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Ogasawara Islands

Last updated August 15, 2006

Most of diving services and tourism information sites are in Japanese.


Ogasawara Maru

"Ogasawara Maru"

Length 100.00M
Width 15.20M
Gross Tonnage 3553.12 ton
Speed 21.77Knot

Anchored in Futami Port, Chichi-Jima

Currently it is the only way to go to Ogasawara Islands. It leaves Takeshiba Sanbashi at Port of Tokyo once a week and arrive at Futani Port in Chichi-jima after almost 30 hours. We tend to forget that it is part of Tokyo.

Ogasawara Kaiun :

Outside Japan: add your international access code plus 81(country code of Japan) and remove "0" of area code. (for example, from U.S. 011-81-3-3451-5171)

Be prepared! 28-30 hours is long hours, even when sea is calm. It is not exactly a cruise ship to the Caribbean Islands either. Bringing in some of your favorites munches, for example, might be a good idea just in case, along with books to read. And do not forget pills for seasickness!

Kyosho Maru

This is a cargo ship, but has accomodation up for 9 people. Schedule is not regular. Here's a report from a birdwatcher from Hong Kong traveled to Ogasawara on this ship.

Trip Report: Tokyo - Ogasawara (Bonin Islands) Passage, March 1-5, 1999 On the Slow Boat to Hahajima
Bird watching trip by Jim Hackett, Hong Kong


No, not yet, fortunately. For more, see "status of new airport".

Underwater Photos

Many good photos by diving service people:

Photo Gallery
by Yasuhiro Morita, Akihito Koga
at Ogasawara Diving Center

Each thumnail brings another a dozen phtos: Whales, dorphins, underwater scenaries and all.

Photo Gallery
Dinamic photos of big fishes, whales, sharks and in another group, small ones including plancton.

Ogasawara Underwater photos
by Masahi Iwai
at Underwater Photo Library at Robinson
Includes photos of various schools of fishes, just like the ones I saw there long time ago.

And by divers:

Ogasawara Underwater Photos
by Sacchan
at Nangoku Diving World by Katsu and Sacchan

This is:

My mini album I  and II
My first pages on the web in 1995. with black and white photos. 

Diving Operation

Kaizin (in Japanese)
Long established dive service on Chichi-Jima.  Their name appears often in diving magazines.

Papa's Diving Studio (in Japanese)
This is the dive operation our group dived with, long time ago.

I heard that many of Japanese diving instructors have experience working at dive operations overseas. So Generally speaking, Japanese dive operations seem to be able to accept foreign divers with no problem. (if they speak English, I imagine.)

Ogasawara Diving Center (with some English)

Urashiman (Englishi)

Club Noah, Hahajima (Japanese)

For more diving service, check:

Diving Experience (in Japanese)
at Ogasawara Tourism Association



Chichijima at Japan at The Weather Underground



List of lodging at Ogasawara Mura Tourism Association

Sakaiura Family

Phone: (4998) 2-2530,   Fax: 04998-2-2080
Address:  Aza-Sakaiura, Chihijima, Ogasawara-mura, Tokyo 100-2101

Maybe 10 minutes from Futani port where "Ogasawara Maru" arrives. At the top of slope, a little outside "down town" which is closer to the port on low land.
If you are a person who prefers enjoying the nature to going out for drink in the evening, you would like the place.

"Enjoying the nature" is.., let's see, for example,
to look for "green pepe" (luminous mushroom, like a firefly) in the woods in the evening, or to wait in the dark on the beach for green turtles to appear to raise eggs.

Collection of links to  Ogasawara related web sites

Bonin Links:
by Toshihiko Tohma

If you read Japanese, I would recommend you to visit here for latest information. There are a lot of links to the sites, from travel guides to academic studies.
The links to academic study sites have English description and linked pages are in English.

Diving Articles

Wrecks in Ogasawara
by Charles T. Whipple

Report on wreck diving around Chichi-jima.  If you have ever dived in Ogasawara, his article will make you miss diving there.  I thank Mr. Whipple very much for sending his reports for my site.

Tokyo's Once Forbidden Isles: "Sport Diver" October 1996 Vol 4 No. 5

Story by Charles T. Whipple, Photos by KAIZIN Diving Service

"Although these subtropical islands were discovered in 1583, Japanese were forbidden to go there until 1876. Today, the islands are a paradise for the Japanese and anyone else who loves the ocean."

This is the first article that I have seen about diving in Ogasawara Islands in English diving magazines or on the Internet. I am glad !
It is a rather comprehensive introduction of Ogasawara, not only on diving but also on other activities, history, vegetation, so forth.

Charles Whipple is a writer who has lived in Japan for more than 20 years. He is an avid diver and often contributes diving articles to Australian, New Zealander, Japanese, and American diving magazines. He's fluent in Japanese and willing to help any diver get acquainted in Japan. You can call his office at +81-3-3641-8611. Just ask for Charlie.
His e-mail address is: CharlesT@Whipple.net,
his web site: www.CharlesT.Whipple.net

and above water photos on Ogasawara Islands


Trip Report: Tokyo - Ogasawara (Bonin Islands) Passage, March 1-5, 1999
On the Slow Boat to Hahajima

Bird watching trip by Jim Hackett, Hong Kong

Japan's 'Pacific Islands'
Complex History Makes Ogasawara Islands A Unique Destination
by By Craig Volker and Atsushi Miyahara
at Pacific Magazine

List of Illustrations
Old photos of Ogasawara in old days(Click each title.)
from History of the Bonin Islands
at The Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands Language and Culture Site
by Daniel Long

Ogasawara 2002
Photos visiting members of Japan Amateur radio League (JARL) in Ogasawara. Here's what they did: 8N1OGA
by Ann, WA1S . an Amateur Radio Extra Class
at Hamming the Globe

I have no idea what all these abbreviations mean, but sure looks like a fun to communicate with people around the world via radio.

Ogasawara Photos:

at, Landscape Photo Gallery 'Tabi-rettou', the photo gallery in my travel in Japan.

by Kazuto Nakanishi (text in English)

Books, CD-ROM

Makko no Umi Ogasawara
Photo Galery "Spermwhales in Ogasawara"
Book by Takashi Uzu

Whale Watching

by Takashi Uzu

Gallery10, Gallery 9 Whales
Gallery8, Gallery7, Gallery4

The Whale-Watching-Web: Interspecies/Whales in Overcoats
by Jim Nollman
" subtropical waters of Ogasawara are thick with migrating humpback whales every spring."
Report by an American presenter who participated in Whale-watching conference tour in Ogasawara and other cities in Japan.

Ogasawara Whale Watching
The page includes contact addresses of Ogasawara Tourist Association, Ogasawara Whale Watching Association, as well as when and what type of whale you can see and travel information.


The History

The History of Bonin Islands: Chronological table by Toshihiko Tohma, in English



at The Plough Boy Anthology by Tom Tyler

The Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands Language and Culture Site
by Daniel Long

at Daniel Long's Japanese Linguistic Research Site

I did not know there are so many studies on Ogasawara Islands, new and old.  If you are interested in learning about Ogasawara, this will be the site you would like to check.

The Plough Boy at the Bonin Islands,May 1832
"The Nantucket whaling ship Plough Boy first sighted the Bonin Islands on May 12, 1832."

Drawings of Bonin Islands by early 19th century American whaler at The Plough Boy Journals by Lewis Monto.
by Tom Tyler.

Mr. Tyler found that one of drawings looked very close to my photo of "Maguro-Ana (Tuna Hole)" in Mukojima-retto (Keita Islands), which I used for title on this site.


Status of New Airport

JPRI Occasional Paper No. 15 (August 1999)
Dilemmas of Development on The Ogasawara Islands
by Gavan McCormack at Japan Policy Institute

You can find what happened the new airport project in this article.

Uninhabited Island (Minami jima) near Chichi-jima

Tourist Information

Ogasawara Tourism Association

Clickable map at Ogasawara Village

Japan Weather Association

Eco Tourism Ogawasara

National Land


Scientific Studies

Holy Squid! Photos Offer First Glimpse of Live Deep-Sea Giant
9-27-2005 at at National Giographic News
Photo Gallery: First Live Giant Squad Filmed

It reports that Japanese scientists took photos of live giant squad first time 900M depth in September 2004.

" Tsunemi Kubodera of the National Science Museum in Tokyo and Kyoichi Mori of the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association report their observations this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "

Animals and Plants
(All in English except one on top)

Chelonia mydas green turtle Chelonia mydas green turtle Chelonia
at Ogasarawa Marine Center (in Japanese)

Ogasawara subtropical moist forests (OC0109)
at World Wildlife Fund

Mandarina : A Microcosm of Biodiversity
by Satoshi Chiba at Satoshi Chiba Home Page at Tohoku University, Graduate Schoole of Life Science

Study on land snail in Ogasawra (many photos)

Invasion of Leucaena leucocephala and its Effects on the Native Plant Community in the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
at Weed Science Society of America

Forest, Ecosystem selected photos
at Studies on the Forest Ecosystem in Bonin Islands

by Bonin Islands Forest Ecosystem Research Group,
at FFPRI (Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute)

Fruit Bats In Japan
by Yoshi & Keiko Osawa
at the fruit bat world
This is a lost and found site. They now have a book published on fruit bats too.

Artificial Breeding Colonies Proposed for Endanagered Albatross
ANCHORAGE, Alaska , October 28, 2005
at Envoronment News Service

Last updated August 15, 2006


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