9 Famous Uninhabited Islands In Japan To Visit In 2024

Famous Uninhabited Islands in Japan you have to check out! Read on to find out more details about these islands! 

Scattered like emeralds across sapphire seas, Japan’s uninhabited islands whisper tales of untouched beauty and forgotten mysteries.

From volcanic peaks cloaked in mist to pristine beaches lapped by turquoise waters, these forgotten jewels offer a glimpse into a world untamed by human touch.

Dive into their secrets, from windswept ruins of ancient civilizations to wildlife havens teeming with exotic creatures.

Let your imagination run wild on these remote shores, where every whisper of the breeze carries the promise of adventure.

Famous Uninhabited Islands in Japan

 Hashima Island

Hashima Island is one of the most well-known uninhabited islands in Japan. Hashima Island, also known as Gunkanjima (the name of the island means “battleship island”), has gained popularity all over the world. 

Uninhabited Islands in Japan

The island’s coal-rich features were discovered in the 1880s, and the Mitsubishi Corporation bought it to be used as a mining location. 

However, since the island’s population began to decline as oil replaced coal as the primary energy source, a large number of people have started to leave and it went from having the highest population density to having none. 

There are several names for Hashima Island, including “untouched land,” “Ghost Island,” and “Gunkanjima or Battleship Island.” 

Okunoshima Island

Okunoshima Island, a well-liked wildlife tourism site in Japan, is home to a plethora of wild rabbits. Okinoshima, part of Fukuoka prefecture, is a sacred island with UNESCO World Heritage status.

From 1929 to 1945, it housed a chemical weapons plant that produced poison gas for the Japanese Imperial Army.

The plant was demolished by the Allied Occupation Forces, who then released the laboratory animals.

The Okunoshima Poison Gas Museum was eventually established there in 1988. More so than seeing the museum, visitors board the ferry to the island to engage with the amiable bunnies.

Despite their small size, the island’s furry residents are surprisingly friendly and used to human contact.

Bunny Island is such a fun place to spend the day with rabbits. The cute expressions on their faces when they wiggle, eat, and yawn are beyond belief.

Tomogashima Island

Tomogashima is a group of uninhabited islands located in Wakayama Prefecture. It has a mysterious ambiance that somehow reminds me of a well-known Ghibli animation. 

The four Islands Okinoshima, Torajima, Jinoshima, and Kamishima collectively go by the name Omogashima. One of these was Okonoshima, which served as a Japanese military outpost from the Meiji Period to the Second World War.

Old forts and defensive storage facilities constructed during those eras are still standing today.

Tomogashima is a charming location with abundant natural beauty and a mystery universe. 

Today, Tomogashima offers the perfect setting for outdoor activities such as hiking, picnics, camping, and simply admiring the breathtaking landscape of overgrown vegetation and abandoned military installations.

The island is highly forested and has a rough surface. I would strongly suggest bringing walking or hiking boots because of the rocky and damp pathways. 

 I was captivated by the flora and fauna of the island, ground-covering camelia flowers, countless squirrels, deer, peacocks, and turtles relaxing on the rocks.

On the trip, my family and I had a great time. We had a wonderful day; the serene natural surroundings were quite soothing after days spent in crowds.

Nagannu Island

A  0.29 square meters uninhabited island located close to Okinawa’s main island known as Nagannu Island.

The island is home to one of Okinawa’s most beautiful beaches, making it the perfect holiday spot. 

This area, which includes the three uninhabited islands of Kuefujima, Nagannujima, and Kamiyamajima, has stunning white sand, and an abundance of corals, where you can participate in a wide range of aquatic sports here. 

This island is regarded as one of Okinawa’s undiscovered treasures.

This is the perfect location to unwind and find comfort with family and friends. This location’s breathtaking white sand beaches and clear waters will undoubtedly lift your spirits and make your holiday more enjoyable. 

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Yakushima Island

An old woodland with fairytale-like splendor is hidden on Japan’s isolated Yakushima island.

Japan’s oldest living trees, known as sugis, may be found on this little island where they are treasured by the locals. 

It is a joy to travel to a region of Kagoshima Prefecture that served as the breathtaking, head-over-heels setting for the beloved Ghibli film Princess Mononoke.

I hope you agree with me. Reliving moments in ancient forests is always special. Isn’t it?

The phrase “Yakusugi” refers to a collection of ancient cedar trees, some of which are estimated to be between 1,000 and 7,000 years old. 

Without a doubt, this is one of the best places to visit.

You can’t miss its natural beauty, wildlife, waterfalls, Jomon-sugi trees, or cedar forests. This place has some of Japan’s most breathtaking scenery and ambiance.

Sarushima Island

Sarushima Island, located off the coast of Yokosuka City in Japan, carries with it a bit of mystery and intrigue. The uninhabited island has a long and interesting past that dates back hundreds of years.

Sarushima has been an inspiring subject for poets since as early as the Edo Period in Japan. This idyllic and isolated oasis was considered a place to visit for romantic getaways or visits of contemplation.

Unfortunately, Sarushima Island has not always enjoyed such a tranquil history.

In the 1600s, the island served as the location of a secret prison which held important and distinguished prisoners.

During the Meiji period, it was fortified by the military in order to provide a defense against invading forces. Sarushima also briefly served as a strategic hideaway base for the Imperial Japanese Navy during WWII.

Today, Sarushima is known as a natural refuge and environmental treasure. Its popularity continues to attract people who enjoy swimming, snorkeling, hiking, and simply admiring the beauty around them.

Despite its vibrant history and modern-day appeal, Sarushima Island still remains untouched and uninhabited. Its peaceful atmosphere and stunning scenery remain a representation of Japan’s past and present culture.

Visiting Sarushima Island  is the perfect escape for any nature lover looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply wish to take in the beauty of your surroundings, Sarushima Island is rife with exciting activities and sites for you to explore.

Take a leisurely walk and explore the island, which is adorned with lush greenery and pristine beaches.

Marvel at the views from the various lookout points located around the island or go for a swim in the crystal clear waters.

If you’re feeling up for adventure, try your hand at kayaking or snorkeling, and get up close and personal with the vibrant aquatic life that inhabits the island!

For the nature enthusiasts, it’s easy to lose an entire day appreciating the diverse flora and fauna that surround Sarushima Island.

To get an even better view, the island is home to the Sarushima lookout tower, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding islands.

When the sun sets, explore the unique nightlife that Sarushima Island has to offer. During summer, the bonfire beach is a popular spot.

Kujirajima Island

Kujirajima Island – the captivating and empty land of enchantment.

Often referred to as Japan’s ‘Mystery Island’ due to its level of seclusion, Kujirajima Island is a small uninhabited oasis of peace and calm in the great, vast sea of Japan. 

Located on an expanse of blue and composed of rich, wild terrain, this idyllic destination offers a very special slice of natural beauty.

With its cliffs and caves, hot springs and dense forests, Kujirajima Island is the perfect place for exploration and escape.

Due to the fact that the island is uninhabited, travelers are able to become wholly immersed in the beauty of nature and its delicate ecosystem.

Adventurers will be able to explore this untouched haven of tranquility and discover its colorful marine life, lush meadows and hidden coves.

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Kujirajima Island is also a birdwatcher’s paradise and it offers some stunning views of the coast from the high cliffs. Kujirajima Island is a secret oasis of peace, beauty and seclusion and it is an ideal destination for those seeking an unforgettable escape.

Its picturesque views of the blue sea and captivating forests are perfect for reconnecting with the earth and its natural wonders.

Kujirajima Island has been around since the early days of Japan. Located off the coast of the Ryuku Islands, it remains an uninhabited island today, with a history shrouded in mystery and legend.

The island is thought to be of volcanic origin, formed over 3 million years ago, however no records or fossils have been found to confirm this.

The first written records of the island date back to the 13th century, when it was referred to as a popular fishing spot for local fishermen and the occasional passing boat.

A Buddhist priest was said to live here in the 14th century, performing rituals on the island and helping immigrants who visited the area.

In the 16th century, poor soil quality, lack of resources and relentless typhoons lead to the island being abandoned and it remained untouched until the 19th century.

Legend tells of a scholar who visited the island during the Edo period, sleeping at a shrine and meditating on a small rock.

 It is here that he is believed to have been inspired to pen a famous poem about the island, further adding to its mysterious reputation.

Today, Kujirajima Island remains largely untouched, its beauty and history as mysterious as it was centuries ago.

Despite its untamed appearance, the island still captivates the imagination of many who visit, enraptured by its sheer natural beauty and unspoiled nature.

A source of endless interest and fascination, the island is sure to continue to both inspire and mystify people for generations to come.

If you want to visit the Kujirajima islands you can literally rent the entire island for you and your group!

You can chill by the main beach or check out the several private beaches at the island too.

There are also paddleboards and kayaks available to explore the bay area. You’ll find cooking facilities around the island which can host up to 150 people.

If you wish to spend the night at the Kujirajima island then it’ll cost you $260 (¥21,600) per person.

This includes camping facilities at the island and pick up and drop from the island. If you only plan to spend the day then it’ll cost you $130 (¥10,800).

Urume Island, Tokushima Prefecture

Nestled off the coast of Tokushima Prefecture in Japan lies Urume Island – a largely unexplored, uninhabited paradise. This majestic island is full of stunning natural views and peaceful tranquility.

Visiting Urume Island is like stepping back in time – it’s a smaller, forgotten corner of this beautiful country.

Smack dab in the middle of the Seto Inland Sea, the island covers an area of 22.38 km2 and is situated off the coast of Shikoku.

Not only is the location breathtaking, but miles of untouched greenery beyond your wildest dreams await within its borders.

One of the most popular attractions on Urume Island is the “Dragon Cliffs,” an impressive rock formation that bears an uncanny resemblance to two Dragons.

The lack of human activity on the island has been incredibly beneficial to the wildlife, and visitors can expect to run into plenty of animals while they explore.

The island also contains a few abandoned buildings and shrines, remnants of the island’s past life as a small fishing village and port.

Walking around the island is like taking a journey to an era gone by.

uruma island

Even though it is now an uninhabited island, it still holds a special place in the heart of many in the area, who have deep roots in the island and its history. Visiting Urume Island is like entering into a peaceful, dreamlike world of its own.

Once you’re there, it’s impossible not to be filled with awe and wonder as you take in the serene beauty of the landscape.

With a landscape untouched by time and a sense of peacefulness that’s hard to find anywhere else, it’s no wonder that so many visitors fall in love with Urume Island.

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The island was first settled by ancient people during the Jomon period, from 3000-1000 BC.

There is evidence of people living on the island as far back as 648 AD. It was an important trading post for many centuries, and was also an important port for the shipment of salt.

In the 19th century, the island was widely known for its thriving fishery and marine industry, and even had a lighthouse.

The island remained largely uninhabited until 1986 when a small family, who had been living on the island since 1931, left the island forever.

Since then, the island has become a popular destination for tourists and naturalists. The island is part of the Tokushima Prefecture, and with its beautiful beaches and lush forests, it is a great place to relax and observe nature.

Urume Island in Japan is actually for sale and costs 35 million yen (US$344,295). 

Komariyama Island, Wakayama Prefecture

Komariyama Island is a stunning paradise tucked away in the Wakayama Prefecture in Japan. Located off the west coast of Japan, the island is an untouched oasis that is slowly revealing its hidden wonders.

From the emerald waters dotted with vibrant coral reefs, to the flourishing teal forestry and eternally snow-capped mountaintops, Komariyama Island is the perfect destination for a serene escape. 

The pleasure of touring Komariyama Island is heightened by the locals’ warm hospitality, who share stories about the island’s traditional customs and culture.

While there, visitors can enjoy activities such as camping, beachcombing, boat trips, and more.

There are numerous hiking trails, scenic areas and a wealth of activities for visitors to enjoy. From swimming and snorkeling to kayaking and fishing, there’s something for everyone on the island.

Not just a tourist attraction though, Komariyama Island is also the site of some ancient historical sites.

The island is home to numerous archaeological ruins, which provide a glimpse into Japan’s past.

These ruins offer insight into the island’s rich cultural history and a better understanding of the country’s unique culture and traditions.

Komariyama Island is a truly unique place. From its beautiful scenery to its abundant marine life and its fascinating historical sites, the island is a must-visit destination for those looking to experience all that Japan has to offer.

Komariyama Island, located in Wakayama Prefecture, is an area filled with history and culture.

Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Kii Channel, it has been occupied for centuries.

The island was most notably used during the Kamakura period from 1192 to 1333, becoming a strategic location for the samurai clan and court. Over the centuries, it has been fought over, and played a key role in many battles.

The most significant historical event on the island is the great battle of Sasanami-Komariyama.

This battle was fought between the Hōjō clan and the Uesugi clan in 1177, when the Hōjō clan wanted to gain control of the island’s strategic location.

Though the Hōjō eventually won the battle, and maintained their control, it was a fierce and bloody struggle that left a deep mark in the island’s history.

Komariyama Island has been inhabited for centuries, and evidence of human activity can be found all over the island.

In the past, the island was home to various monasteries and temples. The most famous, and oldest, of these is the temple called Kurikomariyama-ji, founded in the mid-11th century.

It is one of the most important sites of Buddhist culture and architecture in the area, and is still visited by a large number of visitors each year.

The remarkable history of Komariyama Island, and the stories of battles and ancient temples, show that this area was once an important and influential place, and continues to be so in modern times.

It is a great destination to explore and learn about the fascinating history of the island and of Japan as a whole.

Komariyama Island in Wakayama Prefecture is a hidden gem in the region and it offers so much to explore!


Conclusion

These stunning uninhabited islands are the real treasures of the world. These islands are worth visiting in a lifetime because they connect you with the historic heritage.

Now. I’m assuming you’ve already made plans for your upcoming vacation. If not, I highly recommend that you visit the beautiful islands of Japan to make your trip unforgettable. There is a lot to enjoy on these isolated Japanese islands.

Uninhabited islands in Japan: FAQs

How much of Japan is Uninhabited?

Japan is an island nation with close to 7000 islands, including 421 inhabited remote (small) islands. 

Why are there so many uninhabited islands in Japan?

Since the pre-war era, many isolated (or small) islands have remained undeveloped. For a long time, Japan’s isolated islands were thought to be crucial for eradicating the nation’s backwardness. 

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