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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kanto - Tokyo
Ogasawara Islands 
# 157   of 177 destinations
in our travel guide

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Kopepe Beach on Chichijima Island

The Ogasawara Islands (小笠原諸島, Ogasawara Shotō), also known in English as the Bonin Islands, are a chain of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, about 1000 kilometers south and administratively part of Tokyo. The sole way to reach the islands is by a weekly 25.5 hour ferry ride from Tokyo. Only the two largest islands, Chichijima (Father Island) and Hahajima (Mother Island) are inhabited.

Hahajima Island viewed from Mount Kofuji

Located on a similar geographical latitude as Okinawa, the Ogasawara Islands offer a subtropical climate with warm temperatures year around. The islands attract visitors with their remoteness, relaxed hospitality, beautiful beaches, coral reefs and jungle covered hills, and offer various outdoor activities such as whale watching, swimming with dolphins, hiking, sea kayaking, snorkeling and diving.

Because the Ogasawara Islands were never connected to the Japanese mainland or any continent, they feature many unique plants and animals that are only found here, including various birds, insects and crabs. In order to maintain the unique environment, visitors must pay attention not to import any seeds or alien species to the islands and refrain from collecting or otherwise harming the local plants and wildlife. For this reason camping and off-trail hiking are strictly prohibited throughout the islands.

Minamijima Island

The Ogasawara Islands were discovered in 1593 by Ogasawara Sadayori, who claimed them for the Tokugawa Shogunate. But they remained largely uninhabited until 1830 when a small group of Westerners and Pacific Islanders established a colony on Chichijima. The islands officially became Japanese territory in 1875, and later served as military bases during the Second World War. After the war, they were occupied by the United States until 1968 when they were returned to Japan.

The remoteness of the islands comes with a few minor inconveniences. Credit cards are accepted only by a small number of hotels and shops; however, cash withdrawal is possible through the postal ATMs found at the JA Bank branches on both islands (note limited business hours). Cell phone coverage is mostly limited to the populated areas of Chichijima and Hahajima. Internet access is available at the visitor center on Chichijima and a small number of shops and hotels.

Futami Port on Chichijima Island

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

Attractions
 1  Chichijima Island
The larger of the two inhabited Ogasawara Islands.
User rating: insufficient data
Visited by: 15 users
 2  Hahajima Island
The smaller of the two inhabited Ogasawara Islands.
User rating: insufficient data
Visited by: 7 users
 

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User Ratings
Ratings for Ogasawara Islands:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of the best  
User Rating (by 11 users):
95/100
  highly recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 162):
2.  Yaeyama Islands   97/100
3.  Yakushima   96/100
4.  Miyajima   96/100
5.  Tokyo   95/100
6.  Mount Fuji   95/100
7.  Ogasawara Islands   95/100
8.  Mount Koya   93/100
9.  Okinawa Island   93/100
10.  Alpine Route   93/100
11.  Shirakawa-go   93/100
Most visited destinations (out of 177):
152.  Marugame   45
153.  Kitakami   43
154.  Obuse   42
155.  Akiyoshidai   42
156.  Kume Island   39
157.  Ogasawara Islands   33
158.  Tsuwano   31
159.  Inujima Island   24
160.  Tomamu   24
161.  Naruko Gorge   23

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English Links
Ogasawara Village Tourism Office
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Ogasawara Village Tourism Office
Official website.

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