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“Breathtaking view of Mt Aso” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mt.Aso

Mt.Aso
Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan
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Type: Volcanos, Outdoors
Attraction details
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Breathtaking view of Mt Aso”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

Mt Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan, and is among the largest in the world. At the ropeway ticket counter, we were told that only one area was opened for viewing on May22, 2012. Since we left our bags in the coin lockers, and took the bus from the Aso JR train station, we just paid it. Wow, what a breathtaking view up close! We tried to stay as long as we could in the cold and the strong wind to take our pictures. We just loved it!

Visited May 2012
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Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Good day trip - just make sure it's open though!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

We arrived into Kumomoto in the evening and decided to head on Mount Aso the next day. It’s about an hours train journey east on the way to Beppu. I’ve now realised the JR Rail Pass that we had initially invested in has now started to pay off. For just over £400 we get you use almost any of the trains across Japan for a period of 3 weeks which is just the right amount of time for both of us as we’re spent 1 week in Tokyo. You might think this is a lot (and I thought it was a blow to the wallet too) but just think about if you were wanting to travel all ends of the UK then you’ll be pushed to do so… especially when all (and I mean all) the trains and other forms of public transport are on time to the second and standard class is just than the first class back home. With nice big wide comfortable seats, plenty of leg room and seaats that recline too there is no need to pay extra for Japan’s first class seats. The whole experience is fascenating but perhaps I’ll save this for another time…

We were really lucky with our trip out to Mount Aso. First of all, the weather was on our side and it was relatively simple to get to by public transport given we are stretching the boundaries of Japanese tourism. Then the luck started to run out however as the active part of the volcano on Mount Aso was spewing excessive amounts of toxic gases out of it’s hole (think smelly rotten eggs) which prevented the rope-way (aka gondola) letting us reach the last 1 km of our journey. We were both quite disheartened when we had travelled all that way (just over 2 hours) to fall at the final hurdle. The sign at the ticket office said “Apologies for the inconvenience, due to gas regulations we are closed” and with the burning of sulphur dioxide in our through we both tried not to look disappointed. But we both had that very feeling inside. So we decided to take a little walk around the surroundings and take in what is known as "one of the largest caldera in the world" (25 km north-south and 18 km east-west) from slightly lower down. After an hour or so, we decided to take the bus back to Aso Station. As we waited and with 5 mins to go before the bus back to station, we saw a crowd of people queue up at the ticket office. We immediately followed suit and found out that alternative transport was being laid on, in the form of “Micro Buses” (aka mini bus). And that was that, we managed to get to the top of Mt Aso and take the pictures you see today! Enjoy. We did.

If you're looking just to go for the day from Kumamoto to Mt. Aso, it took a bit of digging to find train and bus timetables. But I found in the end. http://www.kyusanko.co.jp/aso/english.html

If you need any more help, then please contact me and will try to do my best to provide more information.

If you'd like to see photo's of our Mt. Aso, please visit: http://silmonli.com/travel/2011/09/27/017-mount-aso/

Or if you'd like to see other places we visited in Japan: http://silmonli.com/travel/category/blog/asia/japan-asia/

Visited September 2011
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UK
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2010

My boyfriend and I visited Kyushu in August, and Mt. Aso was the highlight. Neither of us had ever visited an active volcano before! The simmering sulphuric lake is pretty cool. We spent about an hour and a half walking around. Away for the lake (the favourite photo spot with tourists!) the scenery is beautiful, well worth a visit.

If you can, try to be flexible about which day you visit. Some days the top is closed off due to volcanic gas levels, so try to check before you go.

Also, it was beautifully sunny the day we went, which was great, but it is quite high, and my boyfriend (who has very fair skin) got rather sunburned! So make sure you take sunscreen, preferably SPF50!

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Colombo, Sri Lanka
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Mount Aso an active volcano”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2010

My wife & I visited Aso on the 8th May 2010. We traveled from Fukuoka by car through small villages as our car navigator directed us along narrow urban roads. Thanks to the navigator we we enjoyed the beautiful country side. It took about 31/2hrs to reach Aso. Aso is a nice small city with paddy fields around. We followed the road signs and reached the meuseum and the visitors center. There are few restaurants, souvenier stalls and rest rooms and the mount Aso is visible with steam coming out . The place is busy with tourists and some walk along the path way to the top. we drove to the top after paying the toll. One could take the cable car from there to the top. The Sulphur smell could be felt as you reach the top. The "Naka dake " is the active one with fumes emanating. There are 5 peaks- dakes. Other 4 are Neko dake, Taka dake, Eboshi dake,Kishima dake. The view is very scenic and beautiful. We stayed the night in a ryokan in the city- Yumeoisoi.

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
179 reviews 179 reviews
52 attraction reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
995 helpful votes 995 helpful votes
“Lovely area, friendly folks, but a little on the kitschy side”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2005

My friends and I spent 2 nights at a small minshuku nestled among farmhouses in the little town of Aso. The town is just lovely, with the large mountains looming in the distance, occasionally belching out smelly volcanic gasses.

We took a bus up to the volcano museum in the morning. It has a lovely, although dated, movie showing scenic views above and inside the volcano. The museum and the surrounding shops are more than a little tacky and are periodically swamped with tourists as tour buses stop by for their guests to buy locally made cookies and take photos for a half hour at a time. From there you can walk up to the volcano visitor center. Sometimes you can walk or take the funicular all the way to the volcano's mouth, but on the day we were there the sulfuric gas levels were too high and the top area was closed off. In order to get a glimpse of the inside of the volcano, we went on an exciting, though pricey, helicopter ride around the area. While I hated spending that much money, it was a gorgeous sight.

There are hiking trails around the non-active volcanoes. They're pretty, but the heavy tourist traffic means that there isn't much animal life about. The restaurants near the volcano are pretty crummy. The options in town aren't much better, although we did find a fabulous and very cheap conveyer-belt sushi place a ways west up the main street.

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