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What are hydrographic charts and publications?

“Hydrographic charts and publications” is a general term for items edited and published for specific purposes and uses and that contain a variety of information needed for marine traffic. They can be divided broadly into nautical charts and specialized books.
Notably, ships must possess the most up-to-date nautical charts and publications need to navigate safely.
Today, these items can not only be purchased as printed materials; the list of items available, their specifications and forms are quite varied, ranging from electronic navigational charts and electronic publications to data that is downloaded via the internet. Moreover, the colors, paper material, units for indicating water depth, and other factors differ by country.
Below is a partial list of the typical nautical charts and publications issued today by many maritime countries.

Nautical ChartLight List
Sailing DirectionPassage Pilot
Tide Table, Tidal Current TableDistance Table
AlmanacPublications related to SOLAS and MARPOL, etc.

Nautical charts and publications have a wide variety of uses, ranging from navigation by merchant vessels (domestic and ocean going vessels) and fishing vessels to leisure such as fishing from pleasure boats and other small ships to harbor construction and marine and seabed research.
Nautical charts have a long history. Playing a supporting though important role alongside progress made to date in sailing technology and surveying techniques, nautical charts have long been familiar to all kinds of people involved with the ocean.

As our name indicates, Japan Hydrographic Charts & Publications is a specialist in this business with a solid track record. For over 60 years we have been selling nautical charts and publications, starting with those published in Japan and then including those of many other countries as well, made possible through special agreements with foreign agents in Japan.
We have started selling American POD nautical charts and will make electronic navigational charts and other digital products our staple goods, as these will become increasing more important in the future. In this way, we will strive to remain a company that is loved by customers, just like time-honored nautical charts.

How to place an order or send an inquiry

You may fax or call / e-mail to us.

1. If you would like to check whether we have an item in stock or would like to order an electronic nautical chart, please fax or call our sales department in Kobe.
2. Discontinued editions of nautical charts cannot be used for navigation. Please order revised (new) editions.

Product shipping

We use door-to-door services and forwarding agents in and outside Japan to reliably deliver products to your ship’s port of call, office, or other designated location speedily and as occasion may demand. With collect on delivery service (cash on delivery/specified delivery times), even individual customers can receive products without worry. (Fees paid to the delivery company are a separate charge.) Of course, you can also pick up products in our shops.

Note: Back ordered items (items ordered after we receive your order), the publisher being out of stock, and other conditions including stock status, the item, weather, and traffic situations may cause delivery delays or result in extra postage charges for back orders.
Also, please note that we cannot always accept returns of back order items and certain other products.

For over 70 years, Japan Hydrographic Charts & Publications has been Japan’s only company dedicated exclusively to marketing nautical charts. We offer a full assortment of products and provide a service that is indispensable for safe marine navigation.

Overview of Our Products and Services

Hydrographic Publications from Various Countries

Japanese hydrographic publications

We maintain a running inventory of approximately 3,000 hydrographic publications issued by the Japan Coast Guard and the Japan Hydrographic Association at our Kobe office.
These products are available for purchase at our shops in Kobe, where you can examine the real items before making a decision.

UK hydrographic publications

We also provide in a timely manner hydrographic publications issued by the British Admiralty through a partnership with the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office’s (UKHO) general agent in Japan.
After checking our inventory and the edition, you may receive the products the same day in our shops or have them shipped directly.

Australian hydrographic publications

We provide hydrographic publications issued in Australia in a timely fashion.

Hydrographic publications from other countries (China, Korea, US, Canada, New Zealand, etc.)

We also deal in other foreign nautical charts with high demand in Japan, besides those from the above countries.
Some items are back ordered, in which case additional postage and delivery time may be needed.
Feel free to contact us for details.

Maritime publications from IMO, ITU, ICS and others

We deal in maritime publications issued by international maritime organizations and publishers.
We have numerous new publications in stock and so can speedily provide them to your ship or office.

Electronic navigational charts (ENC)

We have also signed special agreements with companies in the electronic navigational charts field and are determined to continue meeting customer demand.
Contact us to learn how to apply and to get details about each company’s products and services.

Details about the above products are provided on the Nautical Charts and Publications page.
Old nautical charts that are now discontinued editions cannot be used for navigation. Check for information about revised editions of nautical charts and publications at the websites of each country’s hydrographic office or on the News & Topics page of this website.


Automatic Supply System

This service automatically provides contracting ships with revised nautical charts and new publications. Users of this service can check that latest list of each ship’s holdings via an exclusive user’s webpage.
Leave the management of your ships’ charts and publications to us!

Notice to Mariners Annual Subscription
(Japan/UK and other editions)

This service provides regular delivery of Notices to Mariners issued by various countries’ hydrographic offices direct to your office.

Notices to Marines include a variety of navigational information, including correction data for hydrographic publications held by your ships.

Notices of minor corrections and correction chartlets(blocks)—which are essential for correcting nautical charts—and other information are printed out.

See the Notices to Marines page for details