The Ogasawara Islands

(Posted on March 14, 2019)


The islands are a world heritage site located some 1,000 km south of Tokyo. There is no airport, so the only means of transportation is by sea; a regular once a week ship takes about 24 hours to reach Chichi-jima, the main island from Tokyo’s Takebashi pier. Chichi-jima has a population of about 2100. The history of the islands is relatively new; some Westerners and Micronesians  first settled there in the early 19th Century. The isolation of the Ogasawara Islands from continents rendered the evolution of its own flora and fauna: thus the islands are sometimes called “ The Galapagos of the East”. This time my wife and I took a six-day cruise on Pacific Venus, a 25,000 ton ocean liner.


March 3, 2019  Chichi-jima

       Approaching Chichi-jima                           Releasing a baby sea turtle to the sea



March 4, 2019

Minami Iwo-tou, a deserted island some 1,300 km south of Tokyo. The highest peak is 916 meters high. The island happens to be a breeding ground for sea birds.


Iow-tou (Iwo Jima), a bitterly fought island in the last stages of WW2, some 1,200 km south of Tokyo. Mount Suribachi is seen on both photos above. There, a famous photo showing US marines raising the US flag after bitter fighting was taken. Iou-tou is 8 km east to west, 4 km north to south and is a volcanic island. The island has a 2,650 meters long runway being operated by the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force.






                                                                  North Iwo-tou, about 1100 km south of Tokyo. The highest peak is 792 meters high. The island was once inhabited with more than 200 people before WW2 but is now deserted.




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