Aoshima Island (Kyoto Prefecture) (青島 (京都府))
Aoshima Island is an island located within the Ine bay, 340 m from one side of the main land of Ine-cho, Yosa-gun, Kyoto Prefecture and 120 m from the other side of the main land. It is 480 m in the east-west direction and 200 m in the north-south direction, with its highest point reaching an altitude of 48.3 m.
It is located 150-m offshore of Kameyama-misaki Cape of Kameshima Peninsula. The shrine here is frequently visited by worshippers. Aoshima Island in fact consists of two islands, and fish were cultivated there in the past. At present, the two islands are connected with bridges.
Aoshima Island is worshipped as "a secret island" not only by fishermen in the Ine bay but also those in the areas along the Tango seashore. This is because the Ebisu-jinja Shrine, worshipped by fishermen and other sea faring folk is located there. In the past, Benzaiten, one of the Shichifukujin (seven deities of good luck) said to bring happiness, knowledge and financial benefits, was also located there, but was moved to a place below Atago-jinja Shrine in Shiroyama (the Mimihana area) on the main land area facing this island. In addition, graves were located here until around the middle of the Showa period; this fact also helped place and form the status and characteristics of this island.
青 of 青島 (Aoshima Island) indicates 碧 which is related to death or worship. It can be said that this is an exact example of the proverb of "Names and natures often agree." This island was procured by the former Japanese navy for national defense, and also used as a base for firing torpedoes from the Taisho to the Showa period.
Persons who can be counted as islanders are few and include only the priest of the shrine and persons related to the souvenir shops. On the other hand, being located in less than 200 m from the main land, the island can be easily reached by rubber boats and has become a big fishing site. Being placed within a bay, the area is relatively safe with quiet waves.
In addition to the basic species of Japanese black porgies, largescale black fish and blow fish, the area harbors migratory fish such as Japanese amberjacks and striped jacks, with some sea breams and squid as well. The island provides refreshment for people through fishing.