What would it feel like to live inside a volcano? The inhabitants of Aogashima can answer that question. This island has the peculiarity that in its center there is an inactive volcano.
Aogashima is part of the Izu Archipelago, 320 kilometers south of Tokyo. The island has 205 inhabitants and belongs to Japan. The island has a peculiar shape, with the volcano in the center and a deep valley around it. The figure resembles that of a donut, only inverted. Most curious of all: Aogashima is a volcano within a volcano.
Aogashima is known to have one volcanic caldera within another. So what you have is a gigantic crater, which is the same island, inside a smaller volcano. That is why the island has this striking shape, like something out of a fantasy movie.
To get to Aogashima there are two options: boat and helicopter. However, it is difficult to find a point in which to anchor the ship, as there are several cliffs and volcanic rock deposits that make it difficult to navigate around it. The boat and helicopter can be taken from Hachijojima. The helicopter leaves once a day with a maximum of nine passengers. Many times the flight can be canceled due to fog. For all this, Aogashima remains an island little visited.
While in Aogashima you can do several things. First, something that you cannot miss is a tour of the internal volcano, the Otonbu. This volcano is the highest elevation on the island and allows a beautiful peripheral view.
You can also visit the sauna by Fureai. Powered by geothermal energy and gas, these baths offer a sauna, a public bath, showers, a lounge, and a cooking oven. A typical dish of the island is eggs cooked in this type of oven.
Finally, you can visit the salt factory of the island. Residents extract the salt by heating seawater in volcanic craters until the water evaporates. This calcium-rich salt is a popular souvenir.