Dohgashima was so beautiful. It's beauty exceeded my expectation. I took too many photos to show you on this page ... I have to pay attention to the download time and the rental cost of the server space ;-)

Dohgashima is a representative resort on the west coast of Izu. First of all its rias coastline has numerous spectacular landscape. As you see on the photo of Norihama beach, there is a large number of tiny islands and rocks scattered along the coast and make the landscape very complex and attractive. There are rare wonders of nature.

Tensodo for example is a large cave on the sea which can be visited by 30 to 40 man capacity ships. The word "Tenso" means skylight and as the word suggests Tensodo has a natural skylight. The sun shine coming from the opening creates a fantastic scenery (click the thumbnail).
    Izu is closely connected with the founder of Kamakura Shogunate (1192 - 1333), Minamoto-no-Yoritomo (1146 - 1199). It was the historical fact that he was sent into exile to Izu and raised up there, and firstly took up arms near Odawara against the then dominant Heike clan. In Dohgashima, Yoritomo was believed to hide himself in a cave ... there are many caves in addition to Tensodo ... which lead to Kamakura, which is more than 100 km distant and the place of his later administration.

There are also Sanshiro islands, which consist of three big islands. The islands can be reached by a natural bank which appears when the tide is low, though they are completely separated from the mainland coast by about two hundred meter wide channel at high tide. It's a fun to walk on the stony natural bridge.

    According to a folklore, a young samurai named Sanshiro hid himself in the islands. A village girl Koyuki fell in love with him and used to go to the islands when the bank appeared on the sea. Their love was destined to end tragically.

Norihama beach and offshore islands

An openair spa on top of a cliff

The open-air hot spring bath in the Sawada Park is worth experiencing. The bath is located at the top of a cliff soaring directly from the Pacific Ocean. The sunset seen from the bath is said to be grandiose ... unfortunately, I left the bath at an earlier time. Izu is a peninsula with countless spas. But, I know nowhere else a comparative hot spring bath.

I am also impressed by the high transparency of the sea and the richness of fishes. You don't need to dive to enjoy the underwater world. You only need to walk into the sea a few steps to see colorful fishes swimming near your legs and picking at seaweeds.
You can watch them with the naked eye. An accompanying friend, who is a diver and has been to Tahiti, Maldives and many other famous diving spots, told me that the sea of Dohgashima was at least as clean and beautiful and interesting with different fishes as those tropical places.

I have to count the third advantage of Dohgashima. Dohgashima's environment is neatly maintained. Streets are clean and tidy, buildings are not tasteless and no noisy music is heard as we all too often experience in many Japanese tourist spots.

A seaside street with shops for swimmers
There are many modern hotels in Dohgashima and facilities for tourists. Recently a memorial hall was constructed for a famous pop singer of the 1960s, Yuzo Kayama ... though I find it strange to build a "memorial" hall for a still living person. Mr. Kayama was famous for his urbanely refined machismo and attracted countless young girls by his sweet and soft voice. He is now over 60 and has grandchildren, but still active on the TV and attractive. I don't belong to the generation which was fevered by his songs. I was simply surprised by the size of the building used to commemorate his activities. I wonder whether he has special attachment to Dohgashima, because from my poor knowledge I believe that he better fits to Shonan area (the area between the American base city Yokosuka and the old samurai capital Kamakura). So called Shonan boy was ... and maybe still is ... a synonym of trendy, urban, sophisticated and sporty boy like Mr. Kayama used to be :-)

The beach of Dohgashima was very quiet. Dohgahsima is a bit far away from Tokyo and it was still July.