Would you live in a place where everything is perfect except that it is located inside a volcano? Well, 200 people do and they claim to be calm and comfortable. Likewise, they open their doors to curious tourists who want to face an experience within a volcano turned into a city.
Aogashima is a small island located in Japan and is located about 358 kilometers from Tokyo, which originated from volcanic fragments of four subaquatic calderas that occupy about nine square kilometers. These formed the volcano called Ikenosawa with 1.5 km in diameter and within it is Maruyama: the 200-meter-high volcanic cone that is still active.
The information regarding how and when this island that floats in the middle of the Kuroshio current began to be inhabited is not very precise. What Japanese history tells is that the people who first lived on this island may have been carried away by the waters.
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Aogashima first appeared in history in the 15th century. However, the contents are only records of maritime accidents such as shipwrecks. It reminds us how difficult shipping was at that time.
It seems that adrenaline is one of the characteristics of the inhabitants of the island, since the volcano is still active. In fact, in 1781 and 1785, two eruptions occurred that killed half the population (300 people) and, given this, the survivors decided to leave the place for fear of experiencing another event of such magnitude. However, 50 years later at least 100 people returned to inhabit it.
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The volcano and all its amenities
The hot springs are the most striking features of the place and which attract many tourists thanks to the vapors that the volcano expels.
However, there is an attraction that surprises many since those who do not live on the island wonder how they manage to have an income, given that the place is far from the big cities and the only way to get there is by boat and/or helicopter. .
The inhabitants are fortunate to have their own industry, which is a salt production plant “built on the outer edge of the crater”, as the newspaper ‘La Razón’ explains.
In the same way, another of its sources of income is tourism that, although they arrive with fear that the volcano will erupt again at any moment, they enjoy the quality of those who live there, the streets in perfect conditions, the air conditioning of all the corners of the island, the famous Fureai saunas and the Perseid rain, which occurs mainly in the month of August.
A volcano as a tourist place
Please note that you must make a reservation before going to Aogashima, as there are only six guesthouses on the island, so even if you contact the tour officers after traveling to the place, they will not be able to respond immediately . Therefore, they will refuse boarding if they cannot confirm your accommodation reservation with each transport company.
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That said, visitors will be able to enjoy different tourist places such as Aogashima Port, Maruyama, Hingya, Contact Sauna, among others, according to the official portal of the Island Government.
Since the dock for the fishing boats is on land, they are pulled with a large crane every time they set sail and in winter tourists can see whales up close.
The volcano is located in the interior of the island with two ancient craters, which were raised by the Tenmei eruption (1785).
Hingya is derived from the word ‘hinokiwa’. In the Ikenosawa district, you can see a number of steam-emitting holes called ‘hingya’ in the island language. In fact, Hingya was used for heating and cooking when there was no electricity.
The sauna uses the heat of Hingya and its temperature is 60 degrees. Since it is natural heat, the temperature and humidity vary slightly depending on the day.
paradise vs. the fear
Aogashima has become one of the most eye-catching places for travelerssince it provides almost all the comforts and, regardless of the journey to get there, there are tourists who would like to stay there.
Although it is a paradisiacal place, daily one lives with the fear of being victims of hell that would be unleashed in the face of an eruption like the one they have already suffered twice. It may be that at some point the fury of nature takes over dreams, development, sustainability, tourism, the inhabitants and the place that has seen dozens of Japanese grow.
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