Blessed with rich plant and wildlife, the island of Chichijima is part of the Ogasawara archipelago, and is a registered UNESCO Site of Natural Heritage.
There are plenty of whale-watching opportunities along the coast
This is the largest island in the Ogasawara archipelago
There's only one major village on the island
The best way to access the island is to take a direct ferry from Tokyo.
Take the Ogasawara-maru Ferry from Takeshima Pier overnight (24 hours). You'll pass the Izu Islands and arrive at Chichijima the following day.
Thanks to its remote location, there is no light pollution on the island, and the night sky seen from Chichijima is nothing short of spectacular. For something even more special, be sure to check out the view of the night sky from the Weather Station Observatory in the northwest of the island.
You can see humpback whales from February to March, and sperm whales from May to November. Make reservations for outdoor activities at the B-Ship tourism office near Futami Port, where the boats from Tokyo dock.
The waters off Chichijima are also populated by dolphins. See the dolphins in their natural environment by catching a boat tour that's available to book onsite. Dolphins are naturally playful, and often approach the boats.
The island is renowned for its white, sandy beaches, which offer plenty of excitement. Miyanohama and Tsurihama, on the north side of the island, are great spots for snorkeling.
There are also picnic tables and toilet facilities nearby. Swim around the submerged shipwreck of the Hinko-maru, a Japanese ship sunk just off the island in World War II, off the east coast of the island at Sakaiura Beach. There are lots of other water sports to try too, including sea kayaking, fishing and surfing.