How to Get To the Oki Islands by Fast Ferry Rainbow Jet
Catch the Rainbow Jet and you will be on the islands in the blink of an eye.
Other than the ferries, the Oki Kisen Ferry Line also has a hydrofoil—fast ferry Rainbow Jet—in their fleet. This is your guide to travelling to the Oki Islands by the fast ferry Rainbow Jet. Click here for the ultimate guide to travelling to the islands by the large ferries. If you plan to bring your car, motorcycle or bicycle to the islands, you must take the ferries because the Rainbow Jet is a fast ferry for foot passengers only. Check out this article for more information about taking a vehicle to the islands.
What is Rainbow Jet?
Unlike the ferries, the fast ferry Rainbow Jet is a hydrofoil (a.k.a. jetfoil); the ship is lifted above the sea surface by a winglike structure under the hull and it is a high-speed vessel. It rises about three metres above the water and “glides” on the water’s surface at the speed of 74 km/h. The Rainbow Jet runs from the islands, to the main island of Japan and back to the islands in a loop line.
Here is the procedure:
1. Plan ahead!
The Rainbow Jet is very popular among the locals and some crossings can become fully booked very quickly because of the limited capacity. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you make a booking for this service in advance to avoid disappointment. You can make a booking here.
There is a maintenance period for the Rainbow Jet in May and it lasts for about a week. The Rainbow Jet does not operate from mid-December to mid-February and can be cancelled in winter due to the rough seas. During these periods, please use the ferries instead.
Also, the Rainbow Jet does not stop at Kurii Port (Chiburijima Island / Chibu Village). If you are planning to visit Chiburijima Island and would like to use the Rainbow Jet, please disembark at Hishiura Port of Nakanoshima Island / Ama Town or Beppu Port of Nishinoshima Island / Nishinoshima Town and take the connecting inter-island ferry.
On the other hand, luggage space is limited on the Rainbow Jet and passengers are only allowed to bring suitcases or bags less than 1m in size and 10kg in weight, with two items maximum per person. If you have a large suitcase with you, take the ferry instead.
2. Go to the port
To get to the port, you can take the connecting buses or JR train (for Sakaiminato Port only). You can also drive to the ports, and park at the carpark there. You must arrive at the port 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time, and make sure you are at the right port for your fast ferry!
Special note: Sometimes, due to the port condition at Shichirui Port, the Rainbow Jet may have to change the port of call to Sakaiminato Port. Announcements will be made on the homepage of the Oki Kisen Ferry Line, so please check the page for the most updated information, especially if you are planning to drive to the port to catch the fast ferry. If you are taking the shuttle bus, this will not affect you as the bus will take you directly to the port.
3. Purchase your ticket and hop on board
Enter the ferry terminal building and fill in the passenger boarding form. You can also download the form and fill it in beforehand, but don’t forget to bring it with you! Once the form is ready, proceed to the ticket counter and pass your boarding form to the staff. You can pay for your ticket with credit card or cash.
After collecting your tickets, please proceed to the boarding point which is located outside the ferry terminal building. Boarding commences 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Please show your ticket to the crew when you board the fast ferry. Your ticket will be collected when you disembark from the fast ferry; don’t lose your ticket!
*The tickets are only available at the ticket counter and you can only pick up your ticket on the day of your scheduled crossing.
4. Relax and enjoy your crossing
The seats on the Rainbow Jet are not assigned; you can choose your own seat once you are on board. There are overhead spaces and designated luggage areas for you to store your hand luggage.
The Rainbow Jet operates at a great speed and may sometimes make sharp turns to avoid floating objects or marine mammals, so for safety reasons and by law, you are required to have your seatbelt fastened during the crossing.
Here are more tips on how to enjoy your crossing on the Rainbow Jet.
5. Disembark and start your island journey!
Announcements will be made when the Rainbow Jet is approaching the ports. Please gather your belongings and get in line for disembarkation after the vessel is docked. The crew will collect your ticket during disembarkation. And voila! You’re at your destination!
Click here for the timetable and the fare chart of the fast ferry Rainbow Jet and the connecting buses.
Author: Cleo Wong