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Aogashima Volcano

How about a nice weekend getaway to a miniature volcano nestled in a crater island?

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva
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If you want to take a break from urban and overcrowded Tokyo, visit Aogashima Island, a perfect escape spot for nature lovers. Located 222 mi (358 km) south of the Japanese Capital in the Philippine Sea, the island is just 2.17-mile (3.5-km) long and 1.55-mile (2.5-km) wide. The whole island is formed out of an active volcano’s crater. However, it is populated by 200 people, has a school and a post office. Most of the people live outside the crater, on the north end of the island.

Aogashima volcano erupted in the late 18th century, killing many locals and forcing the island's population to abandon their homes for 50 years. As a result, it's not easy to get to the island: you can either take a plane or helicopter to enjoy beautiful bird-eye views or take a ferry or boat from Hachijojima. If you opt for a sea route, avoid the month of October, notorious for its typhoons and storms.

Aogashima has a few "bed and breakfast" spots (“minshukus”) and two small Japanese-style bars. In addition, there are hiking trails up to the volcano's rim where you can cook eggs in the steam vents, and a sauna warmed up by volcanic activity.

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