Q Where can I leave my luggage?
A You can use the coin lockers or leave your luggage at the tourism offices on the islands. A small fee might apply depending on the tourism office. Locations of coin lockers are as follows:
Nishinoshima Island (Nishinoshima Town): Beppu Port Ferry Teminal, ground floor
Nakanoshima Island (Ama Town): Hishiura Port Ferry Terminal
Chiburijima Islands (Chibu Village): Kurii Port Ferry Terminal, 2nd floor (small size lockers)
Dogo Island (Okinoshima Town): Oki Islands Geopark Visitor Center, ground floor
Q How many days do I need to see the main sights?
A To see all islands and their main sights, you will need 4-5 days. Travelling between the islands might be confusing and making a perfect travel plan might feel a little overwhelming. Take a look at the sample itineraries for reference or send an inquiry to one of the local tourism associations.
Q What is the best season to visit the Oki Islands?
A The best season to visit the islands is from spring through autumn. Although in recent years the winter weather is not as harsh, the islands experience strong winds and high waves from December to February. Please pay special attention to weather reports and watch out for the possibility of ferry cancellations if you are planning to visit during this period.
Moreover, please be aware that the period around the New Year (end of December, beginning of January) and Obon Festival (mid-August) is particularly busy due to many people coming back to the islands to visit their family home. Hotels and restaurants are either fully booked or even closed for business.
Q Do I need to book my accommodation/activities/rent-a-car in advance?
A It is highly recommended, especially if you are planning to visit during high season (April-September). Oki Islands are small, and we only have a limited number of facilities. You might find services and facilities fully booked if you wait until the last minute.
Q Are there any guides who speak foreign languages?
A Yes! Check out their profiles here.
Q Is it safe to walk on trails that lead through pastures?
A Cows and horses are usually calm animals, but it is important to leave plenty of space when walking past them. Move calmly and quietly, and walk around the herd if possible. Try to avoid getting between the cows and their calves, and horses and their foals. Do not walk behind a horse as it may kick if it feels frightened or threatened.
Q What is a Texas gate (cattle grid)?
A Texas gates are installed at the entrance of the pasture to prevent the entry and exit of cattle and horses. Please drive slowly when crossing the Texas gates. Cyclists should alight from their bicycles and walk across the grid. If the tyre gets caught in the gap, it may cause a flat tyre or a fall. Please be careful when crossing the gates.
Q How long does it takes to get around the islands?
A Please be aware that although the islands look small on the map, they are not small enough to walk everywhere. Make sure to check the distances between the sites you wish to visit, and plan before venturing out.
Q Can I pay with credit card?
A You can pay with a credit card for your ferry tickets at all ports except in Chibu Village (Chiburijima Island).
Some restaurants, hotels and other tourism facilities do not accept credit card payments. We recommend bringing cash or checking beforehand.
Q Where can I exchange money?
A Currency exchange is only available at the local bank in Okinoshima Town (Dōgo Island). Please be aware that the local bank is a small branch. The process might take a longer time than you are used to and the staff might not know English. We STRONGLY RECOMMEND exchanging foreign currencies before coming to the Oki Islands.
Q Where can I withdraw money using my card issued abroad?
A You can withdraw money using a card issued abroad only from ATMs of Japan Post Bank.
The following cards can be used: cards bearing a Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Plus, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, JCB, UnionPay or Discover logo.
The Japan Post Bank ATMs on the islands are NOT open 24/7, and many have shorter operation hours or are closed on weekends and public holidays.
Q What is the best way to access the Oki Islands?
A The islands can be accessed by air or sea. For detailed information, visit our "Access to the Oki Islands" page. Travel by sea to the islands is serviced by the Oki Kisen Ferry Line. Ferries depart from Shichirui Port in Shimane Prefecture, and Sakaiminato Port in Tottori Prefecture. You can access both ports by public buses departing from Matsue Station or Yonago Station. Sakaiminato Port can be also accessed via JR train. The ferry ride is around 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on your destination. For detailed information, visit the Oki Kisen Ferry Line English Site. Travel by air to the islands is serviced by Japan Airlines (JAL). Oki Airport is the only airport in the Oki Islands, and it is located in Okinoshima Town. There are direct flights from Osaka Itami Airport and Izumo Airport (Shimane Prefecture).
Q Where can I find the ferry timetable?
A Please refer to the Oki Kisen Ferry Line Website for detailed information and timetables in English.
Q Do I have to book the ferry tickets?
A 1) Ferry: You cannot make a booking for a Standard 2nd class ticket. Bookings can be made for groups of more than 15 persons and for travellers who wish to sit in Special 2nd class or higher. Furthermore, you need to make a booking if you want to transport your car by the ferry.
2) Fast ferry Rainbow Jet: Booking a seat in advance is strongly recommended, as the fast ferry tends to get fully booked especially during the tourism season and weekends. You can make he booking using this Google Form.
Q How do I put my car on the ferry?
A 1) Putting your car on one of the big ferries (ferry Oki, ferry Kuniga, ferry Shirashima):
Bookings are necessary to transport your car on the ferry. Please contact Oki Kisen Ferry Line by phone (08512-2-1122) or contact us through te inquiry form. Check out our post "Travelling to the Oki Islands with Your Vehicle" for detailed description of the process. For more information, check the 'Oki Kisen Vehicle Fares' section on the Oki Kisen Ferry Line English Site.
2) Putting your car on the inter-island ferry Dōzen (ferry connecting Ama Town, Nishinoshima Town and Chibu Village):
Bookings are not necessary but you need to purchase a ticket at the inter-island ferry ticket window.
Q How will I know if the ferry got cancelled?
A Service updates are available on the website of Oki Kisen Ferry Line, and updates are released daily at 6:30 AM. However, if the weather conditions are especially bad, crossings might get cancelled during the day, too. Please check the website of Oki Kisen Ferry Line regularly on days of extreme weather.
Q Are there public buses?
A There are public buses in Ama Town (Nakanoshima Island), Nishinoshima Town (Nishinoshima Island) and Okinoshima Town (Dōgo Island). There is a public minibus in Chibu Village (Chiburijima Island) but it mostly operates as a connection bus to the ferries and inter-island ferries.
The service is infrequent, so please plan carefully if you wish to travel by public buses. For more information, please visit the "Getting Around Oki Islands" page.
Q Will public transport operate as normal during Obon Holidays?
A Ferry: The ferries will be packed with visitors as many return to their family homes in the Oki Islands. There is a midsummer (Obon Holiday) timetable for the ferries. Please refer to the website of Oki Kisen Ferry Line for detailed information on timetables in English.
Fast ferry Rainbow Jet: You are strongly advised to make your reservation well in advance if you are planning to travel to the islands using the Rainbow Jet.
Nishinoshima Town: During the week of Obon (10-17 August), there will be an additional service in the afternoon. For more details and the bus timetable in English, please visit the following page: https://nkk-oki.com/english/town-bus/.
Q Where can I buy souvenirs?
A There are small souvenir shops in all ferry terminals on all islands. In Ama Town there is a souvenir shop near the Oki Shrine. In Nishinoshima Town and Okinoshima Town there are a few other souvenir shops in the port areas.
Q What are the business hours for restaurants on the islands?
A Most restaurants are open 11:00-13:30 for lunch and close from mid-afternoon until they re-open for dinner. A lot of the restaurants only serve lunch. Please check the restaurants page for more details.
Q Will shops, restaurants and accommodation facilities be closed during Obon Holidays and New Year's?
A Obon is an important holy period for Japanese people, so some facilities close to allow owners and employees to spend this time with their families. For this reason, it may be quite difficult to find accommodation during this period.
Many facilities, including grocery stores, on the islands are closed during New Year's. For this reason, New Year is not the most recommended period to visit the islands.
Q Where can I dispose of rubbish?
A Please be aware that there are no rubbish bins at scenic spots and along most walking trails. Be prepared to take your rubbish with you back to your accommodation or dispose of it in the bins provided at tourism associations and ferry terminals.
We kindly ask for your cooperation in protecting the natural environment of the Oki Islands.
Q Can I use a drone to film on the islands?
A The rules of the municipalities vary:
Nishinoshima Town: Prior application required. Please submit the application form 2 weeks before your scheduled filming / photoshotting session on the island. The approved document should be kept with you when filming on the island. Please contact Nishinoshima Town (Tourism and Residency Division) firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Chibu Village: Prior appliaction unnecessary.
Please consult the tourism association of your destination for more information.
Furthermore, please do not film or take pictures of the locals and people's houses without permission.
Please also bear in mind not to fly drones too close to horses, cattle and wild animals, as the noise emitted from drones causes stress to them.