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Oki Islands

Explore the diverse wildlife of this cluster of lush islets

The Oki Islands are an archipelago in the Sea of Japan, created by the erosion of two now-dormant volcanoes over millions of years. People have inhabited them continuously for more than 10,000 years, but only four are permanently inhabited today, making these remote islands feel like a secret discovery.
The islands were named a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2013 because of their diverse wildlife. Dense forests, incredible seascapes, waterfalls, and geological treasures make the islands well worth the trek. But Oki also has an exciting culture and culinary tradition to explore, as well as some hard-to-beat views, from the Kuniga Coast to Candle Island. In August, Shaara-bune (spirit boats) set off onto the high sea from Nishino Island to return the spirits of the ancestors to the afterlife following the Obon festival. Nakano Island has several beautiful beaches, and on tiny Chiburi Island, tanuki (a canine species that resembles raccoons) outnumber residents. The Oki Islands are a natural gem, maintaining a traditional way of seabound life. These islands offer an opportunity to see a slower way of life in Japan, just a short flight from Osaka or a ferry ride from the mainland.
Oki-gun, Shimane

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