Mount Aso - Japan Travel Guide - Japanspecialist

Mount Aso

Japan's largest active volcano.

About Mount Aso
In the heart of the southern island of Kyushu, far from the crowds and concrete of the city, is an incredibly beautiful national park with majestic waterfalls, gorges and mountains. The main attraction is Mount Aso, Japan's largest active volcano and one of the largest in the world. It consists of five volcanoes and has one of the world's largest craters with a circumference of about 120 km.

Getting up close to the volcanoes
One of the active volcanoes, Mount Nakadake, is accessible via ropeway. From here you can look down into the crater and see its caldera lake, all turquoise and smoke. A wild experience! Note that strong gases come from the volcano and that it is often closed due to excessive gases. Nearby is Komezuka, a small, verdant and beautifully shaped volcano. It cannot be climbed, but there are pleasant footpaths in the area. Please note that getting to Mount Aso by public transport can be difficult. This is some of the most unspoilt nature in Japan, and because of this, the transport network is not particularly developed. It is worth considering renting a car, which of course we can help with.

Other attractions around Mount Aso
Nearby is the small but spiritually very important city of Takachiho. The landscape here is nothing short of overwhelming - it is no wonder that, according to the legends, this area was the playground of the gods. Don't miss the Takachiho Gorge (best in calm weather). Rent a rowing boat and sail down the river along high cliffs and waterfalls of supernatural beauty. We also recommend paying a visit to the important Amano Iwato Shrine from where you can see - but not enter - the cave where the sun goddess Amaterasu reportedly used to hide.

NOTE: Mount Aso is still an active volcano, and this may mean that, from time to time, restrictions are placed on how close you can get if there is too much smoke or gas in the air.

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