How to Get There
Ogasawara National Park comprises a group of islands 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo. The islands, also known as the Bonin Islands, are a World Heritage site and feature pristine beaches, sparkling blue water, coral reefs and unique plants and animals not seen elsewhere in Japan. The park is only accessible by ship from Tokyo to Chichijima, the second-largest of the group of islands, where you can take a boat to Hahajima, the third-largest. Visits to some islands (including Minamijima) must be booked in advance and are conducted by licensed guides.
The Ogasawara Maru ferries passengers from Tokyo’s Takeshiba Pier to Chichijima Island’s Futami Port in 24 hours (or longer, if the weather is bad). The ship departs once every three days during the high seasons, and once every six days during the low seasons. Reservations for the ship (and package tours) can be made on the English-language website of the ship operator, Ogasawara Kaiun. The company also operates the Hahajima Maru, which offers almost daily service between Chichijima and Hahajima. Once at Futami Port on Chichijima, you can stop by the Ogasawara Village Tourist Association Visitor Center for English-language maps and brochures, and to book tours.
Capacity is limited, so plan your trip—including booking accommodation and tours—well in advance. Many accommodation facilities and tour companies provide a pickup service. If you like to explore on your own, however, bicycles and scooters are available to rent on Chichijima Island (booking in advance is recommended). Car rentals are available on Hahajima Island. Arrange car rentals well in advance for the best choices. The small town of Chichijima is walkable, and an hourly bus connects the port with the picturesque Kominato Beach. There are numerous scenic hiking trails around the islands, but note that straying from the paths is prohibited to help protect the wildlife.