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Has anyone done a trip to Iwo Jima?


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#1 mrwarbooty

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 10:17 AM

Hello Members,

 

Has anyone done a trip to Iwo Jima? Other than the fact that one is on the island, which is great no doubt, is there much to see pertaining to the battle? Where would one fly in to?

 

Thanks for any insights or tips.

 

 



#2 aef1917

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 10:21 AM

You can't just go to Iwo Jima, you have to go as part of a tour, and I think there's only one per year.



#3 Burning Hazard

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 10:53 AM

Iwo Jima is still a military island, no civilians lived there since WWII so I don't think you can just fly in as a tourist, from what I heard they have tours or ceremonies but quite scarcely. It's pretty neat since the island has been pretty much preserved since the battle in 1945.



#4 stealthytyler

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 11:49 AM

I thought only military personnel are allowed (when allowed...very rare). My cousin is an officer in the Navy. He was lucky enough to visit Iwo a few years ago and got to explore the caves. He said it is a time capsule. There is still Japanese equipment, weapons and food in the tunnels that are untouched. 



#5 mrwarbooty

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 11:59 AM

Well, I can see my late summer travel plans are being dashed before my eyes, but good info to know beforehand. :-)

 

I know that Honor Flight has taken veterans there. Perhaps I can reach out to them for further clarification. I guess the next step would be an inquiry to the Japanese Embassy. But it's not sounding promising for me. 



#6 Burning Hazard

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 12:32 PM

From what I also heard is that a lots of Pacific places/islands are still off limits to tourists; think like bringing back any Pacific relics has been illegal since the 70's. It's pretty crazy some of the stuff that's still out there, sitting untouched since 1945, I remember pretty recently they found 3 perfectly mummified Japanese soldiers in a cave at Iwo Jima; full gear, weapons, and everything.

 

Pat



#7 devildog34

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 06:26 PM

I've been to Iwo Jima.  I went in 2009.   You have to go with a professional tour company that coordinates in liaison with the Marines in Okinawa who accompany the trip.  American tourists using these companies are allowed one day on the island a year.  You will stage in Guam for several days which in itself is worth the trip, Guam is fantastic.  



#8 Brig

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 08:14 PM

I'm sure the waiting list is quite long for civilians.

 

Military have to be lucky and hope the stars align



#9 hbtcoveralls

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 09:57 PM

A freind was a P-3 flight engineer and had to deliver a plane to the Japanese Self Defense force on Iwo Jima.

 

He also said much of the island is untouched due to the large amount of unexploded ordnance on the surface

 

He had a great photo from the top of Suribachi and brought back black sand from the beach.



#10 mrwarbooty

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 07:01 PM

Thanks to all who have commented so far. My computer has been down twice over the last week, so it's kept me from doing a lot of online follow-up (dang thing is still not functioning at 100%). At any rate, my research seems to reveal that only one (?) company is able to offer tours. It's called Military Historical Tours, Inc. And as mentioned, on only one day of the year. I really don't get it; I'm not a big fan of restrictions and monopolies. I've been to battle sites in France, Germany, Belgium, Russia, and the Philippines, and they were all open closer to 365 days a year, no tour company required. The tour company is prepping for this year's tour on March 19. In a few weeks, when they are free to breath, I hope to give them a call and find out why all the restrictions. Maybe because of unexploded ordinance, as mentioned, or maybe because the island is still viewed as a large war-grave. Is the island still a part of Japan? I need to do more research. 



#11 gwb123

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 11:18 AM

Yes, the island is still part of Japan and is considered a military reservation.

 

As an alternative, you might want to consider Okinawa.  I understand the WWII tunnel complexes there are open for public tour.  Quite haunting from what I have been told.



#12 Bob Hudson

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 03:48 PM

Let YouTube take you there: https://www.youtube....=visit iwo jima



#13 Brig

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 04:47 PM

Thanks to all who have commented so far. My computer has been down twice over the last week, so it's kept me from doing a lot of online follow-up (dang thing is still not functioning at 100%). At any rate, my research seems to reveal that only one (?) company is able to offer tours. It's called Military Historical Tours, Inc. And as mentioned, on only one day of the year. I really don't get it; I'm not a big fan of restrictions and monopolies. I've been to battle sites in France, Germany, Belgium, Russia, and the Philippines, and they were all open closer to 365 days a year, no tour company required. The tour company is prepping for this year's tour on March 19. In a few weeks, when they are free to breath, I hope to give them a call and find out why all the restrictions. Maybe because of unexploded ordinance, as mentioned, or maybe because the island is still viewed as a large war-grave. Is the island still a part of Japan? I need to do more research. 

Yes, Japan owns it and still uses it militarily. Their island, their rules.



#14 44-63963

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 12:36 PM

Iwo Jima, I thing would be almost the first stop for pacific war collectors,giving the option for all to freely travel to the island, 



#15 blitz67

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 07:00 AM

I have been twice, it was a long arduous journey to get there. If you do get there somehow, it will only be for the day as there are no facilities.



#16 mrwarbooty

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 07:14 AM

Thanks for the recommendation regarding Okinawa. That's might be much easier to get too, and I had not thought of that. A quick read about the Battle of Okinawa (on Wikipedia) was very interesting.




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