Did You Know about the Town Built Inside an Active Volcano?

Did You Know about the Town Built Inside an Active Volcano?
Maruyama in Aogashima, Photo Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia

Would you live in a place that could erupt any moment and rain lava and ash down on you?

OT Staff
April 06 , 2020
31 Min Read

You can find humans in the strangest places.

Around 230 years ago, the last eruption killed half the population of the small town of Aogashima in Japan. The volcano is still registered as active by the Japanese Meteorological Agency which is responsible for monitoring the country's active volcanoes. Which means it can blow up again. Reason enough for people to steer clear of the place.

That thought hasn't stopped Aogashima from being inhabited. Much of the houses are located inside the outer crater wall. From here, it is a 200-mile journey to Tokyo, on a ferry across the Philippine Sea. 

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The island will remind you of something from Jurassic Park. It has a unique shape with a volcanic caldera within a larger caldera. The volcano makes up the entire island.

It last erupted in 1785 on May 18. By June 4, the island's inhabitants (there were around 320) tried their best to evacuate. But only half made it out. The present-day residents have heard all about that and yet, somehow, they are much too enamoured of the stunning tropical landscape they live in to want to leave. 

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Have you been to one of the smallest town in Japan?😄 Aogashima, Japan🇯🇵 📍📍📍 Aogashima Island is a tiny island that is technically still part of Tokyo and is at the southernmost tip of the Izu Island chain.Aogashima’s main attraction is its peculiar double volcano that can be seen while enjoying the scenic hiking trails. 📷 @geziyorumogreniyorum

A post shared by Japan Awaits (@japanawaits) on Jul 14, 2019 at 4:15am PDT

A favourite way to spend time on the stunning island is by going for walks, hikes and camping trips, and fishing. Most people here are farmers and fisherfolk. They have a distillery that produces shochu, Japan's distinctive liquor. You can rent a B&B. The town has several general stores you can pick up utility items from.

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The island has many hot springs which act as natural saunas with beneficial powers. You can even get your own food and cook it in the steam vents, the utensils are kept next to the saunas. 

So far, the volcano has been quiet. But seismologists are keeping an eye on it, just in case. 

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