I used to jokingly say, “Izu Ōshima is like visiting Mars in Tokyo.” I have been running bike tours on the island in spring and fall for years and everyone who has joined my “missions to Mars “ now calls it by this name. Ura Sabaku, or back desert area, on Ōshima is covered with a thick deposit of volcanic scoria. While there are no roads per se, just follow the tire tracks. Izu Ōshima is easy to access via the overnight ferry from Tokyo or Yokohama.
About the author
Takashi Niwa’s Yamamichi Adventure company has been renamed Niwa Cycling Tours ( www.ncycling.com). He offers many bike tours, both domestic and overseas. For other routes in Japan, please pick up a copy of “CYCLING JAPAN: 10 of the Best Rides, Vol. 1 by Takashi Niwa,” at bookshops around Japan and various online stores.