Japan is a great place for hiking. It’s clean, there are plenty of choices, and for the most part it’s safe. If you enjoy hiking and you’re interested in checking out a new place, try out Aso-Gogaku!
Aso-Gogaku, often called the Five Mountains of Aso, is actually a single volcano with a group of five peaks; Mount Neko, Mount Taka, Mount Eboshi, Mount Kishima and the last one which is very active, Mount Naka. It is renowned to be the largest active volcano in Japan and it is located in the magnificent Kumamoto Prefecture on the Kyushu Island.
Aso Mountains are part of the Aso Kuju National Park（阿蘇くじゅう国立公園） and offers a wide range of different trails for hikers. Therefore, you can find easy, medium or expert trails and everyone at any level can enjoy the trip!
Even if you are not a great fan of hiking you can still enjoy some onsen resorts and even take one of the two cable car line to reach the top of the mountain!
The reason why you should do some hiking there is because Mount Aso has one of the biggest Caldera in the world and offers stunning and unique views of the National Park. After hiking, you can relax in one of the several hot springs in the region. A good place to go is the Aso Farm Land, they have a hotel, onsen, open-air spa, animals etc. For more information about that and other things, you should go to the Tourist Information Center beside Aso Station.
Just to let you know for your own sake, Mount Naka also called Naka-Dake, is very active so sometimes some sulfuric steam are coming out and causes the shutdown of the area. However it doesn’t mean that you are risking your life at any moment, just get the information at the tourist center for your safety.
The great thing with Kumamoto is its convenient location. Indeed, it connects to both Fukuoka and Kagoshima by both trains and buses. The main town in the area is Aso village which is on the Hohi Line. It takes approximately an hour and thirty minutes to reach Aso from Kumamoto.
Aso Geopark website *Japanese Only