Still considered an active volcano, the last eruption of Aogashima was way back in 1781 and lasted four years through to 1785. The island of Aogashima is a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea and located approximately 358 kilometers (222 mi) south of Tokyo. With a population of just 205, it is the most isolated inhabited island of the Izu Archipelago.
Meaning ‘blue island’, Aogashima is perfect for the ecotourist as it still takes pride in maintaining its natural beauty and wherever you are the sights are always beautiful and fascinating. So remote is Aogashima that the only means of travelling to the island is either by helicopter or boat, and even then there is only the single port where the vessel can land.
Aogashima Island is also ideal for green travellers who are also nature lovers, as the biggest attraction is the double volcano Aogashima. The island itself is a giant volcanic crater, and in it there is a smaller crater.
The population is so small and isolated that the island does not depend on or even particularly cater for tourists, and as such there are no actual hotels on Aogashima. Instead, you can use the most environmentally friendly means of accommodation by camping on the plain of the volcano or go to the hot springs of the volcano.
There is an attraction, however, and it’s one that will appeal to the ideals of ecotourism. Fureai Sauna, a public facility utilizing geothermal power and gas, features a sauna, a public bath, hot showers, a social lounge and a cooking furnace. Cooking eggs using the furnace is a popular attraction in the island.
Another is hingya salt. There are many volcanic blowholes (called “hingya” in dialect) in the island. Villagers make salt by heating seawater from the Kuroshio current using steam from such blowholes. This calcium-rich salt is a popular souvenir. All in all, a tough nut to crack, but for the adventurous ecotourist, this will naturally be part of Aogashima’s appeal.