Oki Islands-Endemic Wildlife
The Oki Islands are both part of Japan`s Daisen Oki national park and a UNESCO Geopark where you can see breathtaking geological features and natural scenery. There around 180 islands, only four of them are inhabitated. The largest of them is called Dogo and the other three are known as the Dōzen islands. Dogo is the most populated and therefore more easily acessible than the other islands.The islands are home to unique flora and fauna some of which are endemic to the islands. For instance, the Oki Salamander, Oki Dandelion, Oki hare, and Oki Yamane(Japanese dormouse) can`t be found anywhere else. The islands are also important for migratory birds, over 100 species have been seen on the island. The island also has vegetation that occurs in the cold north of Japan growing alongside plants that normally grow in the warm south. This is the only place in Japan where this occurs.
How to get there
Ferries heading to the Oki islands leave from Sakai Minamoto port in Tottori and Shichirui Port in Shimane. Both ports can be reached in 40 minutess by bus from Mastue station in Shimane. You can also easily acess Sakai Minamoto port by JR Train. The ferry ride will be about 2- 2.5 hours depending on which island you choose to visit. There also is the Oki Dōzen Islands Inter-island Ferry for use between the Dōzen Islands.
Ferry cost: Cheapest one way ticket from mainland to Oki islands is 3,300 yen
Please check the Oki Kisen Ferry Line website for more information about time tables, ticket costs, and other concerns.
There are also flights from Osaka(50 minutes) and Izumo airport(30 mintues) to Dogo.
Bus service is sparse on the islands, so it is recommended to rent a car or rent a bike to get around the islands. You can bring a car onto the ferry but it is rather pricy.