Aso and Kuju Sights

Why take a tour? 

If you love wonderful scenery, mountain views and fresh air this is the tour for you. Central Kyushu is blessed with fantastic volcanic scenery and several mountain ranges, the Kuju and Aso Sights tour takes you to the Mount Aso area; one of the world’s largest inabited calderas and then over the rolling grasslands of the pyroclastic plain to the alpine Kuju mountain range which boasts the highest mountains on the main island of Kyushu. Both Aso and Kuju are highly volcanic areas with active volcanoes and many hot springs – even a ‘fizzy’ one. For flower lovers there is the Kuju Flower Park offering over 3 million blooms to view. For fans of the outdoors there is great hiking, cycling and horse riding. For foodies there are a variety of local products including the Guernsey Farm offering a variety of rich and creamy dairy products. Whereas the Kuju Winery offers free tasting and even a wine flavoured softcream.

Pick Up and Drop Off Point: The tour begins and ends from Higo Ozu Station. Or your requested pick up / drop off spot in Aso or Kurokawa Onsen.

Tour Duration: 1 Day 09:00 – 17:30 ( 8.5 hours)

Maximum Number of People: 7

Price: From 6000 Yen per person plus transport* Price includes entrance to the Kokonoe Yume Suspension Bridge.

If you would like to enter the Kuju Flower Park there is an 800 Yen per person surplus charge. (The usual entrance fee to the park is 1300 yen)

*Transport costs will vary according to the pick up location please contact us for details.

Family discounts available. (Please contact us with your childrens ages to find out more)

10% of all tour profits will go towards helping the Kumamoto and Aso regions recover from the Kumamoto Earthquakes.

Aso and Kuju Sights Model Itinerary:

This itinerary can be customised to fit your interests, for example if you are not a fan of high places the Kokonoe Suspension Bridge can be missed, if you’d like to visit the carbonated onsen at Nagayu that can also be arranged. Or if your main interest is hiking the itinerary can easily be adjusted to maximise your time. Just tell us what you’d like to do and we will be happy to find a way to do it. It can also be combined with sights around the Kurokawa and Oguni area.

(Click on the titles in red to find more information about each location.)

IMG_6051The day starts with a wonderful drive along the Milk Road; one of Kyushu’s most beautiful roads which circuits Aso’s caldera wall taking in panoramic views of the caldera below and the 5 mountains of Central Mount Aso. We will venture down into the caldera bottom to explore the scenic villages and farmland of the caldera bottom up close and pay a visit to the Aso Shrine and picturesque Mizuki Street.

 

Aso Shrine Romon Gate
Aso Shrine and Mizuki
Street– one of the oldest shrines in Japan and the focal point of many myths and festivals in the Aso region. Behind the shrine is a the lovely Mizuki street lined with gushing fresh water springs and quaint shops, including a bakery which sells the best cream puffs in Kyushu.

(Though the Aso Shrine was badly damaged in the earthquakes we can still visit this location)

KEI_0719small[1]We head back up the caldera wall to Aso’s most famous viewpoint:

Daikanbo – the highest point on the Northern caldera wall offering wonderful views of the central Aso peaks and panoramic views of the whole caldera. The central mountains viewed from this point are said to form a silhouette of a sleeping buddha, the live volcano of Nakadake giving him a gently smoking belly button.

 

IMG_6061Turning off the Milk Road we take the famous Yamanami Highway (Route 11) making a short stop off at a quirky local market which specialises in local fruit and vegetables and has some interesting topiary and a variety of small animals including a herd of petting deer.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe then take a detour off the highway to visit the Ikeyama springs at Ubuyama village. The village is one of the most traditional left in the Aso region, with all the villagers benefiting from the water springs that gush up and supply them with fresh mineral water. We will stop here for lunch at a restaurant offering delicious local produce.

 

 

kokonoe yume ohashiAfter lunch we head to the Kuju region, our first stop is the Kokonoe Yume Suspension Bridge, the largest pedestrian suspension bridge in Japan which has views of one of Japan’s top waterfalls.

 

 

IMG_6130We then drive into the Kuju Mountains to visit the Chojabaru Plateau, here we can take a relaxing walk over the Tadewara Marsh, a Ramsar protected wetland habitat at the base of the mountains with views, and sometimes smells, of the live volcano of Mt. Io.

 

 

hanakoen daisiesDepending on the time we head eastwards to visit the Kuju Flower Park, which offers amazing seasonal displays of over 500 varieties of flowers against the backdrop of Kuju and Aso mountain views. If flowers are not your thing, nearby there is the Kuju Winery or The Guernsey Farm and a horse riding stables. Another option is to rent a bicycle for cycling or take another scenic stroll.

 

Leaving the Kuju area around 16:15 we make our way back along the Milk Road to Higo Ozu Station for a 17:30 drop off.

To make a booking or inquire about customising your tour contact Explore Kumamoto now.