One of the best things in life is the opportunity to get to know the world, to see something new and surprising in every place we go. Now we will talk about one of those amazing places: the island of Aogashima. Despite being 358 kilometers from Tokyo and being an island with only 160 inhabitants, Aogashima is part of the metropolitan area of that city and, as incredible as it may seem, it is perhaps more exciting to visit this small island than the city of Tokyo itself.
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Aogashima (青ヶ島) is a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea.The island is administered by Tokyo and is approximately 358 kilometres (222 mi) south of Tokyo and 64 kilometres (40 mi) south of Hachijō-jima. It is the southernmost and most isolated inhabited island of the Izu archipelago.The village of Aogashima administers the island under Hachijō Subprefecture of Tokyo Metropolis. The island's area is 8.75 km2(3.38 sq mi) and, as of 2014, its population is 170. Aogashima is also within the boundaries of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. (青ヶ島(あおがしま)は,フィリピン海に浮かぶ日本の火山島. この島は東京が管理しており,東京の南約358キロメートル(222mi),八条島の南約64キロメートル(40mi)にある. 伊豆諸島最南端,最も孤立した島である.青ヶ島村は東京都八丈小県でこの島を管理している. 面積は8.75km2(3.38平方mi)で,2014年現在,170名. 青ヶ島も富士箱根伊豆国立公園の境界内にある.) #青ヶ島 #青ヶ島村 #青ヶ島三宝港 #青ヶ島屋 #青ヶ島焼酎 #日本語 #日本国 #日本人 #aogashima #aogashimaisland #aogashimavolcano #japan #travel #trip #japantrip
Aogashima is in fact an underwater volcano that has emerged from the sea and is part of a large crater whose outer edge has a height range of 200 m to 420 m. It is believed that the island was formed by the superposed remains of at least four underwater calderas. Aogashima has crater rims inside and outside. The south coast rises in a sharp cliff forming an edge of a caldera called Ikenosawa with a diameter of 1.5 km. The caldera is occupied by a secondary cone called Maruyama, which is still evident that it is emitting geothermal steam around an area where there are plants. Otonbu, the peak of the outer crater rim at a height of 432 meters above sea level, is the highest point on the island. From the volcano you have a panoramic view of the entire Pacific Ocean.
The inhabitants of Aogashima have decided to live in the crater of an active volcano, perhaps many people would consider it something crazy, but once you visit Aogashima you will realize why its inhabitants continue to live there; It is difficult to describe in words how beautiful and welcoming the place is. Its last eruptions were between 1781 and 1785, and although that event ended with half the population, fifty years later new people arrived to settle on the island.
The only two ways to get to Aogashima are by boat or by helicopter, perhaps in your opinion the most logical (and cheap) way would be to take a boat, but the truth is that it is difficult to find a place to dock, due to the conformation of the island where the majority of its coasts are cliffs and volcanic rock deposits, so there is not really a well-formed port. If you want to arrive using the helicopter, you must go to the Hachiojima’s airport (this is the nearest island, which is about 60 km from Aogashima) and take the route that goes to the Aogashima heliport on the regular “Ai-land Shuttle” flight, which lasts approximately 20 minutes. The helicopter leaves once a day every day with a maximum of nine passengers, although there are exceptions in which the weather conditions are not optimal and those flights must be suspended. Before the helicopter service was inaugurated in 1993, the transport of passengers, goods and food products was done exclusively by boat, but people did not know when to wait for the arrival of such vessels.
In Aogashima there are many things to see and do. In the village there is a school, a post office, restaurants and as a curious fact, there is only one traffic light, which although does not regulate the traffic since there is no traffic, it serves to teach the children that in the rest of the world it does and they have to know how to interpret it and respect it. The primary school on the island has 25 students, who must reach the secondary school on the continent when they reach the age of fifteen and it is not known whether they will return to Aogashima or when. If you wish, you can venture into the forest of the island and camp or take guided tours along pleasant trails that end in places where the views are spectacular. The curious thing is that in some parts you can still see the vestiges of the homes of the people who used to live in the deepest part of the crater. On the other hand, at the outer edge of the crater you can visit the salt production plant where you can see the process of creating salt from seawater.
Visiting Aogashima is a unique experience in which the tranquility and simplicity with which the inhabitants of the island experience their lives will make you think and reflect on many things. The close ties that exist between the inhabitants will surely reach you and touch you. In fact, the folk songs of Aogashima talk primarily about those who leave the island and never see their loved ones again. I encourage you that if you visit Japan – within your possibilities -, visit Aogashima, I assure you that you will not be the same after doing it and you will never be able to take this solitary but cozy island out of your mind.