Ogasawara Islands Travel Guide

Explore the beauty of Ogasawara Islands with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover its cultural attractions, natural wonders, best places to stay, and more.

Introduction to Ogasawara Islands

Located in Tokyo (prefecture), Kanto, Japan, the Ogasawara Islands is a chain of 30-plus islands that features stunning natural scenery, thrilling outdoor activities, and a unique culture. The islands, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are known for their crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, rugged cliffs, and lush forests. Visitors come to Ogasawara Islands to relax, explore, and immerse themselves in the local way of life.

In this travel guide, we will take you through the best places to visit, stay, eat, and experience during your visit to the Ogasawara Islands.

List of Places to Visit in Ogasawara Islands

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Ogasawara Museum of History and Folklore: This museum showcases the history, culture, and natural wonders of the Ogasawara Islands. It features exhibits on the islands’ geology, flora and fauna, archaeology, and folklore.

  • Nishinoshima Museum: The Nishinoshima Museum gives you a chance to learn about the islands’ geological history and volcanic formations. Visitors can see a variety of interesting rock formations and unique geological features.

  • Mt. Chuo Observatory: This observatory provides a panoramic view of the Ogasawara Islands. From here, you can see the islands’ stunning landscapes, including the Pacific Ocean, volcanoes, and dense forests.

Natural Attractions of Ogasawara Islands: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Kubajima Island: Kubajima Island is one of the most popular places to visit in the Ogasawara Islands. It is a small tropical island with crystal-clear waters and a variety of marine life. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing on the island’s white sandy beaches.

  • Minamijima Island: Minamijima Island is another popular destination for tourists. It is an uninhabited island with stunning coral reefs and marine life. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling, diving, and beachcombing here.

  • Mount Komagatake: This is the highest peak on Chichijima Island, and visitors can hike to the top for panoramic views of the Ogasawara Islands. The hiking trail is moderately difficult and takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

  • Pinaisara Waterfall: Visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim in the natural pool at the base of the waterfall. The waterfall is located on Hahajima Island and is accessible by hiking trail.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Ogasawara Islands

The Ogasawara Islands offer some of the best hiking and biking trails in Japan. Here are a few popular routes:

  • Chichijima Island Hiking Trail: This trail starts from the Tamaudun Mausoleum and takes you through lush forests, scenic views, and historical sites. The hike takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

  • Hahajima Island Hiking Trail: This trail takes you through dense forests, rugged cliffs, and scenic views of the Pacific Ocean. The hike takes about 4-5 hours to complete.

  • Biking Routes: Visitors can rent bicycles to explore the islands at their own pace. There are several biking routes on the islands that take you through scenic villages, beaches, and forests.

Best Things to Do in Ogasawara Islands: Activities and Tours

There are plenty of exciting things to do in the Ogasawara Islands. Here are some popular activities and tours:

  • Snorkeling and Diving: The Ogasawara Islands offer some of the best diving and snorkeling spots in Japan. Visitors can swim with dolphins, sea turtles, and a variety of fish.

  • Whale Watching: Visitors can take a boat tour to see humpback whales migrate through the waters of the Ogasawara Islands.

  • Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Visitors can rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards to explore the islands’ waters at their own pace.

Week-Long Itinerary for Ogasawara Islands

Here’s a suggested itinerary for a week-long trip to the Ogasawara Islands:

  • Day 1-2: Explore Chichijima Island, hike to Mount Komagatake, and visit the Chichijima History Museum.
  • Day 3-4: Explore Hahajima Island, hike to Pinaisara Waterfall, and visit the Hahajima Cultural Center.
  • Day 5-6: Enjoy water activities like snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.
  • Day 7: Relax on the beach and enjoy the local cuisine.

Food and Drink Scene of Ogasawara Islands

Must-Try Dishes

  • Ogasawara Gozen: A traditional meal that includes rice, grilled fish, miso soup, and various side dishes made with local ingredients.

  • Tuna Sashimi Donburi: Fresh tuna sashimi served on top of a bed of rice.

  • Ogasawara Rock Lobster: Grilled rock lobster served with a variety of dipping sauces.

Local Beverages

  • Shima Shochu: A distilled liquor made with local sweet potatoes or brown sugar.

  • Awamori: A distilled liquor made from rice, typically served with ice or cold water.

Where to Stay in Ogasawara Islands: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are several options for accommodation in the Ogasawara Islands. Here are a few popular options:

  • Ogasawara Village Hotel: A popular hotel located close to the Chichijima Port, offering comfortable rooms with ocean views.

  • Ogasawara Island Youth Hostel: A budget-friendly option for backpackers and solo travelers, located on Chichijima Island.

  • Ogasawara Diving Center and Lodge: A popular option for divers, offering comfortable rooms and meals tailored to divers’ schedules.

What to Buy in Ogasawara Islands: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Shima-jima Tsumugi: A type of hand-woven silk fabric unique to the Ogasawara Islands.

  • Ogasawara Senbei: A type of rice cracker made from local rice and seasoning.

  • Hahajima T-Shirts: Colorful t-shirts featuring the endemic plant and animal species found on Hahajima Island.

Local Culture and Customs of Ogasawara Islands

The people of the Ogasawara Islands have a unique culture and way of life that has been shaped by their isolation from mainland Japan. They take pride in living sustainably and preserving the natural environment. Visitors are encouraged to respect local traditions and customs, such as removing shoes before entering homes and temples and avoiding littering.

Best Time to Visit Ogasawara Islands

The best time to visit the Ogasawara Islands is from March to October when the weather is warm, and the waters are calm.

Do’s and Don’ts of Ogasawara Islands


  • Respect local customs and traditions.
  • Be mindful of your litter, and dispose of waste properly.
  • Use reef-safe sunscreen to protect the islands’ fragile marine ecosystems.


  • Damage the islands’ natural environment by removing plants or disturbing wildlife.
  • Touch or feed marine animals.

Safety and Health

Safety in Ogasawara Islands

The Ogasawara Islands are generally safe for visitors. However, it is important to be aware of potential hazards such as rip currents, natural hazards like typhoons, and the dangers associated with diving.

Health in Ogasawara Islands

There are medical clinics on both Chichijima and Hahajima islands, but visitors should take precautions to prevent illness by following standard hygiene practices and consuming only safe food and water.

Getting to Ogasawara Islands: Transportation Options and Logistics

The Ogasawara Islands can be accessed by ferry or plane from Tokyo.

Airports Near Ogasawara Islands

  • Tokyo Haneda Airport: The nearest airport to the Ogasawara Islands, with regular flights to and from Chichijima and Hahajima.

Ferries Near Ogasawara Islands

  • Ogasawara Kaiun Ferry: Ferry service from Tokyo to Chichijima and Hahajima.

Other Options

There are no roads connecting the islands, so visitors will need to use local transportation options, such as taxis and rental cars, to get around.

How to Get Around in Ogasawara Islands

Visitors can rent bicycles, take taxis or buses, or walk to get around the islands.

Where to Go Next from Ogasawara Islands: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

After exploring the Ogasawara Islands, visitors can take a ferry or plane to Tokyo or other destinations in Japan.


The Ogasawara Islands offer a unique travel experience that combines natural beauty, cultural attractions, and thrilling outdoor activities. Whether you are looking to relax on the beach, explore the islands’ forests and mountains, or immerse yourself in local culture, the Ogasawara Islands have something for everyone. With this comprehensive travel guide, you can plan an unforgettable trip to Japan’s tropical paradise.