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Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

The island of Aoshima, located just off the coast of Miyazaki prefecture, is home to a spectacular natural phenomenon of wave-like rock formations which have to be seen to be believed. Known as “The Devil’s Washboard”, this rock formation was created millions of years ago and has fascinated both locals and visitors to the area for eons.

  • Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

    Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

    Although it seems humanmade, The Devil’s Washboard is indeed a very natural phenomenon and is easily explained by scientists. The aqueous rocks or layers of hard sandstone and soft mudstone piled up onto each other repeatedly over time like the layers of a mud cake. After millennia of being washed over by waves, the softer sediment was slowly carved and washed away, leaving the hard sandstone in its trademark wave structure, as well as the imprint of a washboard-like appearance across the beach.

    Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

    Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

    As the Devil’s Washboard is a popular tourist destination, it can get crowded in certain spots at times. Luckily for eager tourists, the natural phenomenon runs along the coastline of South Aoshima up until Kinchaku-jima – that’s approximately eight kilometers – thus ensuring plenty of space to wander about to the heart’s content. The black rocks of Aoshima Island are scenically stunning against the turquoise blue waters, and are a great aesthetic feature to a beach packed full of potential for fun family activities. You can explore the unique landscape and play around in the multiple pools created between the rocks, and if you look carefully you may even see the beautiful sea-life living within the rockpools amongst the dark green seaweed. Try looking for starfish, small fish, crabs, and other creatures living beneath the waves.

    Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

    Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

    This geographic wonder’s entrance is highlighted by the stunning vermilion torii gate on the soft sands of the beach with Aoshima Jinja, a Shinto shrine which is said to bring good luck to married couples. The hypnotic silence of the forest, with the breaking of distant waves in the background, provides the ideal natural soundtrack for which to wander about the natural beauty at one’s leisure. Around the shrine, you’ll find a few quaint stalls selling souvenirs, mostly of seashells and other ocean memorabilia.

    Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

    Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

    It is best to visit the Devil’s Washboard during sunrise or sunset to experience the full splendor of the natural phenomenon, as the spectacular scarlet and indigo skies dropping behind the phoenix palm trees that line the beach create a scene which seems ripped straight from a Studio Ghibli film. Whilst the rocks may appear to be jagged and fragile, they are for the most part safe to venture over. Just be careful about your footing as there are pools and ledges in precarious places.

    Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

    Devils Washboard of Aoshima Island

    From Miyazaki Station, travelers can get to Aoshima Island’s Aoshima Station in 30 minutes on the JR Nichinan Line. A ticket will cost you 370 yen and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass. From Aoshima Station, the island is about a five-minute walk along a connecting bridge. There are also hourly buses departing from Miyazaki Station to Aoshima and take about 50 minutes to reach their destination. A one-way ticket will set you back 720 yen.

    Miyazaki
    Address
    Miyazaki Pref. Miyazakishi Nishikimachi
    Phone
    Aoshima
    Address
    Miyazaki Pref. Miyazakishi Aoshimanishi 2-chome
    Phone
    Devil’s Washboard
    Address
    Miyazaki Pref. Miyazakishi Aoshima
    Phone
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