Who wouldn’t want to have their own private island? Imagine being able to get away from the world whenever you liked, free yourself from the stress of the daily grind and just relax under the sun or the nighttime stars on the beach.
Well the best place to start looking for such a private island is Japan. There are lots of small uninhabited islands owned by real estate companies that you can buy one almost as easily as you’d buy a house.
We recently visited one such island for sale to see what it was like and decide whether we should start saving up our pennies to buy one ourselves—after all, Rocket Island has quite a nice ring to it. Read on to see what our trip there was like, and to see some of the surprises that we ran into.
The island that we visited is Ainoshima (Indigo Island) off Higashihiroshima City in Hiroshima Prefecture. This island is going for the low, low price of 400 million yen, and the only way to get to it is via a 10-minute trip by sea taxi.
And if you’re thinking that this must be a dinky little island because it’s so cheap, think again. It’s actually pretty spacious, with an area of 79,150 square meters.
Apparently the island had been inhabited until just after the Second World War, and an abandoned house (photo below) had been sitting here just falling apart for quite a long time. Now it’s a handyman’s dream! A real fixer-upper!
After checking out the house, we walked through the bamboo forest to the other end of the island. It took around 20 minutes to reach the beach on the opposite shore, but it was worth it to have our own private vacation spot.
Even after visiting for ourselves though, we still couldn’t quite wrap our heads around the idea of buying an entire island. So we asked the real estate company what their customers typically do with their islands after purchasing them. Here’s what they had to say:
“Our recommended usage would be as a sort of manly getaway. Building a log cabin or a tent lodge would be perfect as the ultimate ‘man base.’ Ideally a place you could spend the night in would be best, so that you can spend the day fishing and enjoying other marine activities, then at night drinking with friends under the clear, starry sky. No one would be around to disturb you, so it would be like having your own kingdom.”
They’re really not making this any easier. It’s not like we don’t want to buy our own island, it’s just that we can’t afford one.
Although to be fair, there are even cheaper islands out there, going for as low as 20 million yen.
Here’s a video of our trip to the island, so you can see everything in action and up close in detail.
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