Izu Ōshima

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Izu Ōshima
Native name:
伊豆大島
Landsat IzuOshima Island.jpg
Map of Izu Islands.png
Geography
LocationIzu Islands
Coordinates34°44′0″N 139°24′0″E / 34.73333°N 139.40000°E / 34.73333; 139.40000Coordinates: 34°44′0″N 139°24′0″E / 34.73333°N 139.40000°E / 34.73333; 139.40000
Area91.06 km2 (35.16 sq mi)
Coastline52 km (32.3 mi)
Highest elevation764 m (2,507 ft)
Administration
Japan
PrefectureTokyo
SubprefectureŌshima Subprefecture
TownŌshima
Demographics
Population8,179 (October 2015)
Ethnic groupsJapanese

Izu Ōshima (伊豆大島, Izu-ōshima) is an inhabited volcanic island in the Izu archipelago in the Philippine Sea, off the coast of Honshu, Japan, 22 km (14 mi) east of the Izu Peninsula and 36 km (22 mi) southwest of Bōsō Peninsula.[1] As with the other islands in the Izu Island group, Izu Ōshima forms part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. [2] Izu Ōshima, at 91.06 km² is the largest and closest of Tokyo's outlying islands, which also include the Ogasawara Islands.

Geography[edit]

Relief map

The island is a stratovolcano with a basaltic composite cone, dating from the late Pleistocene period, between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. It rises from an ocean floor with a depth of between 300 and 400 meters. The island has a roughly circular coastline of approximately 52 kilometers in length. The highest elevation, Mount Mihara (三原山, Mihara-san), is an active volcano with a height of 758 meters. The mountain has been recorded to have erupted numerous times through history and is mentioned as far back as Nara period written records.

Major eruptions occurred in 1965 and 1986, each forcing the temporary evacuation of the inhabitants. The last recorded eruption was in 1990.

Climate[edit]

Izu Ōshima has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with warm summers and cool winters. Precipitation is abundant throughout the year, but is somewhat lower in winter than the rest of the year.

Climate data for Izu Ōshima
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.9
(69.6)
20.0
(68)
21.8
(71.2)
25.5
(77.9)
28.4
(83.1)
32.3
(90.1)
34.3
(93.7)
34.1
(93.4)
33.7
(92.7)
29.7
(85.5)
24.8
(76.6)
23.1
(73.6)
34.3
(93.7)
Average high °C (°F) 10.7
(51.3)
11.2
(52.2)
13.5
(56.3)
18.0
(64.4)
21.5
(70.7)
24.0
(75.2)
27.1
(80.8)
29.2
(84.6)
26.2
(79.2)
21.5
(70.7)
17.4
(63.3)
13.3
(55.9)
19.5
(67.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 7.3
(45.1)
7.4
(45.3)
9.9
(49.8)
14.2
(57.6)
17.9
(64.2)
20.8
(69.4)
24.1
(75.4)
25.7
(78.3)
23.0
(73.4)
18.5
(65.3)
14.2
(57.6)
9.9
(49.8)
16.1
(61)
Average low °C (°F) 3.7
(38.7)
3.4
(38.1)
6.2
(43.2)
10.3
(50.5)
14.5
(58.1)
18.1
(64.6)
21.8
(71.2)
23.1
(73.6)
20.5
(68.9)
15.7
(60.3)
11.0
(51.8)
6.2
(43.2)
12.9
(55.2)
Record low °C (°F) −2.8
(27)
−4.0
(24.8)
−1.9
(28.6)
0.1
(32.2)
6.4
(43.5)
10.4
(50.7)
12.4
(54.3)
16.0
(60.8)
12.4
(54.3)
7.2
(45)
3.0
(37.4)
−3.0
(26.6)
−4
(24.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 130.5
(5.138)
146.9
(5.783)
258.2
(10.165)
238.7
(9.398)
259.8
(10.228)
337.8
(13.299)
246.5
(9.705)
231.0
(9.094)
353.1
(13.902)
329.0
(12.953)
194.9
(7.673)
100.8
(3.969)
2,827.2
(111.307)
Average relative humidity (%) 64 65 69 75 79 84 87 86 83 77 73 67 76
Mean monthly sunshine hours 149.4 130.9 149.0 148.3 167.5 110.0 127.2 170.3 115.0 117.5 125.6 145.3 1,656
Source #1: Japan Meteorological Agency (averages)
Source #2: Japan Meteorological Agency (records)

Administration[edit]

The island is administered by the Ōshima subprefecture of the Tokyo Metropolitan government. Ōshima Town (大島町, Ōshima-machi) serves as the local government of the island.

Ōshima Town consists of the six traditional hamlets of Okata (岡田), Motomachi (元町), Senzu, Nomashi, Sashikiji and Habuminato (波浮港), with Motomachi as the administrative center.

Access[edit]

Izu Ōshima is a popular site for tourists[3] from both Tokyo and Shizuoka due to its close proximity to the mainland. There are a number of ferries which leave from Takeshiba Sanbashi Pier, near Hamamatsuchō, Tokyo. Ferries also leave from Atami in Shizuoka.

There are several flights per day from Ōshima Airport to Chōfu Airport in Chōfu.

In popular culture[edit]

Mount Miharu and Izu Ōshima featured prominently in The Return of Godzilla, as the location in which the Japanese government entombed Godzilla. Mt. Mihara appeared again in the direct sequel, Godzilla vs. Biollante, in which Godzilla was released when the volcano erupted.

Mt. Mihara and Izu Ōshima were also featured in Koji Suzuki's Ring and its film adaptation as pivotal locations for the story.

In the Pokémon franchise, Cinnabar Island is based on Izu Ōshima.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Izu Shotō," Japan Encyclopedia, p. 412.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Ōshima," Japan Encyclopedia, p. 761.
  3. ^ Tokyo Islands "Oshima island"

References[edit]

  • Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-6465-5 (cloth)

External links[edit]