Tokai Kisen operates ferries from Takeshiba Terminal (竹芝客船ターミナル) in Tokyo, adjacent to Takeshiba station on the Yurikamome line and a 500-meter walk from Hamamatsucho/Daimon station on the Yamanote/O-Edo lines.
Be sure to book in advance: for example, to get the overnight ferry that departs at 10pm (or 11pm in the Summer months), you must book by 5pm. There are two boats, a big slow ferry, and a small fast speed cruiser. Travel time is 2.5 hours on the fast boat and 9-10 hours (overnight) on the slow one. The price of the ferry ranges from around ¥5,000 (free sleeping — you must find a place on the ground) to ¥15,000 or more if you wish seats or private cabins. The price is higher in summer.
Taking the overnight ferry can be an interesting way to travel if you don’t suffer from sea sickness. Most people choose the cheapest tickets, and sleep on the ground (either outside, or in big cabins, with delimited spaces on the ground). On board there is a basic restaurant and many vending machines selling food, soft and alcoholic drinks. The facilities are basic. You can rent a blanket for ¥200.
After leaving Tokyo Bay and passing under the famous Rainbow Bridge the coast line of the bay becomes hard to see but soon after sunrise it’s possible to relax on the deck and watch the ferry approach and dock in two islands, Oshima and Niijima, before reaching Shikinejima. It will go to Miyakejima afterwards, and then return to Tokyo.
If you have booked a room in a “minshuku” (民宿, the budget version of a ryokan) then the staff will be waiting at the port to greet you and drive you to your lodging when you arrive at the port in the morning.
- 1 Nobushi Port. Where all ferries can be found.