Sights to See

Aoshima is a tiny island off of the southeastern coast of Miyazaki prefecture. The island’s circumference only measures 1.5 kilometers, and has a unique, rocky geography. In fact, the island is nicknamed “the demon’s washboard” for its rough features. Aoshima’s shrine and its beautiful coast will leave you mesmerized and in love with the island.

History of Aoshima

Although Aoshima is easily accessible now, it used to be closed off to the public. Up until 1737, only priests were allowed to enter the island, as Aoshima was considered a holy land.

Entering the Meiji era, the island became fully open to the public. In 1934, Aoshima was designated as a national natural monument. Now, with a beach resort, amusement park and more, Aoshima is a popular summer getaway destination.

“The Demon’s Washboard” Rocks

Aoshima-Oni-No-Sentakuiwa The “Demon’s Washboard”

The island of Aoshima is surrounded by these jagged rocks. The rocky surface is lined up so perfectly that it seems man made, but it is actually entirely a work of nature.


The “Demon’s Washboard” ridges

The ridges were created by the waves carving the stratum, which are layers of sandstone and mudstone.

You can explore the rocky coasts by foot at when the current it just right. In the rocks, you can find shellfish and other creatures.

Aoshima Shrine


Main hall of Aoshima Shrine

Aoshima Shrine sits in the center of the island. The shrine is known for granting matchmaking wishes, since Aoshima was the legend of Yamasachi-hiko and Umisachi-hiko Brothers took place.

In the legend, the brothers trade their hunting and fishing weapons, and Yamasachi-hiko goes fishing for the first time. Yamasachi-hiko loses his brother’s fishing tool, and goes on a search for it as his brother will not forgive him if he doesn’t. On his journey, Yamasachi-hiko meets the princess of the sea and marries her. Yamasachi-hiko eventually finds the fishing tool, but gets caught up in some arguments with his brother, but everything is finally resolved and Yamasachi-hiko becomes ruler of the land.

Other than matchmaking, Aoshima Shrine is said to help with issues related to relationships and money. There is a tradition of tying a paper string to two special trees to pray for one’s wishes to come true. There are 5 colors of the paper strings to choose front, and 10 different kinds of prayers.

Subtropical Plants


The coast of Aoshima

In Aoshima, there are over 230 plants, and 28 of them are subtropical plants. You can finds here that can’t be found in most places in Japan, such as the hibiscus.

In particular, the Livistona tree, a type of palm tree, can be found all over the island. Over 5,000 of these trees are on the island. The tree is designated as a national natural cultural property.

Miyakoh Botanic Garden Aoshima


The greenhouse

The Miyakoh Botanic Garden is home to 17 types of palm trees and about 500 types of subtropical plants. Here, you can walk through the subtropical plants and learn about them.

The greenhouse inside is kept warm year-round, and has over 1,600 species of plants. The Merlion statue inside commemorates the Miyakoh Botanic Garden’s 50-year sisterhood with the Singapore Botanic Garden.

Yellow Postbox of Happiness


The Yellow Postbox of Happiness

Right by the Yayoi Bridge, you can find the Yellow Postbox of Happiness. Although postboxes in Japan are usually red, the one in Aoshima is yellow to represent happiness and love. The postbox was made in honor of the legend of the Yamasachi-hiko and Umisachi-hiko Brother, too.


Aoshima Beach Park (Apr. – Oct.)

The Aoshima Beach Park is held between April and October on the Aoshima beach. It began in 2015, and features restaurants, shops and more. Grab a beer and relax at Aoshima’s beach this summer!


Nearest Station: Aoshima Station (JR Lines)

From Miyazaki Station

【Miyazaki Sta.】JR Nichinan Line / for Aburatsu
→【Aoshima Sta.】about a 10-minute walk

From Nichinan Station

【Nichinan Sta.】JR Nichinan Line / for Aburatsu
→【Aoshima Sta.】about a 10-minute walk

From Miyazaki Airport

【Miyazaki Airport】JR Miyazaki Airport Line / for Nobeoka
→【Tayoshi Sta.】JR Nichinan Line / for Aburatsu
→【Aoshima Sta.】about a 10-minute walk

Aoshima: Island of Superb views and Happiness

Aoshima Island, filled with naturally-made views, also is the home to the Aoshima Shrine, which grants over 10 areas of wishes. Although the island is beautiful all throughout the year, visiting during the summer season is the best of them all. The warm breezes gives off southern country atmospheres. Please come visit if you want a resort-like getaway.


Aoshima, Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki

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