Aogashima, located in the south of Japan is a volcanic island. Well, it is politically a part of Japan, but not geographically. The island’s area is 8.75 km2 (3.38 sq mi) and, as of 2014, its population is 170. If you take a ferry, it is at a distance of 200-miles from the capital of Tokyo. Are you wondering what about this is so interesting? Aogashima is an active volcano and can erupt any time.
Apparently, a spontaneous eruption is not a buzzkill. One can find humans in the volcano town. You would think stepping on land that has been recorded to erupt into lava would be traumatic enough, but the last explosion that occurred on May 18th, 1785 hasn’t stopped locals from residing here. In fact, merely 50 years after the gruesome tragedy, people started settling here again. The fact that the eruption was over two centuries back is their peace; that it can still erupt any moment, any day, confirmed by the Japanese Meteorological Department is not a prophecy that bothers them.
The residents claim that they live in the present and do not worry too much about the future. It has been more than 230 years, after all, the ball seems to be in their court. They focus on the benefits of living in this lush paradise, like hot springs and natural saunas.
Because the island is in the middle of the Philippines sea, fishing and swimming form the favorite pastimes of the residents. Hiking is not far behind. Another act locals and tourists indulge in is cooking using the natural heat of the geothermal steam vents. This forms a twinkly-eyes, unmatched experience.
The abundant flora and fauna makes Aogashima the ideal place to unwind, relax and replenish. The island has its own specialties that inhabitants proudly work upon: shochu, a signature spirit made with malt and sweet potatoes; shimadare, a red pepper sauce; hingya, a very high quality salt. And you can enjoy this like locals do, watching the stars above, the waters around and the earth beneath. You can get close to nature when you visit Aogashima.
But how close is too close?
Will you be able to relax when you visit the Japanese active volcano island, or is it going to be an extreme sport?
If you’re thinking about settling down on this active volcano, read the pros and cons of living on an island before you make a decision.