22 March 2009

Mount Aso

Mount Aso, aka Aso-San (阿蘇山), is an active volcano located in the Kumamoto Prefecture. It is one of the largest volcanoes in the world, as well as having one of the largest caldera out there.

Pictures of my sister's trip to the fierce Mount Aso last Christmas after the jump~

Mount Aso is part of the Aso Kujuu National Park (阿蘇くじゅう国立公園).

How about enjoying some local Aso milk before facing the heat? One bottle costs 700 Yen, whereas a cup costs 100 Yen (as shown here).

As Mount Aso is still active, there are quite a few warning notices out there. This one has some Engrish in it as well ^^;

More warning signs in different languages.

This notices saids that the temperature at the cable car station recorded at 9am is 0C. Not sure why the counter-terrorism poster is there on the right.

On the way to the peaks via cable car!

Rather than for military use, these bunkers are actually built for shelter in case the volcano does erupt some nasty stuff all of a sudden.

At one of the craters. The steam gushes out continuously and tirelessly, which is a good indication of the volcano being active. While the liquid looks nice and warm like onsen from here, apparently they're actually really corrosive acid o_o

Snow near the crater... It's really hot and cold at the same time -_-;

The interesting volcano landscape around the area.

Volcano rocks near the craters. Some people have even done some stone piling here and there ^^;

A map of the volcano. The red dots there are the craters.

While this looks pretty empty right now, in the summer it's actually a place where you can hire horses for a ride~ For more pictures you can check it out here.

The land around Mount Aso looks very barren.

This stone saids that cows and horses have priority for using the passage.
While this may sound a bit odd, the area around Mount Aso is actually a grazing ground for them in the summers, where there's more grass than barren land.

Canned soup from vending machines. Do you have these in your neck of the woods, just as Danny Choo would have put it? ^^

These photos from my sister were sitting quietly in my hard disk while I forgot to blog about them after the Kumamoto Castle post, but I do hope that you enjoy them. Anyone else been to a volcanic region before? I remember having the chance to climb part of the Mount Fuji with a tour while I was little, but I had a fever all of a sudden, and had to stay at the bottom instead T_T

Official website


  1. Well your sister took some great shots,shes brave to get close to an active volcano with smoke rising out of a boiling lake of acid O.O haha the landscape of the volcano looks almost mars like :p anyway great photos and unique post :) give your sister a pat on the back for those photos k

  2. i've always been fascinated with volcanoes, geysers and such ^^ visited yellowstone many years ago... would be great to return now with a nice camera... ^^

    your sister got some nice pics... weather looked really gorgeous to boot. ^^

  3. @ blueplains:
    Thanks! I bet my sister will be more than happy to hear that~

    Haha I do like your analogy to Mars there; they do look similar despite different colours there :o

    My sister was initially quite worried about going to Mount Aso due to possible lack of time, and its rather violent history. Her trip though turns out to be great. It's definitely worth going, and I'm happy for her too~ ^^

    @ meronpan:
    I am nowhere near as good as my sister in terms of photography orz

    Oh you like volcanoes and have been to Yellowstone! Then I'd strongly recommend Mount Aso whenever you get the chance to go to Kyushu~

  4. scenery looks awesome! will love to get close to a active volcano if i have the chance.

    no canned soup from vending machines over here. just normal drinks. ^^;

  5. Your sister did a good job!
    Never been close to a volcano but it must be pretty interesting to experience all of this.
    We dont have canned soup over here...

    Just when i thought that those "hot springs" might be pretty frequented in the summer you tell me that its acid o.0

  6. @ gordon:
    Definitely worth going whenever one has a chance~ The sceneries look really exotic to me!

    No canned soup over in Hong Kong or in the UK as far as I know...

    @ Blowfish:
    Visiting an active volcano is a very unusual experience; it's like meeting a beast of nature to me :o

    Haha as my sister loves to go to onsen, she too thought it would be nice to go in there until she saw a notice saying that the pH is 0 (i.e. very acidic) ^^;;

  7. I remember going to some mountain, it sold black eggs cooked in the volcanic waters. Smelled horrible, but tasted great!

  8. @ konadora:
    Black eggs? That sounds like the kuro-tamago in Oowakudani, Hakone! Man that sounds exotic too~ ^^

  9. Never been to an Onsen but i heard that it divides the men/woman from the boys/girls.I think i heard once the saying only a true Tokyo born man can stand the heat of an onsen

    Are they really that hot?

  10. @ Blowfish:
    My experiences in onsen are limited, but the ones I have been are indeed hotter than your typical bath. It will take some time to get used to the heat, as it can get pretty steamy and your blood running like crazy ^^;

    I do not recall seeing seperation between adult and children, but there could be the case for some onsens out there. I have to look it up when I go home and possibly do a follow-up reply if I find any clues.


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