Mount Aso

Steaming crater of Mt. Nakadake, Aso

Mount Aso (阿蘇山 Aso-san), located in Kyushu's Kumamoto prefecture, is a volcano one of the largest caldera in the world.


Around Mt. Aso

The active volcano of Aso brings quite a significant number of tourists to the small town of Aso. You can find Aso Tourist Information in Aso station itself or at Michi No Eki Aso (road rest area; the building on the left when you get of the train station). Check before setting out to see if the Nakadake crater is accessible to its rim, or whether noxious or poisonous fumes are rendering it inaccessible.

NOTE: Due to the volcanic activity, the access to and around the crater can be restricted. Please check this link Mount Aso restriction page

Get in

Aso is on the JR Hohi line, 1 hour and 40 minutes from Kumamoto by local train (¥1080, change of trains may be required). There is also a limited express, the Kyushu Odan Express (九州横断特急), which makes four daily round trips with no change of trains required (65 minutes; ¥2180).

Kumamoto connects to Hakata in Fukuoka via the Relay Tsubame and Ariake limited express trains, and to Kagoshima via the Relay Tsubame and the Kyushu Shinkansen.

From Beppu you can get there in about 2 hours by train (¥3740)

The bus connecting Kumamoto and Beppu stops at the Aso JR station, and often at Aso Nishi cable car station. From Kumamoto, it takes 2 hours (¥1760) to reach the cable car, et 2:30 (3350¥) for the JR station. From Beppu, the two morning bus services reach the cable car in 3:30 (2950¥) and the JR station in 4 hours (3450¥). Timetables: Kumamoto-Beppu, Beppu-Kumamoto, Fares.

There are luggage lockers at Aso Station.

Get around


The mountain spews sulphurous gases from the crater of Mt. Nakadake. Sometimes, when the winds blow from the crater towards the crowds, the cable car lines are shut down, so you might not be able to reach the summit. They will start operating again when the winds turn - sometimes you will only have to wait half an hour or so. If you want to check before starting your hike, the owner of the youth hostel is able to tell whether everything is in operation.


Mount Aso from the summit in autumn.
The landscape is full of greenery in summer, like the Komezuka (米塚), a small crater on the road to Mount Aso.


Just next to the train station, at Michi No Eki Aso, various local products are on sale. You can find fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, milk, handmade lunchboxes, sweets and so on. Everything here is cultivated or produced in Aso city.

Besides the usual tourist trinkets you can buy from the Aso Nishi cable car station, there's not much shopping to do around here. Your usual supermarket is a couple blocks south from the Aso station.


There are some restaurants and a noodle bar near the station. In Aso Heights, there is a delicious cheese cake. Japanese lunch box can be bought at Michi No Eki Aso just next to the station. The aso noodles are amazing!!!


Go next

Routes through Mount Aso

Kumamoto  W  E  Oita

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, February 29, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.