The far off Ogasawara Islands are not accessible by air. To get to the islands anticipate an overseas ride that takes on average about 26 hours – that is if you’re lucky with good weather. I read several times, when researching how to get to the islands, that the trip from Tokyo can be very choppy and often times the weather slows the boat down significantly. Traveling to the islands requires a strong stomach for the sea and dedication as well as a flexibility in travel plans if need be for connecting flights once back from this Pacific paradise.
To catch the ferry to the Ogasawara Islands fly into Tokyo. Tokyo's Narita International Airport, otherwise known as New Tokyo International Airport, handles most of the international flights. Tokyo International Airport, also called Haneda Airport, traffics most of the domestic flights. Once in Tokyo you will depart via Ogasawara Kaiun Company's Ogasawara Maru cruise liner that departs every three days. The ship docks from Tokyo’s Takeshima Terminal. The Ogasawara Maru is a 131-meter long (430 ft) vessel, with a capacity of 1,031 passengers. Once on Chichijima you can ferry to Hahajima on a liner called Hahajima Maru.
Chichijima and Hahajima are the only inhabited islands in the Ogasawara islands. The famous island of Iwo Jima is probably the most famous. It was the stage for the battle of Iwo Jima in WWII in the naval struggle between the USA and Japan. The US actually occupied Iwo Jima until 1968 when it was handed back to Japan.
Two touring companies offer tourist accommodations for scuba divers looking to dive the Ogasawara Islands. The JTB Sunrise Tours and Kinki Nippon Tourist otherwise known as (KNT) are good companys to check out.
Once on the main island of Chichijima, use the Ogasawara Village Tourist Association and Diving Center to organize your trip and answer your questions. The Association can help you plan your scuba diving adventures on the Ogasawara Islands. There are relatively few scuba diving resources on the islands but there are informal dive instructors willing to guide dives or boat captains that offer dive excursions if you seek them out. The language barrier between Japanese and English is a hurdle to be jumped. The dive service called Urashima offers instruction and a dive boat in Chichijima. The Ogasawara Marine Center on Chichijima is another resource for divers and those interested in learning about the local marine life especially sea turtle conservation.
There is currently only one way to see the historic island of Iwo Jima and that is through Military Historical Tours out of the state of Virginia in the United States. It organizes the Iwo Jima Association of America (IJAA) and may be your only ticket to dive the island. The islands history and volcanic landscape are worth seeing no matter if you dive there or not.
Today (18 May) I had a very bad experience with your company, agency Sunrise Tours I did the 'morning tour' in Tokyo with Kumie guide, car 11. The first stop was the Tokyo Tower, where there is no time to contemplate the view. Kumie did not use microphone and the group were large. Impossible all to hear it. She promissed free time. But that is not true, the time was exactly to run all over the place, we cannot stop. The guide also did not ask if somebody had questions and let us no time to...