How to get Aogashima island and where to stay

go and stay at one of japan's hidden islands

aogashima island, how to get aogashima island
Very unique shape formed by multiple volcanic activities in the past. Aogashima island Source: Charly W. Karl

a bit about Aogashima island, history and today

not the biggest island in Japan...

You may have heard of Hachijojima island but most of you ( also most of Japanese even) have never heard of Aogashima island near the island.


This is coined as the most difficult island to reach among three islands hard to reach (others are being Mikurajima and Toshima island) in Japan.


Long time ago Hachijojima island was a place prisoners were sent to and called an island "even birds would not commute". Today Hachijojima has a good access from the main island. But Aogashima remains the hard place to reach.


This edition of Onegai Kaeru News introduces about the Aogashima, how to get there and where to stay ( also, how to stay there for free!). << If you are interested in learning about more islands in Japan, you can check our comprehensive Japanese island list here. >>


By the way,  in English, it is common to call islands in Japan "Iojima Island, Oshima island" but "Shima" and "Jima" means "island" in Japanese so we dropped these, simple call the islands, Hachijojima, Aogashima.


The island is located 358 km away to the south from Tokyo city center. It is still under the Tokyo city government administration but, with its around 178 villagers (as of Sept, 2019), is the smallest village in Japan. ( As a comparison, in 1945 there were almost 450 people living on the island. )


The island is one of the mysterious islands with beautiful nature. It is a volcanic island 3.5 km in length with a width of 2.5 km, formed by the remains of several calderas. This makes the island look like a massive Balanomorpha. Think of you living on the active volcano. The island earth is quite rich and there is the nice fresh water.


Nobody knows when exactly people started living on this island. After a volcanic activity in 1785 which killed many then, this island had not been inhabited for almost 50 years. During this 50 years, the island people tried to go back many times but could not because of the lack of water and mice problem.

Many novelists have been attracted by the history of Aogashima such as Kunio Yanagida who wrote "Record of going and coming back on Aogashima / 青ヶ島還住記".


There are one post office and one primary/Jr high school. This means kids (at the age of 15 year old) need to go out of the island to study in high school or in a higher educational level.


With only 178 people living, there is only one postal address to this island and the post worker delivers based on "name" of individual. With some people have the same family names...tough job for her/him.

old movie about Aogashima island

If you are curious about how the island was in 50s. You can watch a movie called "Kids on Aogashima - recorded by a female teacher (青ヶ島の子供たち 女教師の記録)" directed by Nobuo Nakagawa and starred by Sachiko Hidari in 1955. 

In this movie also shows how hard to get this island where no ship could reach in the winter time because of the tide around the island. 

Kanju Taiko (drum) is a traditional art on Aogashima. The tradition going back 400 year ago. There is no clear note. Two players hit one drum from each side to make the wonderful melody.

Any update about Coronavirus risk?

you can go there!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tokai line can accept a free cancellation as of 1st April, 2020. For the details, please check the official page. 

As of 30th of March, 2020, some inns on the island such as Aogashima-ya stop taking the reservations from tourists due to the coronavirus countermeasure. 

From the island, it is 6 hour helicopter ride to the nearest major hospital and only 170 residents on the island. Still business visitors are allowed to make booking. For details, please contact the Aogashima village office.

aogashima night view
Great night view on the Aogashima island Source: Gurunavi

When the weather is good, the night sky on the island is just wonderful.

Aogashima Shochu local alcohol (ca 30%) "Aochu"  Source: Gurunavi
Aogashima Shochu local alcohol (ca 30%) "Aochu" There are some restaurants(izakaya) in Tokyo(city area) to serve Aogashima local Shochu. Source: Gurunavi

There is no restaurant, but there are two Japanese bars( Izakaya) on the island. Islanders make a local alcohol Shochu (30%) from sweet potato called "Aochu (あおちゅう)". 

Nature on Aogashima island
Nature on Aogashima island Source: Gurunavi

How to get Aogashima island?

no direct flight from Main island, first go to Hachijojima, then ship or helicopter

How to get this island?


There is no direct transport from the main island of Japan to Aogashima. You need to go to Hachijojima (which is 81km away from Aogashima) first and then take a helicopter or ship. This is far more difficult than getting Niyodo river ( the clearest river in a hidden town in Kochi).


There is NO direct transport from the main island of Japan to Aogashima. You need to go to Hachijojima (which is 81km away from Aogashima) first and then take a helicopter or ship. This is far more difficult than getting Niyodo river ( the clearest river in a hidden town in Kochi).

From Hachijojima island and Aogashima

two ships, aogashima-maru and yuri-maru

How to get this island?


Between Hachijojima and Aogashima:


For the Ship:
There are two ships: Aogashima-maru (あおがしま丸) and Yuri-maru (代船 ゆり丸)


Important to note that No booking needed; The decision whether to operate on that day shall be made at 07:00AM every day of departure (so you need to check this yourself).


Arrival/Departure point in Hachijojima: Shihani port ( 底土港) 10 mins by taxi from Hachijojima airport


Arrival/Departure point in Aogashima: Sanpou port (三宝港)


No reservation needed

The fee: possibly changing every month ( 2700JPY one way per person as of Oct, 2019)

Run one round trip a day


Ship Time table (as of 17th of Aug, 2020)

Name of ship: Aogashima-maru (operating as the cargo on Fri and Sat)



Hachijojima -> Aogashima

07:40-08:10 AM to let your luggage on board (if for the cargo, accepting every day from 10:30 - 15:30 AM (no fresh stuff!))

09:10-09:20 AM to be on board

09:30 AM to leave the port


ETA to Aogashima is 12:30 lunch time


Aogashima -> Hachijojima

12:00-12:15 to let your luggage on board 

12:00-12:15 to be on board

12:50 to leave the port

ETA to Hachijojima is 15:50

(when operating as cargo ship, 13:30  to leave the port


ETA to Hachijojima is 16:30)


Name of ship: Yuri-maru (operating as the cargo on Fri and Sat)


Hachijojima -> Aogashima

07:40-08:10 AM to let your luggage on board (if for the cargo, accepting every day from 10:30 - 15:30 AM (no fresh stuff!))

08:10-08:20 AM to be on board

08:30 AM to leave the port

ETA to Aogashima is 12:00 lunch time


Aogashima -> Hachijojima

11:30-11:45 AM to let your luggage on board 

11:30-11:45 AM to be on board

12:50 to leave the port

ETA to Hachijojima is 16:20

(when operating as cargo ship, 13:20  to leave the port

ETA to Hachijojima is 16:50)


You sometimes do not make it to ANA flight on the same day. When the ship was cancelled, sometimes, there shall be a extra cruise.


NOTE: The ship does NOT run everyday( runs "4 days" in one week and closed on Sunday), you need to ask the ship company to make sure the ship runs (probability to run is 50-60% due to weather etc.)


Click here to check the ship calendar (changing every month) 


No booking needed. Everyday at 07:00AM the decision made weather run or not. You need to check this out!


Inquiry: +81-4996-9-0033


For the ship company: Tokai-kisen



For the Helicopter

Helicopter type: a 9 seat helicopter

Travel duration: 20 minute travel

Flying one round trip a day

 (09:20 AM departure from Hachijojima,  09:40AM arrival to Aogashima,

09:45AM departure from Aogashima, 10:05AM arrival to Hachijojima)



Adult(12 year old or older) 11,530JPY

Child(11 year old or younger) 8,070JPY

 (as of June, 2015)


The website of helicopter company for the latest fee and also credit card payment


You MUST reserve a seat ( you can reserve, earliest, one month in advance)

Restriction and extra charge for the language weight/size (230JPY per extra kilo)


Be at the departure point 30-50mins before the departure time

For inquiry: +81 4996-2-5200 (08:30-17:00 Open 365 day)

For reservation:  +81 4996-2-5222 (09:00-16:00 Closed on Sunday)


Between Hachijojima and Tokyo city center area(main island)

It is around one hour flight from Haneda airport in Tokyo or 11 hour cruise from Takeshiba sanbashi bay in Tokyo to Hachijojima. ( For more details as to Hachijojima ( how to get there and where to stay), refer to our Hachijojima article. )


For the flight


For inquiry/reservation : +81 570-029-222

ANA Website


For the ship


For inquiry/reservation : +81 3-5472-9999

Tokai-Kisen Website

Where to stay?

Based on the Aogashima tourism website( basically showing all available places to stay on the island with the map), there are 5 inns(6 in total but one inn is closed for now as ofMarch, 2018) and 1 camping site.


For the each guesthouses' location, you can check the Kimono rocket, ultimate Japan related location finder in the world.


The inn cost starting from 4000JPY per night per person with no meal up to 7500JPY - 9500JPY per night per person with 3 meals( breakfast, lunch and dinner)


The cheapest way to stay on Aogashima is to use the camping site. It is free but you need to reserve at least 2 weeks in advance by email/fax (using the fixed form below) and fill in the application form( you find at ship port, heliport, village office) and submit to the village office ( 青ヶ島村役場/Aogashima Yakuba ).


At the camping site, you can NOT drink tap water, you need to get the fresh water in front of the village office ( for this, please make sure you bring some empty bottle or container to store the fresh water!). the water bottles at some shop on the island or from vending machine near the sauna. 


It is a great way to stay but make sure your camping equipment are NOT too big or heavy so that you do not need to pay extra fee to get the island with the ship or helicopter...


Important Notice about camping

As of Feb, 2017, we have the important notice from Aogashima village office about camping. 

Beside application at the village office at your arrival, you need to reserve the spot at least 2 week in advance by email or fax to the village office. The longest length of camp stay is one week (no extension allowed)


Aogashima camping site reservation form (mandatory)


The reservation form should have all the following items.


You copy these text and edit necessary information and send it to the below email or print out and fax it at the fax number below.


--Reservation form start--


1. タイトル Titile: 青ヶ島村キャンプ場利用予約申請 (camping site reservation application)

2. 日付 DATE: X月Y日~Z月A日 (month/day-month/day)

3. 往復の利用交通機関 Transportation: 行き=あおがしま丸 / 帰り=ヘリコプター(購入済み)  ( How you get the island BOTH way. "行き" means "to the island", "帰り" means "from the island". After = you put the means of transportation. If ship, "あおがしま丸" (aogashima maru), if helicopter, "ヘリコプター". If helicopter, you must also confirm if you already bought the ticket. If you did, put "(購入済み)"  )

4. 利用代表者氏名 Name of person in charge: XYZ

5. 利用者人数 No. of the visitors: X

6. 連絡先 Contact Tel: XX-XXXX-YYYY

7. メールアドレス Email:


--Reservation form end--


The form should be addressed to the village office on either



Fax: +81 4996-9-0001


After you send the reservation form, please check if you have the confirmation from the village office. Otherwise, you better send it again.

Also the village office may close down the camping site due to the weather (thus, no 100% guarantee even if you reserve it!)

Aogashima CORRUPTION case

Have a nice trip!

We hope you have now the comprehensive information about Aogashima island how to get there and where to stay.


For more beautiful photos of Aogashima, please check the Aogashima village office website( you will see the photos of ship, helicopter as well as the beautiful nature.

If you love to know more islands in Japan, you can check this list of interesting islands in Japan. There are many beautiful islands in the region which are better known than Aogashima. OshimaToshimaNiijimaShikinejimaKozushimaMiyakejimaMikurashimaHachijojima. It may be a good idea to travel from one island to another in the region.


(Update: Feb, 2017

Onegai Kaeru team has had contacted Aogashima Village office to ask if boat or helicopter is better than the other to get the island. The office responded "definitely helicopter". The ship is quite often canceled. Even on a clear sunny day if the wave is high, the ship shall be canceled. )


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Have you heard of the most transparent river in Japan? Want to know how to get there and where to stay? find out here!


Interested in the "Tomogashima-treasure island of old pirates" in Japan? Find out where and how to get there.


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Source: Wikipedia, Aogashima village website, Tokaikisen, Tokyo Ailando shuttle, Gurunavi, Charly W. Karl 


Disclaimer: Even though we try to make the info as updated and accurate but the accuracy of the information herein is not guaranteed by us. If you have any uncertainty, please contact the information source.

Write a comment

Comments: 25
  • #1

    nia (Saturday, 23 April 2016 21:05)

    too bad that the helicopter or transportation going to aogashima is so expensive -_-

  • #2

    onegai kaeru team (Saturday, 23 April 2016 21:18)

    Thank you for the comment, Nia.
    Yeah, we know... The cost is also one of the big factors making the travel to the island very difficult. (ToT)

  • #3

    Kuria (Monday, 03 October 2016 14:41)

    I would like to visit there in late October this year. I want to travel to the island by ship and will be bringing my camping gear with me. I am looking to stay for at least two nights.

  • #4

    Annive (Tuesday, 04 October 2016 23:50)

    Aw this is such a great and informative article! I wish their websites had an english language option though :(

  • #5

    michael (Sunday, 27 November 2016 05:57)

    I don't think $100USD is expensive for a twenty min Helo ride.

  • #6

    Suze (Monday, 28 November 2016 14:11)

    I think that's very affordable heli ride! That's like $150 Canadian!

  • #7

    Wataru (Sunday, 18 December 2016 13:18)

    Hi onegai kaeru team

    I'm thinking of going to Aogashima in February 2017.

    Will it be too cold? What's the scenery like then? Also can you walk around the whole island on the hills? That's what I really want to do!!

  • #8

    bob (Friday, 23 December 2016 17:41)

    what a horrible place.

  • #9

    Caro (Tuesday, 21 February 2017 15:04)

    Hey Bob, its a great island!!!

  • #10

    oisee (Saturday, 18 March 2017 23:31)

    Thank you so much for this amazing article! Very useful. I will definitely have to go there soon.
    Thanks to google translate I am able to translate the ship and helicopter schedules in order to plan the trip properly.

  • #11

    Daian (Friday, 28 April 2017 16:13)

    Your article is on Bloomberg news!! Congrats! Onegai Kaeru team!

  • #12

    Patrick (Saturday, 10 June 2017 07:59)

    Can you hire a tour guide??

  • #13

    J (Saturday, 28 October 2017 13:35)

    Can a Canadian come there to work/Live ?? :)

  • #14

    Jeneen (Tuesday, 27 March 2018 14:15)

    Really great information!! Thank you for compiling it all and for making it easy to access!

  • #15

    Johnny (Sunday, 08 April 2018 04:00)

    "After a volcanic activity in 1785, this island had not been inhabited for almost 500 years."
    Come on... math F


  • #16

    K team (Sunday, 08 April 2018 09:35)

    Johnny, thank you for pointing out. It was a typo. It should have been 50 years.
    Kind regards
    K team

  • #17

    Stew (Thursday, 09 May 2019 21:53)

    For a short 20min scenic helicopter ride in the US it is about USD$210 so the Aogashima helicopter is a bargain!

  • #18

    Milo (Sunday, 20 October 2019 00:03)

    Please, how to rent a car on the island Aogashima? Thank you!

  • #19

    Dale (Monday, 11 November 2019 22:24)

    Can you tell me if I can drive down to the inside of the crater, the aerial map looks like it has road. I'm looking at April. Will this be a good time. How much for a car and are they easy to rent.
    I do hope I said answer to my questions. Thank you in advance.

  • #20

    Gwen (Wednesday, 11 March 2020 00:54)

    Hey, I tried to get more information on Aogashima however I can't find much.
    How do you get breakfast, lunch and dinner if there is no restaurant? Only at the inn? And now the biggest question mark I have: We are vegans. Are there any chances to get vegan meals?
    Looking forward to your answer.

  • #21

    Jimmie (Thursday, 02 April 2020 10:41)

    Thanks! Very helpful. This is the best information about Aogashima in the world

  • #22

    Paul (Wednesday, 02 November 2022 14:00)

    Thank you for the great article about tiny islands in Japan. Ill go there definitely. Onegai Kaeru is the best source for Japan trip.

  • #23

    Koh Tee Hock (Wednesday, 17 May 2023 14:33)


    I do not speak Japanese. Trying to get accomodation to stay from 13 June to 16 June on Aogashima Island. I emailed n texted but no reply (google translate)

    Can you help??
    1 traveller Koh Tee Hock
    from Singapore.

  • #24

    John M (Wednesday, 04 October 2023 13:14)

    When traveling to remote islands in Japan, there are several important things to consider in order to have a safe and enjoyable experience.

    First and foremost, thorough research is essential. Learn about the local customs, language, and traditions of the specific island you plan to visit. This knowledge not only helps you navigate more comfortably but also shows respect for the local culture.

    Packing wisely is crucial, especially because remote islands might lack some amenities. Ensure you have essential items, including medicines, toiletries, and a first aid kit. Don't forget to carry insect repellent and a portable water filter, especially if you plan to explore nature.

    Respect for nature is paramount. Japan's remote islands boast stunning natural beauty, so it's vital to tread lightly. Follow designated trails, avoid disturbing wildlife, and be responsible with your waste. Leaving no trace behind ensures the environment remains pristine.

    Additionally, be mindful of the wildlife you might encounter. Maintain a safe distance and avoid feeding animals, as this can disrupt their natural behavior. Understanding the local fauna and behaving appropriately around them is essential for both your safety and their well-being.

    Weather in remote islands can be unpredictable. Always check the weather forecasts before your trip and pack suitable clothing and gear. Also, be aware that transportation options might be limited, so plan your travel meticulously. Consider ferry schedules and book accommodations in advance. Having a backup plan for unexpected changes in transport schedules is advisable.

    Language might be a barrier, so learning basic Japanese phrases or having a translation app can be immensely helpful. The locals appreciate your efforts to communicate in their language.

    Cultural sensitivity is key. Japanese culture values respect and politeness. Familiarize yourself with common Japanese etiquette, such as bowing and removing your shoes indoors. Respecting local customs and traditions demonstrates your appreciation for the local way of life.

    Lastly, be prepared for emergencies. Know the location of the nearest medical facilities and have contact information for local authorities. Keep your phone fully charged and carry a power bank. It's also a good practice to inform a trustworthy person about your travel plans.

    And of course, indulge in the local cuisine. Trying regional dishes and delicacies is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the culture of the island you're visiting.

    Approach your journey with an open mind, a sense of adventure, and utmost respect for the people and the environment. These considerations will not only enhance your travel experience but also contribute to the preservation of the natural beauty and cultural richness of Japan's remote islands. Safe travels and enjoy your exploration!

  • #25

    Ken (Thursday, 05 October 2023 10:51)

    So amazing after onegai kaeru wrote about this Aogashima island, Tokyo government and other medias started writing about it.

    When this article was out. There was basically no one talking about the island. On google search, this article came all time top even above Wikipedia! Crazy.

    It is the very typical example how powerful a small media can be by finding so amazing and letting people know. Very few could do it.

    Thank you, onegai kaeru!!