Aoshima Island (“, Aoshima) is a small, beautiful island just off of the coast of the resort beaches south of Miyazaki City. Aoshima is connected to the mainland by a bridge and is ringed by white beaches surrounding a subtropical jungle at the island's center.

It is a 1.5 kilometer walk around Aoshima's beaches with a number of canvas stands selling souvenirs along the way. At the center of the island is Aoshima Jinja, a colorful shrine set back in the jungle that is said to bring luck to married couples.

Make sure to follow the short path to the right of the shrine's main building through the jungle to a smaller outlying shrine. The scenery and silence along the way can be quite mesmerizing. At the small shrine you can buy clay disks which are thrown at a target for luck.

The shallow water around the island has a geological phenomenon known as Oni no Sentakuita, or devil's washboard. Visible at low tide, these perfectly straight rows of basalt rock look as if they must be the remnants of something manmade. They are natural formations, however, which can be found farther south along the Nichinan Coast as well.

Aoshima Island is not to be confused with an identically named island in Ehime Prefecture which is known for its cat population.

Getting there and around

Take a local or rapid train on the JR Nichinan Line from Miyazaki Station to Aoshima Station. The trip takes 30 minutes and costs 380 yen (fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass). The island is about a five minute walk from the station.

Alternatively, buses from Miyazaki Station stop at Aoshima on their way to Udo Shrine. The one way trip from Miyazaki to Aoshima takes about 50 minutes and costs 730 yen. There is one bus per hour.

How to get to and around Miyazaki

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