Ark of stars
“Tinged with the history of “Kanju,” and “Hingya” brings blessings. Aogashima is a double volcano island with a unique natural landform, where geothermal steam gushes out.
- Area size
- 5.98 sqm
- 9 km
- Distance from Tokyo
- 368 km
- 170 as of 2017
A monument was built to commemorate the history of “Kanju” “(returning home”) and restoration. All islanders were forced to evacuate to Hachijojima when a large-scale eruption, “Tenmei-no-daifunka,” occurred in 1785. It was only 50 years later when they could finally return to the island, led by Sasaki Jirodayu – acclaimed as the “Moses of Aogashima” – after hardship and much effort. This is the back history of the restoration monument named “Kanju” in Aogashima.
While Aogashima itself is the outer rim of the crater, Maruyama is the inner rim of a double volcano. The so-called “Tenmei large-scale eruption” occurred on this mountain in 1785. Camellia trees planted on the mountainside create a unique design of green stripes when viewed from a distance. This area is still foggy because of volcanic steam gushing out from fumaroles of Ikenosawa. These fumaroles are locally called “Hingya,” and “Hingya no shio,” or “salt of Hingya,” as salt is made by using the steam of the fumaroles.
❸Oyama Observation Park
Oyama Observation Park is located on the north side of the outer rim. A vast panoramic view of 360 degrees can be enjoyed from an elevation of 400 meters. In the direction of Maruyama and Ikenosawa, the Pacific Ocean extends as far as the eye can see over the double volcano landscape, creating breathtaking beauty.
Composite hot spring facility “Fureai Sauna” in Ikenosawa has a sauna room whose temperature is 60 degrees, using the volcanic steam. Even though this is a rather low temperature for a sauna, it is said to warm you up very well because the steam is heated by geothermal energy. Steamed sweet potatoes and hot spring eggs cooked in 80-degree natural steam are delicious.
Aogashima Port is located on the southwestern part of the island. Also called “Sanpo-ko,” this is the only place where the ferryboat “Aogashima-maru” can be docked because Aogashima’s landform is rimmed by sheer cliffs. Built by casting concrete onto the cliffs, the port has a breakwater extending from the land out to the sea in order for cargo ships to be able to dock.
Ootaniwatari, or Japanese bird’s nest ferns, grow in forests in Ikenosawa. Since Ootaniwatari is a type of fern of the southern hemisphere, it is very rare to be seen in Japan. It is popular as a houseplant due to the nice appearance; however, it is prohibited to take the plant outside the island.
*As the operation schedule and required time varies depending on the season, contact the operation companies beforehand.