The theme of the 3rd day was “Explore history”. There were a number of ruins related to WWII since Ogasawara Islands including Chichijima were attacked and controlled by the United States until 1968.
One ruin is located at Hatsuneura Observatory (初寝浦展望台) which provides eastern beautiful scenery. I saw the old building used for a bomb shelter there.
The island has many untouched sunken ships by torpedoes, and you can see one of them up close at Sakaiura Beach (境浦海岸). The beach is also known as one of the best snorkeling spots.
I swam to the sunken ship for a couple of minutes and was shocked by the still-raw wreck. Numerous fish gather around the ship now while it was attacked with torpedoes in 1944.
I found USK Coffee Cafe which serves locally farmed coffee. Chichijima is one of very few places in Japan which has a suitable condition for growing coffee in Japan, and USK has own coffee farm here.
I snorkeled and relaxed on Kominato Beach (小港海岸) again as well as the previous day. There is another beach called Kopepe Beach which can be accessed by a short swim. While swimming, I spotted countless fish on the way. I bet you will love these two beaches.
My Observatory Ranking in Chichijima Island
There are numbers of observatories at high points, and I pick out the three best places to see breathtaking views except the two points introduced on the DAY 2 and DAY 3: Nakayamatoge Observatory (中山峠展望台) and Hatuneura Observatory (初寝浦展望台).
1. Nagasaki Observatory (長崎展望台)
Thanks to the scenery with uninterrupted sea and beautiful coastline, the east-side observatory wins the 1st place!
2. An unnamed place on the way to John Beach
No.2 is the one which was the hardest to get to but totally worthy.
3. Weather Station
The most people visit there for sunset, but it was cloudy when I visited. So personally, the 3rd place.
Final Day in the Ogasawara island
Honestly, I didn’t want to leave the island on the final day. Until the ferry’s departing at 15:30, I did what I wanted to do.
The first destination on the day is, of course, Kominato Beach again and again.
I said goodbye to my favorite beach and headed to Omura area which has the port. Restaurants and souvenir shops gather in the area.
As I realized I had not had any chance to eat Shima-Sushi (島寿司), the signature dish from Ogasawara Islands, I decided to try it for my lunch. I chose Marujo restaurant once again since food was spotlessly delicious and the chef was very friendly. Shima-Sushi was simply fantastic, beyond my expectations.
The last thing I did in the island was shopping souvenirs. Their specialties were salt, hot pepper, sweets with passion fruits, handmade accessaries, unique-designed T-shirts.
Finally, the time to depart…
What you can experience only on this island is not only the tremendous nature, beautiful sea and exciting activities, but also warm and friendly local people who greets visitors with their warmest hearts. This is one of strong reasons why I would recommend everyone to visit this island.
The local kindly gave me a lot of suggestions about what to eat and where to play on this trip.
I heard from foreign visitors from the U.S. that the local help them. When they run out water in the area far from town and walked in the hot sun, a friendly old man gave them a full bottle of water although they can’t communicate in the same language.
Ogasawara has warm climate all year (summer is a little hot as you read above), so you can enjoy anytime as long as you take a vacation for more than a week.
I can say “Ogasawara is a place to visit before you die.”
I have traveled remote islands in Japan including Okinawa and Kagoshima. Out of them, Ogasawara is one of the most satisfied island in Japan, I believe.