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July 19, 2016

Aogashima Island – A Dangerous Paradise

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The Aogashima Island is located about 320 km South of Tokyo and it appears like a paradise on earth. In the center of the island that is surrounded with beautiful nature there is a city in which live around 200 people. At first everything looks perfect and idyllic until you consider the factor that Aogashima is an acutal active volcano, that last time erupted back in 1785 and totaly annihilated all the life form on the island. At that moment the island was inhabited by 327 people, and only half of them managed to save their lives on time.

The locals don’t seem to much worried even tho an eruption might happen at any given moment. Regardless of the frequent quakes and the warning on the Japanese Meteorological Agency that a new eruption is not impossible.
“There is no way that we may defeat the nature, but we are ready to take that risk”, says Masanubu Joshida, a government employee that lives on the island for 15 years. „I don’t get bothered by the fact that we all might be blown away. For what is worth, the last eruption occurred 230 years ago, so chances are on our side.” he adds.

Lately, the isle became a very popular tourist destination and more and more Japanese people visit it for camping, cycling or sun bathing and a swim. An absolute sensation of the island are the many natural saunas in which people enjoy for hours. People also bring food that they cook on natural steam. „I often travel to ‘the land’ and I must admit I don’t like it at all. It’s just that there are too many people there.“ says Joshida who also adds that he would never move to live in Tokyo or any other city in Japan.


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