Jul 21, 2009

Jinata Onsen, Shikinejima, Tokyo

(photo: Oct. 2008)

Believe it or not, this spectacular wild onsen sits in Tokyo. Well, probably the Tokyo Metropolitan Government covers wider area than you assume. You can find this Jinata Onsen(地鉈温泉) in the small island, Shikinejima (式根島, Shikine Island), one of the Izu Islands off the coast of Honshu, the main island. This is my most favorite onsen in Tokyo.

Approach to the onsen is as wonderful as onsen itself. The onsen located at the bottom of the V-shaped valley, you have to walk down several hundred steps from the clifftop. That's why it named "Jinata Onsen" as "JI" stands for land, "NATA" for a hatchet in Japanese. It looks like someone made this valley with a hatchet, doesn't it?

To soak yourself in the onsen, you have to visit right time. High tide submerge it under the sea, and maybe it's too hot at low tide especially in the summer. Even in October last year, the sodium hot springs were more than 55°C at some hot pots when I visit there. Be careful.

Swim suites required for bathing. A typhoon in 2002 washed away the changing room, and not yet rebuilt, so you have to change clothes in the toilet up on the cliff or anywhere else. There are many big rocks around.

Shikinejima is a real small island of 3.9km² with population of about 600. Although there is only one traffic light, there are some more onsens in the island. If you're a soak addict, it's worth visiting. You will see another Japan.

Type: Gender mixed, open-air bath, swim suites necessary

Available hour: Anytime throughout the year.

Admission fee: Free

Equipment: Clock, lighting facilities (if you visit after dark I recommend you to bring your own light), toilet (several hundreds steps up on the cliff)

Access: Overnight slow boat to Shikinejima leaves from the Takeshiba Pier near Hamamatsu-cho, in central Tokyo every night, taking 8-9 hours. Returning boat leaves Shikinejima in the morning and arrives at Takeshiba Pier in the night same day. If you take fast jetfoil, it takes about 3-4 hours one-way. Or you can fly into Nijima, the neighboring island and then take a small boat to Shikinejima. The Nobushi Port of the Shikinejima located north of the island, you have to walk about 30 minutes to the Jinata Onsen at the south. Usually your ryokan or minshuku (family run casual ryokan) will provide free shuttle service if you book in advance.

Location: 34.318615,139.212323

Minus points: Too many sea louses around the onsen. Few people speak English in the island. Many of the ryokans, minshukus, restaurants close down in off season and the boats often suspend services under bad weather.

Link: Official website of The Tokyo Islands Tourist Information Promotion Association

My rating (out of five): 5


  1. Wonderful! Hope I could visit rotenburo in Japan, I visited some onsen before but none of them is an outdoor one.

  2. Hi Rashai!

    There are many rotenburos in Japan, and they never run away. All you have to do is just wait for next chance!

    This one is a bit too far away from the city, but there are many at convenient places in Tokyo, too.

  3. Hi Onsen soaker,

    I will definitely get your advice for my next trip to Tokyo then :)

  4. Rashai,

    Of course! Anytime with pleasure. (^.^)

  5. Hi Onsen soaker
    I have been there ; it is a nice view
    some times to many people.
    PS: have beeb last WE at Yubara with my friends from Okayama, great place

  6. Is it possible to have a day trip to this onsen, taking the night boat at 2200 and return back to tokyo during the day in the afternoon around 1500.

    is it really possible, as I can't find the time table for the return trip with the speed boat service that takes only 2 hours and 20 minutes.

  7. It depends on the season you choose. If you want to go right now, I think it's difficult due to sporadic ferry service. As for Nov - Dec, they serve speed boat only on every Friday and 26, 27 Nov and 3, 4 Dec, and big overnight ferry on every Friday, Saturday and some specific days. (I'm so surprised to find the ferry company, Tokai Kisen doesn't have English timetable in their website)


    高速ジェット船 Speed Boat
    大型客船 Big Ferry (Overnight Service)
    式根島 Shikinejima
    東京 Tokyo

  8. Thanks for the reply.

    I will be visiting japan on the from the 9th june 2015 for 8 days, allocating 10th and 11th for Shikinejima as 1 day may not be enought, they do have a english link but does not work, do you know approximate the price for the large boat (10 hour ride from tokyo to Shikinejima) and the speed jet boat (2.5 hours from Shikinejima to tokyo).

  9. I think you can expect more boat and ferry services in June. The fare is.... 10140 yen one way for the speed boat, and for the large overnight ferry there are five classes starting from 6610 yen (normal second class) to 18520 yen (super class) one way as of today.

  10. will a reservation be needed for both the high speed ferry and the passenger boat, do they get full often.


  11. Thanks for all the help, I have my trip planned, but only 2 days with the option if I decide I use the slow passenger boat or the high speed boat, for the class 2 seats or tatami's it's not a option, it could be too tired for a 9-10 hrs just sitting, and sleeping on the tatami's with so many people, is not for me, so it's the special 2 class, but for that price (9930 yen), i'd rather use the jet boat (10140), but all will depend on the actual cost when the time comes in june, and from the information I have found, june to october is the rainy season and may even have typhoon.

    So i will decide later on.

    Just one more question, if I use the passenger boat on 10th June or the speed jet boat on the 11th June , will it be too late to purchase these ticket if I arrive to japan on the 9th june, as on my way to tokyo from haneda, I will take to monorail which will stop near be in the morning.

    sorry about the long question.


  12. excuse my late reply as I was away from home.

    June 10 and 11 are weekdays, so ferry and boat must be less crowded, but I can't assure you. I will call Tokai Kisen and ask them for you. Please wait for a few days.

  13. Thank you for all your help.

  14. They say they accept inquiry by e-mails. You can find their mail address at the bottom of this page.

  15. Would Jan be too cold to visit? Is it easy walk from the pier or to other ryokans on the island? Thx.

  16. Not that cold, but usually it's very windy in the winter, and sometimes speed boat suspends its service. From the pier it takes about 20 minutes on foot to most accommodation.


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