A Guide to Island Hopping in the Dōzen Area
Your island hopping journey starts here.
The three Dōzen Islands – Nishinoshima Island (Nishinoshima Town), Nakanoshima Island (Ama Town) and Chiburijima Island (Chibu Village) – are connected not only by the ferries operated by Oki Kisen Ferry Line; there are also two smaller inter-island ferries connecting them. Operated by Oki Kanko Co. Ltd., the inter-island ferries run multiple times a day, from early morning to late afternoon. The locals also use them for their daily commute.
Here is a guide to island hopping in the Dōzen Area using the inter-island ferries.
First, meet the ferries:
Capacity: max. 100 passengers and 10 vehicles
This is the bigger inter-island ferry. The first crossing is at 7:30 am from Hishiura Port of Nakanoshima Island (Ama Town) at 7:30 am. It finishes at the same port at 5:52 pm. If you wish to travel between the Dōzen Islands after 5:52 pm, please use the other inter-island ferry Isokaze.
Please refer to the Fare and Payment section for details about passengers’ tickets.
If you wish to put your car on Ferry Dōzen, please purchase your ticket at the inter-island ferry ticket office before boarding the ferry. After the payment, you will receive a ticket for your vehicle; please display it on the dashboard or windscreen.
To load your vehicle, please park at the designated waiting area and a crew member will guide you through the process.
Capacity: max. 70 passengers
This is the smaller and faster inter-island ferry. The first crossing is at 7:20 am from Beppu Port of Nishinoshima Island (Nishinoshima Town). It finishes at the same port at 10:34 pm.
Bicycles can be transported using this vessel. If you are travelling with your motorcycle or other vehicles, please use Ferry Dōzen or the ferries operated by Oki Kisen Ferry Line instead.
Fare and Payment
For foot passengers (both inter-island ferries):
Adult: JPY 300 (one way)
Child (Aged 6 - 12): JPY 100 (one way)
The easiest way to pay for your ride is by cash when you board the ferry.
Day passes are available too:
There are 1-Day and 2-Day passes available for passengers of the inter-island ferries; highly recommended for those staying in the Dōzen area!
1-Day Pass: JPY 600
2-Day Pass: JPY 1,000
*For adults only. No additional discount for children and the day passes are not applicable to vehicles.
*Day passes are only available for purchase at the tourism association counters on the Dōzen Islands, which are located in each port.
For vehicles (Ferry Dōzen only):
Vehicle less than 5 metres long: JPY 1,000 (one way)
Vehicle 5.01 metres to 7 metres long: JPY 2,000 (one way)
Bicycle: JPY 100 (one way)
Moped (Motorcycle with an engine displacement of 50 cc or less): JPY 200 (one way)
Motorcycle (with an engine displacement of 750 cc or less): JPY 300 (one way)
Motorcycle (with an engine displacement over 750 cc): JPY 400 (one way)
If you wish to put your car on Ferry Dōzen, please purchase your ticket at the inter-island ferry ticket office before boarding the ferry. After the payment, you will receive a ticket for your vehicle; please display it on the dashboard or windscreen. Next, park your vehicle at the waiting area and the ferry crew will give out instructions once boarding commences.
*No bookings are taken. If the ferry is full, you will wait in line for the next available sailing.
Boarding Location and Ticket Office
Nishinoshima Island (Nishinoshima Town)
For Nishinoshima Island (Nishinoshima Town), Ferry Dōzen and Isokaze have separate boarding locations at Beppu Port. The boarding location for Isokaze is just outside the ferry terminal building where Nishinoshima Tourism Association is located.
The boarding location for Ferry Dōzen is across the road from the souvenir shop Ando-Honten (about 3 minutes on foot from the ferry terminal).
The inter-island ferry ticket office on Nishinoshima Island is at the boarding location for Ferry Dōzen and they are open from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Foot passengers can simply pay directly in cash on the inter-island ferries.
Nakanoshima Island (Ama Town)
For Nakanoshima Island (Ama Town), the boarding location of the inter-island ferries is just outside the ferry terminal building, on the waterfront at Hishiura Port.
The inter-island ferry ticket office at Hishiura Port is just outside the ferry terminal building. The ticket office is open from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Foot passengers can simply pay directly in cash on the inter-island ferries.
Chiburijima Island (Chibu Village)
For Chiburijima Island (Chibu Village), the boarding locations of the inter-island ferries are in front of the gas station outside the ferry terminal building at Kurii Port. There is no inter-island ferry ticket office on Chiburijima Island; please pay your fare directly when boarding the ferries.
Bad Weather and Cancellation
For safety concerns, the inter-island ferries may be cancelled due to bad weather, strong winds or high waves. Announcements (in Japanese) will be made prior to the scheduled cancellation and resumption of service.
Unless the inter-island ferries get cancelled all day, they may run during the day but the evening runs will get cancelled. In this case, the last run of the day are often the ones operating between 5 pm and 6 pm.
It is always a good idea to check with the friendly and professional staff members of the tourism associations.
Pick up the booklet
Please refer to the Inter-island Ferry Timetable in English when you are making plans for your trip.
Click here for the Inter-island Ferry Timetable in English.
You can also pick up your copy of the Oki Kisen Ferry English Timetable booklet at the ferry terminal ticket counters. Inside the booklet, you will be able to find the timetables of the ferries, Fast Ferry Rainbow JET, connecting buses and inter-island ferries.
Author: Cleo Wong