Aso Volcano Museum


This old-school museum has exhibits and dioramas about Aso, volcanos in general and the sometimes fraught relationship locals have with the volcano system. A free English-language audio guide describes the exhibits, video on a parabolic screen tells the story of the caldera's creation some 19,000 years ago, and you can see a real-time video feed from inside Naka-dake crater. Other exhibits cover the flora, fauna and customs of the region.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kyūshū attractions

1. Naka-dake Crater

1.87 MILES

Naka-dake (1506m) is Aso's active volcano – very active in recent years, with fatal eruptions in 1958 and 1979, and other significant eruptions in 1989,…

2. Sensui Gorge

3.76 MILES

In mid-May this gorge boasts a dramatic carpet of azalea blooms. Ask at tourist-information offices about trail conditions before setting out. Due to…

3. Aso-jinja

5.68 MILES

Dedicated to the 12 gods of the mountain, this shrine, including its revered gate, suffered severe damage in the 2016 earthquakes; photos show the scale…

4. Kamishikimi-Kumanoimasu-jinja

6.57 MILES

This gorgeous hilltop shrine and 'power spot' was pretty much left alone until it became the model for the set of the popular 2011 anime film Hotarubi no…

5. Daikanbō Lookout

7.74 MILES

High above the Aso-san caldera, Daikanbō is one of the best places to take in the views, even if it’s often crowded with tour buses. From the parking area…

7. Takachiho-jinja

19.06 MILES

About 10 minutes' walk from the bus centre, Takachiho-jinja is dramatically set in a grove of cryptomeria pines, including one that's over 800 years old…

8. Suizenji-jōjuen

19.6 MILES

Southeast of the city centre, this photogenic lakeside garden was built between 1636 and 1716 for the ruling Hosokawa clan. The main path represents the…