Rosoku-Jima (Candle Island) ローソク島
The icon of the Oki Islands is a candle in the sea
Candle Island, or Rosoku-jima, is a narrow spire of rock in the Sea of Japan rising more than 20 meters vertically out of the waters about 500 meters off the coast of Dogo, the largest of the Oki Islands. As the sun sets and aligns such that it is resting on top of the rock, it looks just like a candle.
Candle Island, like Dogo Island and the Oki Island archipelago, is mostly made of volcanic rock: steep, craggy, and strangely shaped
The archipelago boasts more than 180 islands, most of which are uninhabited
How to Get There
Candle Island is off the north coast and part of Shimane Prefecture. Access is via Saigo Port on Dogo, the main island, which is reached by ferry from the mainland. The area is also accessible by air to Oki Airport on Dogo from Itami Airport in Osaka and Izumo Airport in Izumo.
There is no public transportation to Candle Island, but the tourist office in Saigo or your hotel or guesthouse on Dogo Island will arrange transportation and meal times to fit the sunset schedule. The cruises run every day from April to October, depending on sea conditions.
Majestic, colorful coastline
Part of the Daisen-Oki National Park and a UNESCO Global Geopark, the coast of Dogo Island is rugged and magnificent.
Ojirobana Park has a clifftop viewing point where you can see Candle Island from high ground, and a path takes you down to a cove where you are a little closer. To see it with the setting sun “lighting the candle,” though, you will need to take a boat.
The fleet will take you out
A couple of hours before dark, weather permitting, a flotilla of small boats heads out from the tiny fishing villages of Fukuura or Akasaki. Many are fishing boats, and travelers sit on the open decks. You head up the coast past magnificent towering cliffs and when you round a headland, Candle Island comes into view.
Along the way, you will pass sea caves and explore a few inlets with pinnacles of rock and cliffs of different colors, all before the captain takes you back to Candle Island and shuts the engines for sunset's illuminating moment.