Jurassic Park may be the first thing that comes to mind when you see Aogashima Island from the air – but yes, THIS IS TOKYO!
It’s famous for having a volcano inside a volcano surrounded by dense jungle. It’s also considered the smallest town in Japan and the hardest place in Japan to get to. There is no direct transportation to Aogashima. These facts are what make Aogashima the best kept secret in Tokyo!
The island is unspoiled.
The pristine jungles and beautiful ocean views are like scenes from the movies.
HOW TO GET TO AOGASHIMA
▶︎ Haneda Airport (Tokyo) to Hachijojima / 50 minutes
▶︎ Helicopter to Aogashima – 20 minutes / 11,530 Yen
Note: You have to take the first flight to catch the helicopter or spend the night. Only 1 helicopter flight per day.
▶︎ Takeshiba Pier (Tokyo) to Hachijojima 11-12 hours / Tokai Kisen Line /
▶︎ Hachijojima to Aogashima / 3 hours / Izu Shoto Kaihatsu Line
Note: The ferry to Aogashima is often canceled so don’t rely on this if you need to be back to Tokyo for a flight etc. It can be delayed for as long as 1 week depending on weather!
WHY IS THIS THE HARDEST PLACE TO GET TO?
The town is located 200 meters up off the sea. There is no airport and this island is only accessible by helicopter and ferry. The port is one of the most challenging to dock at in the world so when the sea is rough or the wind is too strong, ferries are often canceled. Visitors may be stranded here for a week or more if the weather turns bad.
MUST SEE PLACES on AOGASHIMA
★ Ao-Chu Shochu distillery
★ Aogashima heliport
★ The volcanic island steamer (for lunch)
★ The island sauna
★ Oyamatenbo Park (Observation Area) for the view over the crater and the sky at night
★ Aogashima Port
★ Maruyama & Shrine
FOOD TO TRY
★ Torinabe (Chicken Soup Pot)
★ Ashitaba (an island leaf / herb that’s used in cooking)
★ Island fish in season
Note: you can ask your inn about trying these at scheduled meals
THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT VISITING AOGASHIMA
1) You must have a reservation to stay somewhere before arriving. Lodging is limited. Call ahead, even for camping.
2) There is an ATM at the post office but come with cash just in case
3) Helicopters are often sold out a month in advance. Ferry tickets are easy to get but your departure date may not be convenient.
4) Walking is possible everywhere but many tourists rent a car. Other tourists may pick you up if you hitchhike. It takes 80 minutes to walk from the helipot to Aogashima pier.
▶︎ Aogashima’s Official Page http://www.vill.aogashima.tokyo.jp/top.html
▶︎ Tokyo’s Island Helicopter Service (Online Reservations) http://tohoair-tal.jp/
▶︎ Ao-chu (青酎) Aogashima Island Shochu Brand http://ao-chu.com/
(Hotel / Inn) Onyado Tomotame / 御宿為朝 telephone: +81 4996-9-0410 owner: Kyoko-san (Japanese only)
▶︎ Aogashimamura Camping Ground telephone: 04996-9-0111
email contact: email@example.com
Special thank you to Akira-san, Yoshino-san, Kyoko-san and Moemi-san and all the kind residents of Aogashima who made me feel a part of the island family!
I stayed on the island from July 23 to July 30.
Drone scenes shot with the DJI MAVIC PRO
This show has been created and produced by John Daub ジョン・ドーブ. He’s been living and working in Japan for over 19 years and regularly reports on TV for Japan’s International Channel.