Volcanoes can be mentioned together with Japan in one sentence. Considering that 71% of Japan land side consists of mountains, the number of “only” 109 volcanoes seems pretty small. Mount Fuji (or Fuji-San as the Japanese add the suffix -san out of respect) is the most famous volcano.
We decided to visit at least one of this portals to the underworld. Mount Aso (in jap. 阿蘇山) was our goal. It is by the way the largest volcano in Japan and often active. Check out HERE.
The volcano stands in south Japan in the prefecture of Kumamoto.
Our plan was to hitchhike till the village near by the volcano, visit the volcano and camp by the mountain. Our Couchsurfing host “Toschi” did`t let us hitchhike and took us all the way from Kumamoto to the village “Aso”. Again a big thanks to you, for your time and effort!
The village itself was famous for the “Aso Shrine”…
…and the many other beautiful spots.
Finally we managed to take a bus to the mountain. To speak more correctly “mountains”: Mount Aso consists of five different mountains. The highest mountain “Takadake” (1592m) is the volcano.
Mt. Aso is also named as the “Sleeping Buddha”, because all five peaks together above the morning clouds look like, well a sleeping Buddha.
The crater itself was not open for tourists, because it was active again. Smoke in huge clouds left the crater and filled the with a sour smell.
We went on a route near the crater to experience the unique nature side. It was an incredible feeling of understanding how nature and environment adopts to such a situation.
To camp near the active volcano was a little risky and kinda fun to feel the thrill. Of course we tried not to harm the precious flora and fauna.
By the morning the air was full of dragonflies and birds.
The volcano breaths, deep and slowly, his breathing is old as the earth itself. I felt a deep connection to something ancient. You know, this kind of calmness that befalls when you are deep under the earth.