February 6, 2013

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Stunning shots of a rarely visited volcanic island in Japan - 14 photos

Although this wonder of Japan is not man made, it is equally wonderful. Aogashima, which means 'blue island' is a tropical, volcanic island in the Phillipine Sea. Despite being over 350 kilometers away from the capital, it is under the administration of Tokyo.

Only 205 (2009) people live on Aogashima, with one post office and one school (25 students). There are two ways of getting in and out of the island: by helicopter or by boat. The helicopter service was introduced in 1993 and runs once a day, carrying a maximum of 9 passengers. Many times it gets cancelled due to heavy fog, depending on the season. This is why Aogashima is still a rarely-visited island.

In the center of the island lies a geothermal sauna. There is a public facility utilizing the geothermal power and gas and people use it to cook. This cooker using geothermal steam is available for free. Steamed fresh vegetables, potatoes or eggs are one of the specialties of Aogashima. The facility also features a sauna, a public bath, and hot showers.

The island itself is a giant volcanic crater, and within that crater there’s another, smaller volcano. Aogashima is still considered an active Class-C volcano though it last erupted in the 1780′s. When last erupted it killed nearly half of the island’s population and forced the remaining inhabitants to flee.

Otonbu, the peak of the rim of the outer crater at a height of 432 meters above sea level, is the highest spot in the island. It commands a panoramic view of the entire volcano in the Pacific Ocean. Aogashima is also within the boundaries of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.



via Tofugu, Amusing Planet, photo credit: izuyan