Most Beautiful Sights of Aogashima Island

Aogashima

Aogashima Island ©therealbrute/Flickr

Aogashima is a tiny, but very beautiful volcanic island. It is located in the Philippine Sea and it is part of the Izu Archipelago. With only 200 inhabitants, it is considered to be one of the smallest inhabited islands of the country.

This isolated island can be approached by helicopter or by boat. Aogashima,has only one harbor which is quite small and sometimes it can be difficult to rent a boat here. Surprisingly, the island does not have any beaches, because of the high cliffs which surround it; but other sights may compensate the visitors. Even without a beach, it is one of the most amazing tropical islands of Japan.

How to get there

Map

Aogashima: at the lower right corner of the map ©davecito/Flickr

Even if it is quite difficult to get to Aogashima island, it is a must-see place for those who love nature. By ferry you can visit the island for 2500 Yen. The ferries leave the harbor of Hachijojima every day, but depending on the weather, this trip may take more than 3 hours. If you don’t have patience and you want to reach the island quicker, you can fly there with a helicopter. It is quite expensive: it costs 11.500 Yen and it takes only 20 minutes.

Once you are there, you can walk around the island to discover the amazing view of the volcano surrounded by dozens of houses or you can visit Fureai Sauna, which is also very famous. Hingya Salt is the third interesting sight of Aogashima island.

 

Aogashima Volcano

Sakurajima

Sakurajima, another Japanese volcanic island ©dlisbona/Flickr

Probably the volcano is the Number One touristic sight of the island and it attracts thousands of people every year. Aogashima Volcano is still active, even though the last eruption happened in 1781. The inhabitants of the island are already used to the fact that they are living in an active and dangerous volcano.

The volcano consists of the rims of both the inner and the outer crater and the peak of the rim is called Otonbu. With 432 meters it is also the highest point of the island. In fact, it is a double volcano because there is a smaller crater within the bigger one.

 

Fureai Sauna

Fureai

Sauna ©chacrebleu/Flickr

It is a geothermic sauna which uses geothermal gas. Here the visitors can use the hot showers, public baths and sauna, but a social lounge and a cooking furnace is also available. The furnace is used to cook eggs mainly and, you may find it surprising, but this furnace is one of the most popular attractions of Aogashima island.

 

Hingya Salt

Hingya

Hingya ‘factory’ ©Ben+Sam/Flickr

The volcanic blowholes of Aogashima island are called ‘Hingya’ by the inhabitants. They use the steam of these blowholes to heat water and when the water evaporates, there remains only salt. This salt is very healthy because it is rich in calcium and it is also sold as a souvenir of the island.

The ‘creation’ of this rare salt may take more weeks; the ocean’s salt crystallizes very slowly. Usually they can produce only 90 kg salt from 3 tons of sea water. This is used not only for cooking, but as a skin lotion as well.

 

Aogashima

Aogashima ©therealbrute/Flickr

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