Travel: Izu-Oshima isle attracts tourists with shochu aged undersea

(From Asahi Shimbun)

For those looking for a special present, the answer could be a bottle of shochu aged to delicate perfection by the ebb and flow of the seabed’s gentle currents off the shores of Izu-Oshima island.

It’s one of the many successful niche-tourism projects created by volunteers to attract tourists back to the island that was hit by deadly mudslides almost three years ago.

Dolphin swimmer Ayano Suzuki swims with a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin in the sea off Toshima island, 30 minutes south from Izu-Oshima island by high-speed jet ferry, where about 20 dolphins live. (Provided by Nana Takanawa)

Dolphin swimmer Ayano Suzuki swims with a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin in the sea off Toshima island, 30 minutes south from Izu-Oshima island by high-speed jet ferry, where about 20 dolphins live. (Provided by Nana Takanawa)

Izu-Oshima island was struck by landslides caused by Typhoon No. 26, resulting in 36 deaths and three missing in October 2013.

The underwater shochu aging project was the brainchild of the Oshima Diving Conference, a group of 28 diving shops on Oshima that were looking to lure back divers and tourists who disappeared after the mudslides. Read more



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