Miyake-jima

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Miyakejima
Native name: 三宅島
20140516三宅島.jpg
Geography
Location Philippine Sea
Coordinates 34°04′44″N 139°31′44″E / 34.079°N 139.529°E / 34.079; 139.529
Archipelago Izu Islands
Area 55.44 km2 (21.41 sq mi)
Coastline 38.3 km (23.8 mi)
Highest elevation 775.1 m (2,543 ft)
Highest point Oyama
Administration
Japan
Prefectures Tokyo Metropolis
(Miyake Subprefecture)
District None
Demographics
Population 2,415 (as of June 1, 2016)
Density 44.3 /km2 (114.7 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Japanese

Miyake-jima (三宅島?, "Miyake Island") is an inhabited volcanic island in the Izu archipelago in the Philippine Sea aproximately 180 kilometres (110 mi) southeast of Honshu, Japan.[1] As with the other islands in the Izu Island group, Miyake-jima forms part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.

Geography[edit]

Map of Miyake-jima,
with Ōnoharajima west south-west of it

The island is a stratovolcano with a granitic composite cone, dating from the late Pleistocene period, between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. The island has a roughly circular coastline, 38.3 kilometers in length, with an average diameter of eight kilometers. The highest elevation Mount Oyama (雄山 Oyama-san?) is an active volcano with a height of 775.1 meters. The mountain has been recorded to have erupted numerous times throughout history, and is mentioned as far back as Nara period written records. Over the past 500 years, it has erupted 13 times, including five times since the start of the Meiji period. A lava flow in 1940 killed 11 people, and other eruptions occurred in 1962 and 1983.[2] On July 14, 2000, Mount Oyama began another series of eruptions, and by September, the island was completely evacuated. After a four-year period of volcanic emissions, residents were allowed to return permanently on February 1, 2005. After the eruption, there has been a constant flow of sulfur dioxide gas coming from Mount Oyama. The residents of the island are required to carry gas masks with them at all times, but they do not need to be worn constantly. Alarms go off if there is a dramatic increase in the levels of toxic gases in the air.[3]

Climate[edit]

Miyake-jima has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with very warm summers and mild winters. Precipitation is abundant throughout the year, but is somewhat lower in winter.

Climate data for Miyake-jima
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 11.6
(52.9)
11.5
(52.7)
13.8
(56.8)
18.1
(64.6)
21.4
(70.5)
24.0
(75.2)
27.1
(80.8)
28.5
(83.3)
26.2
(79.2)
22.2
(72)
18.6
(65.5)
14.2
(57.6)
19.77
(67.59)
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.5
(49.1)
9.2
(48.6)
11.3
(52.3)
15.4
(59.7)
18.8
(65.8)
21.6
(70.9)
24.8
(76.6)
26.1
(79)
24.0
(75.2)
19.9
(67.8)
16.3
(61.3)
12.1
(53.8)
17.42
(63.34)
Average low °C (°F) 6.8
(44.2)
6.4
(43.5)
8.4
(47.1)
12.4
(54.3)
15.9
(60.6)
19.2
(66.6)
22.6
(72.7)
23.9
(75)
21.7
(71.1)
17.4
(63.3)
13.5
(56.3)
9.2
(48.6)
14.78
(58.61)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 138.3
(5.445)
172.9
(6.807)
248.8
(9.795)
239.2
(9.417)
250.4
(9.858)
328.2
(12.921)
196.0
(7.717)
225.9
(8.894)
323.6
(12.74)
352.4
(13.874)
255.6
(10.063)
140.7
(5.539)
2,872
(113.07)
Average relative humidity (%) 63 65 68 74 77 84 86 85 82 75 70 65 74.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 124.1 113.0 138.2 150.5 176.8 131.6 179.2 211.0 142.8 109.6 103.5 125.6 1,705.9
Source: NOAA (1961-1990)[4]

Administration[edit]

The island is administered by the Miyake subprefecture of the Tokyo Metropolitan government. As of June 1, 2016, the population of the island was 2451. Miyake Village (三宅村 Miyake-mura?) serves as the local government of the island, and also encloses nearby tiny uninhabited Ōnoharajima west south-west of Miyake-jima.

Miyake village consists of the five traditional hamlets of Izu, Kamitsuki, Igaya, Ako and Tsubota, with Tsubota on the southeast coast as the administrative center.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Miyake-jima is home to the rare endemic Izu thrush (akakokko).[5] The island is home to an unusually rich flora and fauna with several rare species of birds and animals, although its natural habitats are constantly under threat from human and volcanic activity. Underwater, the island is valued by divers for its coral reefs and marine fauna (including the dolphin population outside nearby Mikura-jima).

Access[edit]

The island is accessible by over-night ferry, the Sarubia Maru or the Camellia, which is operated by Tōkai Kisen. The ferry departs from Takeshiba Pier, near Hamamatsuchō Station, Tokyo at 22:30 and arrives at Miyakejima at 5:00.

There are flights connecting Miyakejima Airport and Haneda Airport with an approximate flying time of 50 minutes. Flights are also operated from Chofu Airport. The area is prone to high volume of sulfuric gas and flights had been suspended for almost eight years after the July 14, 2000 volcano eruption. Flights resumed during April 2008, after sulfuric gases in the air have dropped to levels below 0.2ppm.[6] There is also a helicopter that arrives via Izu Ōshima. There are also two helicopter flights operated by Tokyo Island Shuttle which originate in Aogashima and Izu Ōshima and fly to Toshima, Miyake-jima, Mikura-jima, Hachijō-jima and Aogashima.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]