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Published on 06.29.2016
“Ogasawara Islands” are a group of islands located about 1000 km south of Tokyo. There are about 30 islands in the chain located in the Pacific Ocean. The islands can only be reached by ferry because there is no airport in Ogasawara Islands. The regular ferry, the “Ogasawaramaru” makes the trip once a week, and it takes about 24 hours for a one-way trip. Although it is a long trip, there are many attractive places in the islands worth visiting.
“Dolphin Swim” and “Whale Watching” are popular activities that you can do to enjoy the rich nature in Ogasawara. “Dolphin Swim” is an activity where you can swim with wild dolphins by snorkeling. “Whale Watching” is an activity where you can see wild sperm whales from a tour boat.
You can enjoy shopping on “Chichi Island,” the island with the largest population in Ogasawara. You will find many souvenir stores along the main street called “Wangan Street.” There are popular souvenirs such as salt made from Ogasawara sea water, lemons grown on the islands, and homemade honey. Some stores sell T-shirts and accessories which are originally designed by the stores.
When you leave the islands, many inhabitants of Ogasawara will give you a hearty send-off by playing drums and dancing. You might receive a “lei” made from island’s flowers. There is a legend that you will return to the island if you throw your lei into the ocean from the ferry and it drifts back to the island. The people in Ogasawara have their culture where they welcome guests warmly, and give you a hearty send-off because the number of regular ferries are small.
Ogasawara Islands have unique culture and rich nature despite being a part of Tokyo. Time will go by slowly on the Ogasawara Islands, making it a great place to spend a vacation.
“Tokyo Bay Takeshiba Kyakusen Terminal”:
Access: 7-minute walk from the north exit of JR Hamamatsu-cho Station.
Departure time: 11:00 a.m. (Once a week)
Address: 1-12-3 Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
▼Ogasawara vill. English Site