About Mt Aso -Active Volcano-
The active volcano Mt Aso is a symbol of Kumamoto. A few-time catastrophic eruption occurred back in history, brought us some heavy blows but also blessings to human’s life, such as the beautiful scenery offered by its caldera and Onsen. On this tour, take a ride to active volcano Mt Aso in the guide’s car and plunge on into the caldera of the active volcano that ranges 25 km from North to South and 18 km from East to West. Go through a scenic pavement called “Milk Road”, seeing cows, cattle and horses on the beautiful plains stretching out over the hills of caldera. You will explore within the caldera where around 27,000 people have lived in with the active volcano. It’s quite unusual that human have formed the sustainable community, reclamation work and even railway operation inside the caldera of an active volcano, worldwide.
To begin with, we are going to take a ride through Milk Road viewing the beauty of the caldera with cattle on pasture, green grass field stretching out over the hills and a distant view of Mt Aso lies in the middle of the caldera. Then we get to a observatory called “Daikanbo” meaning “The great viewing peak” to have the landscape of the 5 volcanic peaks of Mt Aso. It’s a short hike up to a little peak, 5 minutes or so. Some snacks are available here, soft ice cream made of local milk, one of Aso’s specialties, is recommendable.
The scenic ride continues down to Aso shrine. This shrine is designated as an Impotant Cultural Property, the head of 450 Aso branch shrines built all over the country. But those important and historical structures have been collapsed by big earthquakes we had on 14 and 16 April 2016. Come visit here, and we’d appreciate it if you could do a little donation for the reconstruction. After the prayer, let’s walk around on the shrine street for checking local stores.
Then, move up to “Kusasenri” zone to view a landscape of the magnificent volcano with the beautiful scenery of Kusasenri, a grassy plain . Due to the level 1 warning out of 5 levels of the Volcanic Alert Level that restricts visitors to go up to the top of Mt “Naka-dake“, the crater peak, cannot have a look at the crater though (8 Aug 2017 at present), it’s a wonderful experience to take a short walk to a small hill on the filed of “Kusasenri” (=1,000-mile grassy plain) viewng the landscape of Mt Aso’s peaks and the crater mountain.
ITINERARY & PRICE
08:30 Pickup at anywhere in Kumamoto city
10:00 Scenic tour on Milk Road
10:30 Visit Daikanbo observatory
12:00 Visit Aso shrine
13:00 Visit Kusasenri and Lunch
14:00 Go on a Hike at Kusasenri
17:00 Take a train back for Kumamoto St
18:30 Or return to Kumamoto city by car
PRICE: 22,000 JPY (Shared beteween number of people) + 6,000 JPY per person (children from age 4 up to age 16: 50% off, under age 3: free of charge)
Max number of people: 7
Aso Tour Includes:
Tour Customization / Transport / Photographs upload
If you would really like to have a look at the crater, helicopter service is highly recommended. It costs some extra money to get this though, you can enjoy a luxurious moment like no other ordinary tourists do. But please note this service is only available from Friday – Monday and on national holidays. Check out the following footage what it is like when you get this service.
Fee: 5,000 JPY per person (minimum 2 passengers)
Flight Duration: 4 min
Why don’t you have Aso’s specialty, “Aka Ushi” (Red Beef)? The beef comes from a breed of Japanese beef cattle called “The Japanese Brown”. Here in Kumamoto, they are called Aka Ushi or Red Beef, named after its colour of fat. Generally speaking, Japanese beef (a.k.a. Wagyu) is well known for its marbled meat with various amount of intramuscular fat, but Aka Ushi contains less fat and good lean meat pastured on the vast fertile field with green grass growing thanks to the volcanic soil. You can cook the beef as you like on a hot plate made from lava of the volcano, available at the restaurant “New Kusasenri”.