AOSHIMA ISLAND (青島)

ESPAÑOL

  • I was in Aoshima half day in April 2013.
  • Time needed to visit it: less than half a day.
  • My score: 3/5.

Unknown place is Miyazaki Prefecture. Most tourists do not even know where it is, and its only place that is gradually becoming famous internationally, the incomparable Takachiho Gorge,those few travelers who think they know where it is usually locate it in neighboring Kumamoto. Aoshima is another place that, although it lacks the beauty of the previous one, could be much better known if it were not so far from other tourist spots.

INFORMATION

AOSHIMA 1. Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki
View of the whole island. Do not be fooled, there’s much more than it looks

The island only measures 1.5 km in circumference. It consists of a sandy oval surface covered with tropical vegetation supported by a basaltic floor of horizontal columns called Oni no Sentakuita (literally the “Devil’s Washboard”) and that can be seen perfectly at low tide, being a frequent phenomenon in the Nichinan Coast. It looks like the flysch on Zumaia beach, famous for representing Dragonstone in the TV series Game of Thrones, although as an anecdote, Aoshima’s is from volcanic origin while that of Zumaia, which represents it, is not.

AOSHIMA 2. Isla Island ONI NO SENTAKUITA TABLA DE LAVAR DEL DIABLO DEVIL'S WASHBOARD Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki
Devil’s Washboard, or the Japanese approach to Dragonstone

By the way, if anyone still thinks that this Aoshima Island is the island of the cats of Japan, it is wrong, that is another island of the same name famous because there are more cats in it than people.

THE VISIT

It is connected by a bridge. The island, including the Washboard, is considered a natural monument of the country. It has more than 200 species of plants, 27 of them considered tropical or subtropical.

Access is free and is always open. After the bridge, we will see a large torii that indicates the entrance. It is surrounded by sand, but given the short distance to the Devil’s Washboard, bathing is impossible.

AOSHIMA 0. puente y torii bridge gate Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki
The bridge, the island and the Japanese gate
AOSHIMA 2. Isla Island palmeras beach playa sand arena palms Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki
Palms and sand at the edge of the island

Vegetation is very dense and diverse, almost jungle, and we will also find some colorful gardens.

AOSHIMA 3. Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki
Dense vegetation next to de shrine
AOSHIMA 4. Jardin glicinias wisteria garden Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki
There’s a beautiful garden with spectacular wisteria trees, although not as much as Kawachi Fuji-en in northern Kyushu
AOSHIMA 4. Jardin glicinias wisteria garden Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki (2)
A man painting the flowers in the garden
AOSHIMA 3. Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki (3)
Did you expect there was going to be even a small forest here inside?

The Shinto shrine (Aoshima Jinja) is surrounded by such vegetation; It is said that it gives good luck to couples. It consists of a main building from where a path covered in arches in the shape of a heart leads to a small sanctuary. Open from 8 am to 6 pm in summer and at 5:30 in winter. There is a lovely path covered with ema tablets, where people ask the gods for luck in love. It celebrates an important spring festival, in the third week of March.

MIYAZAKI 0. Tablillas de madera Ema en el santuario de Aoshima, Kyushu, Japon. wooden tablets in Sanctuary Japan
Lovely ema wooden tablets in Aoshima shrine
AOSHIMA 5. Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki (2)
Carved rock in the vicinity of the shrine
AOSHIMA 6. Fuente fountain Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki
Ceremonial fountain
AOSHIMA 5. Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki (3)
The path to the secondary building
AOSHIMA 5. Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki
Much bigger and nicer than expected
AOSHIMA 5. Isla Island templo temple shrine santuario Japan Japon Kyushu Miyazaki (4)
The secondary building on the background

Outside the island, in the village, we can visit a small botanical garden.

HOW TO GET THERE

Aoshima Village is on the JR Nichinan line, so we can arrive using our Japan Rail Pass (370 ¥ if we do not have it), it takes 30 minutes from Miyazaki Station. You can also go by bus, but they take and cost twice as much. From Aoshima Station to the island there is barely 5 minutes on foot.

WHERE TO EAT AND SLEEP

Aoshima is a town known in the area not only for its island-sanctuary, but for its beaches. Although most visit the island on a half-day excursion from Miyazaki, those who wish to stay have several hotels, all close to the beaches given how small the town is. There are also enough restaurants.

On the island itself, being occupied by the Sanctuary, and being a protected space, it is not allowed to stay overnight or there is nothing to eat.

MORE ON MIYAZAKI PREFECTURE:
<MIYAZAKI CITY                                        TAKACHIHO GORGE>

∇ Destinations / ∇ Asia / ∇ Japan / ∇ Kyushu / ∇ Miyazaki Prefecture

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6 thoughts on “AOSHIMA ISLAND (青島)

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