) is a Japanese island in the Pacific Ocean, administered by Tokyo and located 300 kilometers south of the Special Wards of Tokyo. Hachijō Town governs the island.
The chief community on the island is Mitsune. Other communities are Nakanogo, Kashitate, and Ohkago. As of 2008, the island's population is 8,592.
Hachijōjima, along with the other Izu Islands, is officially part of Tokyo. The islands form part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. During the Edo period, the island was a place of exile for convicts.
Hachijōjima is accessible both by aircraft and by ferry. A pedestrian ferry leaves Tokyo once every day at 10 p.m., and arrives at Hachijo at 9:00 a.m. the following day. As of 2005, the ferry costs about US$140 round trip. Air travel to Hachijojima Airport takes 45 minutes from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), and a round trip ticket is about US$200.
It is possible to hire cars and bicycles on the island.
For car or motocycle rental, International driving license is required.
Accommodation on Hachijōjima is plentiful, and prices start around ¥4,000 per night. It also has a free campsite that is open year round; reservations are not required. The campsite has numerous BBQ pits, cold showers and full cooking facilities. There are many Japanese-style inns, and several larger hotels.
Hachijōjima is popular with surfers, with three reef breaks and consistently warmer water than mainland Japan because of a warm water current called the "Kuroshio". Due to the fact Hachijōjima is a volcanic island there are a few black sandy beaches. The main one is next to the main harbour of Sokodo. There are various skin diving/snorkeling points to explore.
Hachijōjima's scuba diving points are many and varied. Nazumado is the best known of them, and is considered to be one of the top ten dive points in Japan. Sea turtles are common and underwater lava bridges are typical features for a volcanic island. Hachijōjima is also known for its natural onsen, hiking, waterfalls, and natural beauty.
Between the months of May to September seven varieties of bioluminescent mushrooms can be seen. Rainy season is the best time for viewing them.
Other activities for visitors include visiting the botanical gardens, exploring wartime tunnels, day trips to nearby Kojima island and hiking to the top of Hachijo-fuji, the island's extinct volcano. Kihachijo silk cloth is woven on the island, and one of the workshops in Nakanogo is open to tourists. There is also a free geothermal power museum.
Fishing could be a rewarding experience since there are many different location allowing people to catch fish.
The Hachijō Dialect is the most divergent from standard Japanese of all the Japanese dialects. It retains some archaic features no longer found in other forms of Japanese.
The town operates its public elementary and junior high schools.
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Location of Hachijōjima compared to the rest of Japan
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Noboryō Pass: Mt Hachijō-Fuji and Hachijō-Koshima island seen from the Noboryō Pass.
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Tamaishigaki: Walls built by convicts exiled on Hachijōjima in the Edo Period.
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Karataki waterfall: The Karataki waterfall, in the hills around Mt. Miharayama.
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Freesia Festival: The annual freesia festival.
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Aloe growing on Mt Hachijō-Fuji.
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Landsat image: Hachijōjima and Hachijō-Koshima.
- Runin: Banished, a 2004 film about convicts exiled to Hachijōjima, and their attempts to escape.
- Battle Royale, a controversial 2000 film filmed on the neighbouring, uninhabited, Hachijō Kojima, although not set on the island.
- Hachijo Town
- Hachijojima Tourism—Site from Tokyo Metropolitan Government with information on the island's sights.
- Hachijo.info Guide for travelers
- Hachijojima volcano
- The Anchor Pub—Website for this Australian-run bar.
- Kihachijo Fabrics—Information on this local craft
- Encarta: Map of Hachijō-jima