The inhabited Volcanic Island of Aogashima is located 358 kilometers (222 mi) south of Tokyo – the capital of Japan. Aogashima Island is located in the Philippine Sea and is a giant volcanic crater. Within the large crater there is a smaller crater called a Cinder Cone. The steep rugged cliffs rise high up above the sea level. The highest cliff is Otonbu (大凸部?) with 423 metres (1388 feet) on its southern ridge.
Volcanic Island of Aogashima
Aogashima is still considered to be an active volcano and to be a Class-C active volcano by the Japan Meteorological Agency). However, it does not frighten the 200 brave people who are living on the island. The last eruption occurred back in 1780s and killed nearly half of the 327 residents. In 1835 the island was successfully resettled again. The village of Aogashima is one of the smallest village in Japan. Most of the island’s population lives outside the crater on the northern end.
Aogashima Island Tourism
Despite, the small size of just 8.75 km2 there is a school, a local post office and local bars.
Read also: Island archive Section
Aogashima is famous for two things: salt and shochu. In the town of Aogashima, there is a salt store and factory. The main attraction on Aogashima is the double volcano. I would recommend a day trip hiking around the volcanoes. The trails there are well-marked and easy to climb.
There is a public sauna powered by steam vents from the main volcano itself. It’s a perfect way to relax after a long day of hiking. I can recommend to keep your eyes open for dolphins.
Aogashima Island Travel
Despite, its isolated location it’s rather easy to visit the island of Aogashima. Obviously, there is no airport service but you can get in by ferry or helicopter. First, you need to get to Hachijo-jima. The ferries depart daily from the island of Hachijo-jima and take approximately 2.5 hours. Please remember that these ferries are weather dependent. In fact, 40% of the boat service is cancelled due to rough ocean waves, and it is common with no boat operations sometimes for over a week. This is what the people of Aogashima face in their daily life. Tickets cost approximately ¥2,500 each way (25 US Dollars).
The other option, the helicopter is much more reliable and only takes 20 min. Tickets cost approximately ¥11,500 each way (113 US Dollars). Read more about helicopter fares, routes and timetables here: tohoair.co.jp
There are no restaurants on the island but there are a few minshukus (roughly equivalent to a British boarding house or bed and breakfast). They will all provide meals on your stay. On the volcano, there is a free campground – you have to bring your own food with you if you decide to use that option.
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