Aogashima is a small island which is part of the Izu islands of Tokyo area, Japan. It is approximately 385,4 km south of mainland Tokyo. The island is considered to be the least populous municipality in the whole of Japan. As of October 2007, the population is only 211 people over an area of 5.98 km^(2). Since the population is really small, there is only one school that is available for elementary and the junior high school students.
The island itself is like a fortress. It is surrounded by high cliff of approximately 100-300 meter in height. Therefore, this island has no beach. Based on the people who live over there, the island is actually a peak of an active volcano. The last volcano erruption (tenmei erruption) was occurred more than 200 years ago (1781-1785) which took more than half of the population at that time.
The connection with the outer world was done using the boat as the main transportation and also for fishing. There is one port on the southwest part which was made by making a tunnel through the cliff and connected down to the sea. In order to prevent landslide on the port, they made a hugh wall of concrete on the cliff wall. Apparently, the construction of this wall is still in progress up to now (February 2008). The port itself is made in between the rocks. During winter, when the wind and wave is rough, all ships are taken out from the sea and lifted to the upper ground using some kind of crane like device for safety. Therefore, during this time, the main transportation to and from this island is done using helicopter instead.
The crane like device to lift the boat
The concrete wall to prevent landslide
The helipad for the chopper is located on the middle north part of the island. Everyday, there will be one chopper going to and from this island. The chopper will take the people on board to the closest island, Hachijojima, which is 71.4 km north of Aogashima. It took approximately ten minutes from Aogashima to Hachijojima.
The helipad and inside the chopper
Due to the volcanic erruption, there exist one crater and cone in the middle part of the island. Since the volcano is still active, there are a lot of places where the hot steam came out from the ground. This steam is used for many things such as drying woods, drying vegetables, sauna, and even evaporating sea water to extract the salt.
Me and the crater cone behind me
Hot steam coming out from the ground
Drying the vegie