Jump to content
mrwarbooty

Has anyone done a trip to Iwo Jima?

Recommended Posts

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.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


donation2012.gif


Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

Military have to be lucky and hope the stars align


-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


donation2007.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A little late but figured Id leave this info.

 

For reasons already stated a trip to Iwo Jima is not feasible for most people. And I wouldnt expect restrictions on visitors to ever really be lifted.

 

To give you an idea of the remoteness and status of the island:

 

Iwo Jima is administered by Tokyo Prefecture as part of Ogasawara Subprefecture which includes several small island groups around 1000km south of Tokyo. The largest island in this subprefecture (and one of only 2 which is inhabited by civilians) is Chichijima with a population of 2000 or so and no airport. This island is over 200km from Iwo Jima. Chichijima is the only island with a regular ferry service from the mainland and the trip takes a full day. The only air facilities on the islands are operated by the Japan self-defense force and only used in special circumstances. Additionally, all these islands are protected by the Japanese government and most are part of a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site (Ogasawara Islands) for their unique ecosystems. Because of this all islands have varying forms of restrictions and further development of them is difficult. Nature tourism to Chichijima and Hahajima (the other inhabited island) is available but they are a different island group than Iwo Jima and are of no real interest to WW2 tourism.

 

Interestingly it appears Iwo Jima is not part of the World Heritage Site listing while North Iwo Jima and South Iwo Jima are. Probably due to Iwo Jimas damage during the war.

 

That being said, for WW2 related travel Okinawa is quite accessible and highly recommend. Plenty of WW2 related stuff but plenty of other things too. Also flights between mainland japan and Okinawa are priced well so it is not hard to make an itinerary including visits to cities in mainland Japan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I LANDED on Iwo Jima (Literally flew a helicopter full of Marines there) for the 65th anniversary. Shut down and spent a few hours there. I reenlisted one of the Marines i was with on the landing beach. I didn't have a lot of time to look around, but picked up some sand and a piece of Sulfur rock from Mt Suribachi.

 

Wish I had a couple days, but very grateful for the opportunity that I had.


Wanted: USMC Helicopter related items


Collector of Marine Corps Helicopter / Rotary aviation items from the late 1940s to present



donation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"If I had it to do all over again" I would have changed my MOS to 0300 or Air Wing and most likely been stationed in Okinawa at some point and made a pilgrimage to Iwo. I have talked with younger Marines that where stationed in Okinawa recent and it is not as easy to get to Iwo these days. The corps only allows so many to go and by invitation (C/O CG) it all comes down to $$$ these days. It is on my bucket list for sure, and I would have to be honest in saying it would be quite an emotional day for me.

 

Robin-


I Collect USMC WWII uniforms, gear, patches, insignia. medals and ribbons. I also sell and trade Militaria of primarily the U.S. Military.

 

R.Delaney

 

Semper Fidelis-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.