Walking Tour of Japan’s Aso Volcano
Hike in Japan’s Land of Fire as you traverse a countryside interspersed with geological wonders and discover the roots of Japanese culture.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
Meet your guide and fellow hikers at Kumamoto Station. From there, head to Aso City, located 90 minutes away. En-route to Aso city you walk the Futaenotouge Pass, an elevated mountain pass 683 meters (2240.81 feet) high. Futaenotouge Pass is a portion of the Bungo Circuit, a historic trail used by the feudal lords of the Kumamoto Domain to travel to Tokyo, in a practice known as sankin-kotai. You relive history and walk in the footsteps of the samurai as you trek the 1.6 kilometer (1 mile) long stone paved “Ishi-datami no Michi”, the longest of its kind in Japan. Afterwards, you gather for a lively dinner.
After breakfast, you depart for Aso Shrine. Along the way, you stop at the former girls' school, which was built in the early 20th century. The charm of this old building is underscored by the sounds of bubbling water on the premises, due to the prevalence of spring water in the area. Along the sando (the procession to Aso Shrine) are plenty of unique shops that offer an impressive variety of local products and delicious Japanese foods. Afterwards, you make your way to Kokuzo Shrine, marked by its impressive shinboku, a divine tree in which kami (spirits and deities) reside. You also visit the 6th century megalithic tombs of Kami-Mikura and Shimo-Mikura. Lunch at a local eatery, followed by an afternoon trek to Mount Kishima, one of Mount Aso’s Five Peaks, are the ingredients for a delightful afternoon in the countryside. From the summit, you enjoy unobstructed views of the caldera. Dinner and lodging at a local establishment. Read more