Mt. Omuro 大室山
Shoot arrows and paraglide at an extinct volcano with a quirky zoo at its foot
Situated not far from the coastal town of Ito , Mt. Omuro has an interesting and somewhat deceptive profile.
The mountain has a relatively gentle slope, and is not all that lofty at just 580 meters. It's sometimes green with vegetation and sometimes looks more like a snowy overturned rice bowl. Unless you were operating a drone, you'd never suspect that this oversized hill was an extinct volcano.
- Panoramic views of Mt. Fuji, Oshima and the Pacific
- Practicing archery inside an extinct volcano's crater
- Walking among rare cacti and interacting with zoo animals
How to Get There
You can catch a bus from either Ito Station or Izu-Kogen Station (both shinkansen stops) to Mt. Omuro and its environs.
From Ito Sation, take a Shaboten Koen bound bus (about 40 minutes, 710 yen one way, two buses an hour). Alternatively, take a bus from Izu Kogen Station (about 20 minutes, 360 yen one way, two buses an hour) and get off at the final stop. The chairlift to the top of Mount Omuro departs from just next to the bus stop.
Tokai Bus offers two different one-day passes for Ito: one for 800 yen that covers Izu Kogen and the Jogasaki Coast, and one for 1,300 yen that also includes central Ito. The trip to Mount Omuro from Izu Kogen Station is fully covered by both passes, but the trip from Ito Station is only covered by the more expensive one.
Strolling around the volcano's lip
Catch a chairlift to the rim, which takes you right to a path that you can follow to circumnavigate the entire mountain in a half hour or less. The panoramic views will likely keep you circling for a while. On a clear day, you'll be able to see Mt. Fuji and Oshima , the closest of the seven main islands in the Izu Island chain .
Shoot arrows inside a volcanic crater
If you'd like to do more than just walk and gaze at the amazing views, you can take the stairs down into Omuro's crater and hone your archery skills. It may be hard to believe, but inside a volcano that once produced fire, lava, brimstone and ash there's now an archery range. It costs just 1,000 yen an hour, including the rental of the bow, arrows and glove, plus coaching from the range staff.
Another peak experience for the more adventurous is paragliding down Mt. Omuro's flank. Book your experience with a paragliding school before your visit.
After you've had your fill of the mountain itself, take the chairlift back down to the ground level and visit Izu Shaboten Zoo , which combines a vast number of cacti and other plants with a big petting zoo.
Cherry blossoms that linger
Another spot for nature lovers at Mt. Omuro's foot is the cherry blossom-viewing site called Omuro Yamazakura-no-Sato. These cherry trees are called jugatsu zakura, meaning "October cherry blossoms."
They begin blooming in mid-September, and various types blossom through early May. Since not everyone can make it to Japan during the spring when viewing blossoms is a national obsession, this is a great option. Mt. Omuro is the perfect backdrop for this stunning cherry blossom scene.