Some of Japan’s most remote and uninhabited islands are now open to overnight international visitors seeking a “survival experience.”
The project, run by Tokyo-based company and travel agency Job Live Co., aims to tap into post-lockdown demand for travel that has a greater focus on sustainability, wellness and adventure, while providing deeper encounters with nature.
Named Mujinto (literally uninhabited island), the initiative will also promote rural travel to inbound tourists, a hot theme for Japan’s travel agents this year.
Individuals and social or corporate groups will be able to stay overnight on six islands that are part of the prefectures of Wakayama (southern Kansai), Okayama (on the Seto Inland Sea) and Nagasaki (eastern Kyushu).
As part of the survival experience, participants are provided the bare minimum of support including pick up and drop off from the nearest port as well as tents and cooking equipment. They are required to bring their own food, drinking water, first aid kit and other items they deem necessary for staying on the island.
Each island offers different features – from white sand beaches and lighthouses to historic shrines and remnants of sites used during World War II. Many islands are home to plentiful fish and seafood stocks, providing excellent conditions for fishing, and offer views of pristine nature during the day and starry skies at night.
Nagasaki Prefecture’s Tsumagashima, for example, has excellent access from Hakata Port and is available year-round for fout to 20 people from 19,800 yen (US$146), while Wakayama Prefecture’s Okinoshima, which can be accessed from Kada Port, can accept seven to 25 people from March to November, with prices starting at 22,000 yen.
The uninhabited island experiences are intended “to provide opportunities for participants to learn about life and enjoy moments that involve things of interest to them and create joy”, according to a statement by Job Live Co..