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My understanding from Wikitravel is that you can get a helicopter or ferry from Hachijojima. However, it's unclear what time this ferry is, or whether you'll have down time after the morning arrival of the ferry from Tokyo.

I'm wondering if it's possible to get a ferry direct from Tokyo to Aogashima, or if chartering is perhaps an option - basically, is there another way to do it, and if so, how? (aside from hitching).

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The Aogashima village home page summarizes your options nicely, although only in Japanese:

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Basically, there are no direct options, you have to transit via Hachijojima. The ferry leaves daily except Sundays at 10 AM (2:30, ¥2,590), but is subject to weather conditions and apparently only goes out around 60% of the time (!). The helicopter is daily at 9:20 AM (only 20 min, but a whopping ¥11,210), rain or shine.

Since the ferry from Tokyo is scheduled to arrive at 9:25, it's possible to connect directly to the ferry, but not the helicopter. However, if you fly in on ANA flight 821, it arrives at 08:30 in time to catch the heli.

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Turns out, yes, rain or shine, but NOT fog :/ –  Mark Mayo Aug 26 at 2:32

Having now done it, it's worth noting several things.

ANA flies between Tokyo and Hachijojima three times daily. The first flight of the day gets you in with about 90 minutes to spare before the ferry, and you have plenty of time to get to the ferry departure.

The ferry to Aogashima is 2.5 hours and is basically a cargo ship with tatami mats. Or you can sit above deck in the open air.

Once you arrive, there's no support, no structure, nothing. The village is on the other side of the island, and you've got a giant cliff in front of you. The ferry departs again almost immediately.

We actually hitched a ride with the local cop, who took us past the campsite (there's only one, and it's on the inner volcano, nowhere near anything). You need to go to the town anyway, to register at the town office.

We rented a car from town and used that to get between town and the campsite.

The ferry claims to run every day except Sunday, but the 'real' schedule on the island shows many days that it's scheduled to skip. On top of that, fog can sit for several days, stopping both the ferry AND helicopter crossings. We were intending on a stay of one night and ended up being stuck for over four nights, finally taking the heli back to Hachijojima. It's a fun but short ride.

The heli is usually around 8.30 or 9 in the morning from the island, depending on previous days. Note it only holds nine passengers, and you have to book. When the ferry isn't running, it's very difficult to secure a booking.

Saying that, it's a great wee island for a few days, and has both camping and ryokan options.

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