Ogasawara – A Japanese Territory in the Pacific

I’ll start on this story on May 11th 2018, when I woke up at 5 PM. Due to jetlag, my sleeping hours were bad and I decided not to sleep again in the hotel as I was going to the airport early morning the following day. I flew to Kuala Lumpur to meet up with a friend I travelled with to Laos in 2011. Around two hours into the conversation, I started to feel bad and very tired. I felt I quickly got weaker and weaker and my beating ability wasn’t normal. It was terrible and my friend suggested I should see a doctor, but I was so weak that I had to get in a wheelchair.

I don’t know what caused it. Maybe a combination of something I eat, or drank, or jetlag, lack of sleep and heat. It was absolutely horrible and was a bit like when I had been food poisoned in the Andaman Islands in 2014. I went to the doctor and got an injection. I felt better after a while, but I wasn’t fit to fly and missed my important flight to Tokyo. My friend then took me in the wheelchair to a hotel inside the airport. I went to sleep without setting my alarm clock. After around five hours I woke up and felt a lot better.

I didn’t feel completely well but was able to walk by myself. I looked at flights to Tokyo as I had a ferry ticket to the Ogasawara Islands (a Japanese territory in the Pacific around 25 hours by ferry from Tokyo) the next morning. There was an expensive flight with Malaysia Airlines but the online sale had stopped so I quickly went on a train to the other terminal. I went to the ticket sale, but unfortunately, the lady couldn’t help me as the sale had stopped. I explained it was an important flight for me, that I only had a handbag and that I could run fast.

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She then gave it a try and it worked out. I wasn’t feeling too well, but much better than earlier in the day, so despite the horrible experience earlier I decided to take a chance and buy the ticket. Not only was it risky as I wasn’t too well, but I also had the risk of not making it to the ferry in time (Narita Airport is quite far from Tokyo), and the risk of getting seasick and having breathing issues on the long ferry journey to Ogasawara.  If I didn’t go, I would waste a week if I decided to continue with that plan as the ferry to Ogasawara only runs once a week.

Now I’m happy to say I made it to Ogasawara. I arrived at Narita Airport and managed to get to the ferry in time. I was worried about breathing issues and seasickness before the journey, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was clean and comfortable onboard although I didn’t have a room to myself. I slept a lot onboard during the approximately 25-hour journey and arrived today, really excited and happy I made it and can continue my travels according to the plan. Will have three nights here before going back with the ferry to Tokyo. It’s a beautiful place that feels special, and it’s experiences like this that make travel so rewarding despite the huge sacrifices at times. Tickets can be booked on the OgasawaraKaiun’s website.

This island has approximately 2,300 inhabitants. About 3,000 live on the territory in total including the other islands. I was staying in a Japanese-style room at Pat Inn Hotel & Restaurant. A lovely little family-run hotel with a beautiful design. If you visit Japan, I highly recommend taking the ferry to this territory. Despite a journey of approximately 25 hours from Tokyo, it is in my opinion worth it.

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Need help for a trip to Ogasawara?
If you need any help with a trip to Ogasawara, Hiroshi Sato of Ogasawara Tourist can be contacted at hsato@ogasawara-tourist.com He helped me with valuable information and fixing a ticket issue.

Below are some of the photos I took while on Chichijima in Ogasawara.

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