Ogasawara Islands

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Leaving the ominous skies of Tokyo behind.

Tropical islands do not often come to mind, when thinking of Japan. But after Japan’s four main islands there are another 6500 plus islands. The Ogasawara Island group is considered part of Tokyo but it could not be further in distance or in feel.

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Bird life following the ferry.

The Ogasawara group consists of over thirty sub-tropical and tropical World Heritage Listed islands. Located some 1000kms south east of Tokyo, and with no airport the only way to reach this paradise is by a 25 hour ferry ride.

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The cheapest ferry ticket, is a mat on the floor in a large room with everyone else.

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The Ogasawara Maru on departure day, which seems to a be a mini festival each week.

The main island is Chichijima (father island) and has a population of 2000 and the only other island inhabited is Hahajima (mother island) with a population of about 200. The ferry has a maximum of 700 people, so the incredible natural beauty of the islands is never crowded.

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Some beautiful beaches on Chichijima.

The island does not have a long history of being inhabited and the first permanent colony was set up by an American in 1830. Japan and America did a bit of island swapping over the years, including a fierce battle in WWll which left the islands to the Americans. In 1968 however, they were given back to Japanese control.

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Some stunning island scenery.

War seems a strange thought in the beautiful and peaceful place that is Ogasawara now. On Chichijima, beaches have white sand, coral at their fringes and large parrot fish enjoy the bluest water you can imagine. Steep cliffs rise up in between beaches and give the smaller islands impressive profiles. Inland, mountain scenery with green ferns and palms contains nothing dangerous except for one type of centipede. There is an incredible island community and the locals really do enjoy their surroundings. Children’s playgroup, English lessons, birthday parties, farewells all take place on the beach, amongst kayaks, paddle boards and snorkels.

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More incredible scenery and blue skies.

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This entry was published on October 4, 2012 at 8:17 am and is filed under Japan, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Ogasawara Islands

  1. Spectacular! Especially that bird photo.

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