The Jogasaki Volcanic Coastline
On a blue-sky day sunlight sparkles on the water like diamonds, birds chatter in the woods and waves crash against the jagged rocks. The Jogasaki coast is a beautiful and interesting hike of about ten kilometres along the eastern side of the Izu Peninsula, across a landscape formed thousands of years ago from the lava of nearby volcanoes.
The beginning of the hike from Futo Station or Jogasakikaigan Station to Izu Shiki-no-Hana Park, called Jogasaki Picnical Course on the route maps, is popular because it is easily accessible from nearby car parks. The path along here is also partly paved for easy walking. Popular sites along this section of the walk include the Kadowakizaki Suspension Bridge over a gorge in the cliffs, and the white lighthouse, that is free to climb, for a view along the coast and out to Oshima Island. At the weekend or on public holidays there are many people picnicking on the rocks around here. From the lighthouse it is a gentle stroll on to Izu Shiki-no-Hana Park where there are several cafes for refuelling or a small garden to visit (500 yen entrance).
Izu Shiki-no-Hana Park is the end of the walk for many who either take a bus or return to their cars but they miss the best of the coastline and the quieter stretch of the route. Now called the Jogasaki Nature Study Course the route follows the slight slope downhill from the cafes past a small bay on the left which is popular with scuba divers in the summer. Wet suits are strewn over the fences and air tanks are stacked up waiting to be loaded on to trucks.
Beyond the bay is Renchakuji Temple and the path skirts the temple grounds. From now on the route is rocky and uneven under foot and it is worth wearing sensible shoes or even hiking boots.
Walking along the eye is drawn to the cliffs and the sea but glancing inland it is possible to catch a glimpse of Mount Omuro, the small but perfectly formed volcano that was part of the chain of volcanoes that created the Jogasaki coast by spilling lava down into the sea.
The track goes up over small rises and dips into bays giving tantalising glimpses of the ocean and fishing boats. Along the way it passes an area called Igaigane, which from a distance looks flattish, but walking over it proves difficult as the rocks are jagged and deeply crevassed, caused when hot lava passed over earlier lava flows, breaking it up.
Further along the path, the cliffs are braced with columns of hardened lava that look like organ pipes and more platforms of hexagonal lava jut out into the sea. Before arriving at Yawatano Fishing Port, the route crosses another suspension bridge – Hashidate Suspension Bridge, more wobbly and less crowded than the earlier one.
Yawatano has a pleasant little harbour and then it is a walk back along the road to Izu Kogen station. There are plenty of outlets in the station complex for coffee and snacks, a reward after the walking exercise.
Information : http://www.izu-sakuraya.jp/english/travelinfo/jogasaki/