Mt. Aso has one of the largest calderas in the world. It was formed after nearly 270,000 years of recurring volcanic activity. Within the caldera is a volcanic field with numerous volcanoes and at the center is Nakadake Crater, which is still active even now. The great plains that stretch out from the slopes of Nakadake Crater are a unique feature of Aso’s scenery.Read more
A few hundred thousand years of volcanic activity have brought about a great blessing for the people living in the region in the form of spring water and hot springs, characteristic of a volcanic field. The people have held great respect for nature as they have grazed herds, gathered plants, and farmed, coexisting with the land for over a thousand years. Today, there are 50,000 people living within the caldera.
Come travel to Aso, with its rare scenery, and learn about the culture of the people who have cultivated the plains. Try trekking in Mt. Aso’s craters, horseback riding on the vast plains stretching out in Kusasenri, or touring ancient shrines and source waters where deities dwell.
Minamiaso’s beauty can be found in the stories told by the heavens, the earth, and the people. The key to revealing these stories lies in the stars, the volcanoes, and the plains.
Get lost in Minamiaso’s vast natural world.
You will no doubt be able to hear them.
Each story and each beat.
Our Origins in the UniverseStar
Shining in the Minamiaso’s night sky, countless stars. A sky full of stars expands out from the vast plains. We sense the drama of the birth and death of stars that has been going on for 13.7 billion years since the creation of the universe and contemplate the mystery of the birth of humanity. Through Minamiaso’s beautiful starry sky, we contemplate our beginnings in the perpetual universe.
The Heartbeat of the Earth with Its Limited Life SpanVolcano
Mt. Aso, dignified with a caldera belonging to the largest class in the world. A large portion of Mt. Aso’s energy source came from the earth’s creation. The energy to create volcanoes is limited. The lengthy activity decreases, and little by little the energy disappears from the earth. Someday, there will come a time when, just like the moon, the earth, too, becomes a star without volcanic activity. By traveling to Mt. Aso, you can experience the heartbeat of the earth, which is as mortal as human beings are.
A Thousand Years of the Natural World and Humankind’s ActivityPrairie
Making up roughly half of the total plains area of all of the national parks in Japan, the Aso Kuju National Park is the “Plains Kingdom.” These vast plains did not come about naturally. It is not certain when they appeared, but in order to raise cows and horses needed for cultivation and to produce fertilizer, people have kept up the plains with an ongoing repetition of pasturing and prescribed burning that dates back over 1,000 years. On the great plains of Minamiaso, you can feel the 1,000 years of interaction between nature and the people.
ASO KUMAMOTO AIRPORT TO MINAMI ASO
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