Aogashima is a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea, located 222 mi south of Tokyo. The island’s area is 3.38 sq mi and, as of 2014, its population is 170.
The island is surrounded by very steep rugged cliffs of layered volcanic deposits. You can see by the pictures there is a secondary volcanic cone inside the larger one. It is named Maruyama.
The volcano is still considered a Class-C active volcano by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The history of human settlement on Aogashima is uncertain. The island is mentioned in Edo period records kept at Hachijō-Jima, which recorded volcanic activity in 1652, and from 1670–1680.
An earthquake swarm in July 1780 was followed by steam rising from the island lakes. Further earthquakes in May 1781 led to an eruption.
In April 1783, lava flows resulted in the evacuation of all 63 households on the island. During a massive eruption in 1785, some 130–140 of the population of 327 islanders perished.
Japan’s smallest village
With only a population of 170, it is the smallest village in Japan. There is only one postal address to this island and the postal worker delivers based on the name of the individual.
There is no direct transport from the main island of Japan to Aogashima. To travel to Aogashima you’ll first need to go to Hachijojima (which is 43 miles away from Aogashima) and then take a helicopter or ship.
There is no restaurant on the island, but there are two Japanese bars. Islanders make a local alcohol Shochu (30% proof!) from sweet potato called “Aochu”
The island has several hot springs due to the geothermal energy of the volcano. According to one tourist, who wrote about a visit to one of the island’s natural saunas, you can bring food and cook it by placing it on top of one of the sauna’s steam vents. The sauna has a collection of pots and pans at the ready for boiling eggs and other snacks.
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