Aogashima is an island and an active inhabited volcano. Japan

Aogashima is an island, a volcano and Japan’s smallest municipality

Japan is a country of mountains and volcanoes. Its population is quite large, about 126 million people, but the area of the country is not enough. That’s why people have to settle there, “where the calf has not asked. You already know about the Japanese volcano Fujiyama and remember that there is a temple at the very top (which, by the way, officially belongs to the volcano itself). In the temple, of course, only monks live there.

But imagine that there is a volcano island, where not monks live, but ordinary people. And the island is relatively far from the “mainland”. The place is unique, although I can not say that very spoiled by the attention of tourists.

So, this is the island of Aogashima. It is located 260 km south of the coast of Japan in the Philippine Sea.

Aogashima on the map

  • Geographical coordinates 32.459869, 139.765322
  • Distance from Tokyo, the capital of Japan about 360 km
  • The nearest airport is Hachijou Jima 75 km
  • Distance to the nearest Tokyo International Airport about 350 km

The island is part of the Izu Islands complex, which in turn belong to the Nampo Archipelago. Aogashima is notable both for its appearance and its famous volcano of the same name. In fact, it is the remains of an old stratovolcano, so we can safely call this place a “volcanostrove.

Its appearance is very original. High and impregnable coastline encircles the island around the perimeter. In the center is the mouth of a dormant volcano, overgrown with lush green forest. Aogashima looks very much like a cake or a waffle, which is very difficult to get to from the sea. It would make an excellent outpost for defense against enemy attacks.

Aogashima Island

The location of the island has contributed to the mild tropical climate. The water off the coast is very warm and the air is humid, which is quite natural for these latitudes.

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The size of the island is modest and comparable to the “billionaire” island of Laucala.

Aogashima in numbers

  • Length of about 3.5 km
  • Width of about 2.5 km
  • Highest point is Mount Otunbu at 423 meters

According to scientists, volcanic activity began here more than 3,000 years ago. The last eruptions in 1780-85 resulted in a landscape with two cones in a volcanic caldera. They have survived to this day.

Incidentally, in April 1783, an eruption killed seven people and wiped out 61 houses. But this did not calm Aogashima, and exactly two years later, in 1785 (again in April) a new eruption has caused the death of 140 people. People were forced to leave these places for 50 years. Then they, however, returned, and their descendants still live here.

A village on Aogashima Island

At the moment, there are just over 200 locals on the island. Guess what the only village on the island is called? That’s right – Aogashima. The Japanese did not make anything up, and called everything by the same name.

As we have said, it is almost impossible to get to the island from the sea. For communication with the outside world by sea, there is a small pier, capable of receiving ships of up to 500 tons displacement, and only under favorable conditions – the area around the pier is quite strong current.

The pier of Aogashima Island

The best way to get to the island is by helicopter. There is an airstrip on the island for this type of transport.

Heliport on Aogashima Island

The locals are engaged in fishing and agriculture. Many extract sea salt by evaporating water with volcanic heat. This is one of the few trades on the island.

Although there are no hotels or cafes on the island, travelers still visit it. It will be especially interesting for divers and fans of underwater hunting. And those tourists who want to be in silence and solitude. Excellent views can be seen from the top of Otunbu.

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In addition to the serenity and quiet, guests are offered a geothermal bath, located in the center of the island. You can also try dinner cooked directly on the natural volcanic heat.

Park of Aogashima volcano

Interesting facts about Aogashima volcanoes

  • It is still uncertain when it was first inhabited by humans
  • Despite the lack of active volcanic activity, local residents sometimes die here, for example from sudden steam eruptions or boiling water on the coast
  • officially considered an active volcano on the island. You can say that people live literally on a powder keg
  • The volcano is part of Fuji Hakone-Izu National Park
  • Aogashima is the smallest municipality in Japan. There is only one school with education for children under 14, a post office and a department store

Aogashima in photos

Aogashima. Sea view

Views from Mount Otunbu of Aogashima Island

Crater in the crater on Aogashima Island

Fog in the crater of Aogashima

Fog in the crater of Aogashima Island

Aogashima is a volcanic island where people live, Japan

Aogashima (Aogashima) is a volcanic island where people live, Japan

Aogashima is a volcanic island in the Sea of Philippines, a part of Tokyo Prefecture, Japan. It is the southernmost and most isolated inhabited island of the Itsu archipelago. The island is home to the eponymous village of Aogashima, which is the least populated municipality in the country.

Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan,

Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan,

The volcanic island of Aogashima is 3.5 kilometers long and 2.5 kilometers wide.

Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan, Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan, Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan,

The climate of the volcanic island of Aogashima is warm and mild, a subtropical paradise with a moderate humid climate and the warm waters of the Kuroshio Current. The island was formed by the eruptions of at least four volcanoes, but how long people have lived here is not known. The settlement is surrounded by many cliffs of volcanic magma.

Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan, Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan,

Local residents, live here, risking at any moment to be under the deadly lava – the volcano is active! But even without major “pranks” of the volcano, from time to time some of the islanders die (hot water near the coast, emissions of steam, lava …) Nevertheless, people are not going to change their home for something else. The total population of the island, about 210 people.

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Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan, Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan, Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan,

Even the remoteness of the island of Aogashima (Aogashima), does not prevent the pilgrimage of tourists. Many want to visit next to a functioning volcano. Climbing to the top of Otunbu, you can admire the view of the sea.

Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan, Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan, Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan,

But walking around the island and taking pictures of the craters is not the only thing to spend time on. In the central part of the island is a geothermal sauna. You sit there, take a steam, and think about the temperature of the volcano itself. Also, you will be offered to cook yourself dinner in the volcanic heat.

Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan, Aogashima, volcanic island, village, Japan,

The volcano on the island of Aogashima is a Category C active volcano (according to the Japan Meteorological Agency). The last eruption was around 1781-1785.

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