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Title: Kuchinoshima  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of islands of Japan, 30th parallel north, List of islands by name (K), Ryukyu Islands, Tokara Islands, List of volcanoes in Japan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Native name: Japanese: 口之島
Location East China Sea

29°58′0″N 129°55′0″E / 29.96667°N 129.91667°E / 29.96667; 129.91667

Archipelago Tokara Islands
Area 13.33 km2 (5.147 sq mi)
Coastline 20.38 km (12.664 mi)
Highest elevation 628.5 m (2,062 ft)
Highest point Maedake
Kagoshima Prefecture
Population 140 (as of 2004)
Ethnic groups Japanese

Kuchinoshima (口之島?), literally "mouth island", is one of the Tokara Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. The island, 13.33 km² in area, and has a population of 140 persons.[1] The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport, there are regular ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland. Travel time is about 6 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on agriculture, fishing and seasonal tourism.


Kuchinoshima is the northernmost inhabited island in the Tokara archipelago, and is located 10 kilometres (5.4 nmi) northeast from Nakanoshima. The highest elevation is Maedake (前岳?) located in the eastern part of the island, with a height of 628.5 metres (2,062 ft) above sea level. Maedake, Moedake (燃岳?) in the northern part of the island at 425 metres (1,394 ft), and Yokodake (横岳?) in the western part of the island at 500 metres (1,600 ft), are the three volcanos which make up the island. Although there has been no eruption recorded in historical times, Moedake emits steam, and discoloration of the ocean in nearby waters in 2001 indicates ongoing volcanic activity. The local climate is classified as subtropical, with a rainy season from May through September.


The island was once part of the Ryukyu Kingdom. During the Edo period, Kuchinoshima was part of Satsuma Domain and was administered as part of Kawabe District. In 1896, the island was transferred to the administrative control of Ōshima District, Kagoshima, and from 1911 was administered as part of the village of Toshima, Kagoshima. From 1946-1952, the island was administered by the United States as part of the Provisional Government of Northern Ryukyu Islands.


  • National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGIA). Prostar Sailing Directions 2005 Japan Enroute. Prostar Publications (2005). ISBN 1577856511

External links

  • Official home page


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