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The Four Oki Islands

Oki: Treasure Islands Found in the Sea of Japan

A “secret place” in the sea, strewn with many treasures... What are the Oki Islands?

The Oki Islands are made up of four populated islands and more than 180 uninhabited islands situated in the Sea of Japan. By 30,000 years ago, people were already living here, and during the Stone Age the volcanic rock obsidian was excavated and traded around Japan. During the middle ages, the islands were a place of exile for nobles like Emperor Godaigo, and during the early modern period, they were a port of call for merchant ships sailing the Kita-mae-bune (Northern Bound Ships) Trading Route on the Sea of Japan. Ships often had to stay and wait out sea storms. With each era, the Oki Islands have played a significant role.

With such a unique history, a landscape that provides glimpses of how the Sea of Japan formed, and an ecosystem that is full of mysteries, the Oki Islands are invaluable, even from a global perspective.

The Oki Islands Geopark was authorised as a member of the Global Geoparks Network in 2013.

Scenery from Mt. Takuhi (Nishinoshima Island)

Spectacular Scenery of the Three Dozen Islands: A Caldera Landscape

Nishinoshima (Nishinoshima Town)

This dynamic landscape leaves a lasting impression. The islands were created by a former volcano, and feature dramatic undulating landscapes, and strangely shaped rocks and reefs that are ‘nature's works of art’ along the coast. This island has a long history, and was where the Emperor Godaigo was exiled in the 14th century.

Scenery of Nishinoshima

Nakanoshima (Ama Town)

Ama Town features the widest plain on the Dozen Islands, and is blessed with spring water chosen as one of the ‘most delicious waters’ of Japan. A paradise of marine products, artifacts reveal that dried abalone from Ama Town was presented to the capital since the Nara Period (from AD 710).

Scenery of Nakanoshima

Chiburijima (Chibu Village)

The smallest and the most tranquil of the Oki Islands, as the closest island to the mainland, Chibu Village was a crucial port to travelers to the Oki Islands in the past. This island boasts the spectacular Sekiheki (Red Cliff), which features volcanic strata among the oldest in Japan, and from the a 325m tall Mt. Akahage you can experience sweeping views of the Shimane Peninsula, the Dozen Islands and Dogo Island.

Scenery of Chiburijima

Map of the Three Dozen Islands

Dogo Island: A fragment of the Eurasian Continent that shows us geological history from long, long ago

Dogo (Okinoshima Town)

The largest of the Oki Islands, Dogo (Okinoshima Town) is composed of five distinct regions: Saigo, Tsuma, Goka, and Nakamura. With a circumference of 100km, a journey around this island takes around two hours by car, and features many magnificent sheer cliffs that were carved by the rough waves of the Sea of Japan. Dogo is rich in nature and has many unique plant and animal species.

Scenery of Okinoshima Town

Map of the Dogo Island

Copyright 2013 Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark Office