Lava Plateau and the Oki Airport
Transport between the Oki Islands and the mainland is chiefly conducted by boat, which can be time-consuming. Until 1989 there was a seaplane which flew from the islands to Matsue in Shimane Prefecture and Kinosaki in Hyogo Prefecture. However, most of the land of the Oki Islands is too mountainous to be suitable for an airport runway. The few flat areas in the Oki Islands are close to rivers or in town centers.
However, there is one piece of land that is wide and flat enough to fit an airport landing strip. This is the location of the current Oki Airport on the Misaki Peninsula in Dōgo Island. This gently sloping expanse was formed around 5.5 million years ago by the smooth flow of basaltic lava. Until the Oki Airport was made this area was used as grazing land for cattle, and to grow crops.
The land had to be filled in and leveled out to create the airport. However, thanks to this natural landscape it took much less time and funds to build it here than it would have to build it anywhere else in the islands. This can be considered one of the blessings of volcanic islands.