We introduce camellias that grow well in Izu-Oshima. Three gardens (Tokyo Metropolitan Oshima High School and Izuoshima Tsubaki Hana Garden, Oshima Park) are recognized by the International Camellia Society (ICS) as an International Camellia Garden of Excellence (ICGE). You can see about 1,500 kinds of camellias in three gardens.
Izu-Oshima is the largest of the Izu islands. It is located about 120km south of Tokyo and 30 km east of Izu Peninsula. Oshima is recognized as a national park because of unique geological features. Visitors can enjoy beautiful nature, such as diving and trekking.
This island is also well known as the “islands of camellia”. Izu-Oshima Tsubaki Matsuri (Camellia Festival) is annually held from the end of January to in the latter half of March.
The camellias in Izu-Oshima have been cultivated in order to produce oil from their seeds. The camellia oil is prized for its benefits. This oil has been used by many women as a hair treatment and a skin care product. Camellia oil has also been popular as healthy cooking oil. Visitors can enjoy a specialty menu “Camellia fondue”, which is deep-fried seafood and vegetables. There are many uses of camellias other than making oil. Because the camellia trees are stiff, they are often used as woodwork and charcoal. Furthermore, leftovers from the camellia seeds can be used as fuel or fertilizer.