How can I get to the Ogasawara Islands?
To visit the Ogasawara Islands, you need to take the liner ship “Ogasawara Maru” departing from Takeshiba Pier, down town Tokyo. It takes about 24hours. There are no other options excluding few luxury cruises making stops by the island usually for a single night irregularly around the year. There are no airports, so if you want to explore Ogasawara deeply, taking the “Ogasawara Maru” is the way to go.
How can I buy the ferry ticket to Ogasawara?
The “Ogasawaramaru” liner ship tickets are on sale 2 months before the departure date.
There are several ways of reserving and purchasing the tickets. Please refer the website below. Ogasawara Kaiun Co., Ltd.
Would I get sea sick? Is there any good ways to spend time on Ogasawara Maru?
Depending on sea conditions, there are chances of getting sea sick on “Ogasawara Maru” If you are concerned, make sure you have motion sickness medicines and prepare drinks such as sports drink (It gets very dry on the ship).
When the ship toss around, sleeping with sleep mask on is the best way to avoid sea sick. Also, reading or listening to music, watching inboard TV on your back would help not to feel sick. Recommend to lay down on your towel to stay comfortable as staying on the same position might cause bodily pain.
How can I find accommodation?
There are different types of accommodation on the island such as hotel, guest house, etc.
Please check accommodation list and arrange booking.
Camping is prohibited in all areas of Ogasawara by regulation of the village. Please make sure to book accommodation before coming to the island.
Please cooperate to protect beautiful nature in Ogasawara.
Is there any package tour?
When is the best season to swim?
Between May and November would be comfortable and warm enough to swim in swim wears. For other seasons, wet suits are necessary for the water is cold. Rash guards would be helpful to prevent sun burns. Be very careful not to cut yourself on corals and rocks. Marine shoes would be helpful.
Would it be late to reserve guide tours after arriving in Ogasawara?
During peak seasons (summer, new years and Golden Week), guide tours often get booked out. We recommend reserving beforehand.
You can find activities and tour guides here!
What kind of Island is the Ogasawara Island like?
The Ogasawara Islands is small islands in the Pacific Ocean approximately 1000 km south of Tokyo. The islands hold over 30 islands (total of 200 or so, including belonging islands) of different sizes.
Only Chichijima and Hahajima are inhabited by civilians (approximately 2500 people total).
Ogasawara Maru is the only liner ship between Takeshiba in downtown Tokyo and Futami Port in Chichijima, runs about once a week.
Because the Islands are far apart from any continent, The Ogasawara Islands are surrounded by clear blue ocean and you can see whales and dolphins very close. In the semitropical forest, you can enjoy endemic animals, birds and plants.
Please join guided tours to enjoy beautiful nature. >>> Guided Tours
In Chichijima, lots of accommodation, restaurants and stores are in Omura area. There are souvenir shops, grocery stores, drug stores and other stores so you don’t have to worry about shopping but no convenience stores open 24/7 on the island. You have various choices for eating out as there are different types of restaurants.
Village area of Hahajima is smaller than Chichijima but it also have accommodation, restaurants and stores.
Please find more information for Hahajima here. >>> Hahajima Tourist Association
What is the temperature, what should I wear?
Shown below are the monthly maximum and minimum air temperature and the precipitation rate in Chichijima, Ogasawara.
■What to wear
Throughout the year
Hats, long sleeve shirts, sunscreen for UV protection.
Rainwear if you are doing trekking.
December to March
On land: Warm enough for long sleeve T-shirts when the weather is nice, but gets chilly in the morning and after dark. Sometimes cold wind blows from the north. Be sure to have warm clothes, windbreaker or sweats.
In the ocean: Wet suit if you are swimming. The wind will be cold on a boat. Wind protecting jackets and sweats are needed.
April to May
On land: T-shirts on sunny days, light sweats for mornings, nights, and bad weathers. Bring long sleeve T-shirts, long pants for trekking.
In the ocean: Wetsuit. The weather is still cold, change to dry and warm clothes soon as getting out from the water. Wind protected jackets on boats.
June to September
On land: Summer wear. T-shirts and short pants. Be prepared to protect your skin from the sun. It`s very hot!
In the ocean: Swim wear. T-shirts or rash guards for UV protection. The water is sometimes cold.
October to November.
On land: T-shirts would be okay on sunny days. Long sleeve T-shirts or sweats in mornings and nights.
In the ocean: Rash guard, wet suit after mid November.
What is the general precaution?
Ogasawara has strong sunlight even in winter. Careless exposure to direct sunlight can cause quick minor burns.
When you go to outdoors in the daytime, don’t forget to bring hats, sunglasses, sunscreen with you for UV protection.
Those items for sun protection are available at the stores on the island.
■Carry drinking water with you!
In Ogasawara, there is no place to get drinking water, once you go outside of town.
Make sure to bring enough drinking water with you, when you go to the beach to relax or go to the forest and mountains for trekking.
■Watch your step!
The claylike soil on Ogasawara becomes very slippery after a rainfall. Please make sure to wear sneakers when you walk on trails.
Please keep in mind that walking on designated routes outside of the walking trails requires accompaniment by an authorized guide.
“Ogasawara Rule Book” gives you information on main local rules to protect environment.
Would the liner ship “Ogasawara maru” be canceled in bad weather conditions?
There are hardly any cancelations, but very rarely the ship departing from Tokyo would be delayed, and the ship departing from Chichijima would depart early in bad weather and sea conditions.
Please check the operation status on Ogasawara Kaiun Co.,Ltd. website.
Is there any cancel policy for accommodation and guided tours?
Cancellation fee is charged, for cancellation on customer’s convenience.
Please contact each accommodation or guides for the details.
Any transportations in the island?
→Using a bus
A scheduled public bus runs approximately once an hour, covering most of the accommodations and popular beaches in the island. Please refer to Ogasawara Village website from the link below for bus routes and schedules.
There are 2 shops offering car rental services. Be sure to have your international driver`s license. There are limited amount of rental cars in the island and could be booked out in peak seasons. Making reservations in advance is preferred.
There are 2 shops offering rental motor bikes in Chichijima, but keep in mind that a regular international driver`s license will not cover 2 wheel motor bikes including 50cc scooters in Japan, unless you are licensed specifically for motorbikes. Please note shops do not offer rental motor bikes to beginners, to whom who do not ride motor bikes occasionally.
Renting a bicycle is another option to get across the island. Instead of motor vehicles, it is easier to make stops at good viewpoints. There are up hills and down hills in some points. If you are riding in the hot summer, don`t forget to protect yourself from the burning sun, and bring plenty of water.
Taxi and charter bus are very limited so please contact operating company for availability.
Can I use a mobile phone?
You can use NTT docomo, au, and Softbank mobile phones
Some models of mobile phone may not work in the island.
There are less signals up in the forest and mountains away from town.
Can I use the internet?
Some accommodations offer free wifi and some do not. Please refer the accommodation page, or ask your accommodation for internet connection.
Free Wi-Fi is available at B-Ship, Futami port passenger terminal and Ogasawara Visitor Center.
Is there a hospital in the island?
There is a clinic in Chichijima and Hahajima. Please have your insurance card for an examination. The opening hours are 9am to 11am Monday to Friday. Open in the afternoon 1:30pm to 3:30pm on Wednesday. For emergency, please call 199.
Ogasawara Village Clinic (Chichijima) TEL: 04998-2-3800
Hahajima Clinic TEL: 04998-3-2115
Can I use my credit card?
Credit cards are not always accepted in shops, restaurants, accommodations and guide tours, be sure to bring enough cash. For cash withdrawal services for credit cards, please visit the post office / Japan Post Bank. http://www.jp-bank.japanpost.jp/en_index.html
Are there any snakes in the island?
There are no snakes in the island. You don`t need to worry about it walking in the mountains.
Is there a tour to go to Iwojima?
There is a tour called “Iwo Santou Cruise” once a year hosted by Ogasawara Kaiun ltd. “Iwo Santo” meaning 3 islands of Iwojima(“Santo” means 3 islands, jima means island), “Minami Iwojima(South Iwojima)” which is designated as wild life conservation area, “Iwojima” which is famous for the fierce battle in WWⅡ, and “Kita Iwojima (North Iwojima)”
The “Iwo Santou Cruise” departs in the evening in the same day Ogasawara maru arrives at Chichijima, and comes back around dusk the next day. You can cruise around those three island with interpretation but not able to land on the islands.
Are there beaches for little kids to play?
There are many beaches on the west side of Chichijima where you can enjoy with your children, such as Omura beach, Seihyou beach, Sakaiura beach, Ogiura beach, Kopepe beach and Kominato beach. Marine shoes would be good for protection from sea corals and rocks. Also, hats and rash guards or long sleeved shirt are recommended for UV protection .
Always keep an eye on your children, depth changes with tides.
Is there any day-care center for little kids on the island?
There is no day-care center on the island. Lots of guided tours accept little kids accompanied by parents but depending on the weather condition or course, you might not be able to attend the tour. Please make sure to check with guides for details, when making reservation.
Are there any convenience stores on the island?
No, there is no convenience store on the island.
There are grocery store, general store, drug store and stationery store so you don’t have to worry about shopping.
Most of stores open around 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning and close around 18:30, except for some store opens until 24:00.
Can I always see whales and dolphins?
There are higher chances to see whales and dolphins if you attend watching tour but not promised as they are wild animals.
Sperm whales live in the open ocean about 20 kilometers away from the island, and watching tours are more popular from June to November than during the winter when sea conditions are more unstable.
On the other hand, humpback whales can be seen from the end of December till the beginning of May. Humpback whales migrate to the Ogasawara Islands for breeding and raising calf. They live in shallow water above 200m so you have a chance to watch humpback whales from the land, not only from boat.
Can I fly drones in Ogasawara?
Basically, you are not allowed to fly drones above the land are, without permission. Above the ocean, you can fly drones except for specific areas but taking off and landing from the land is restricted in some areas.
There are endangered wild fauna, such as Japanese Woodpigeon and buzzard on Chichijima, so please pay close attention to those animals, when you fly drones.
Please contact Ogasawaramura Tourist Association, for more details.
Ogasawaramura Tourist Association
E-MAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org