Top ChoiceVolcano in Aso-san Area

Naka-dake Crater

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, 1990, 1993 and 2016. Access to the crater area may be...

Top ChoiceGrill in Aso-san Area

Takamori Dengaku-no-Sato

At this fantastic thatch-roofed ex-farmhouse the staff use oven mitts to grill dengaku (skewers of vegetables, meat including Aso beef, fish and tofu covered in the namesake dengaku: sweet miso paste) at your own...

Mountain in Aso-san Area

Aso-gogaku

Aso-gogaku

The Five Mountains of Aso are the smaller mountains within the Aso-san caldera's outer rim: Eboshi-dake (1337m); Kijima-dake (1321m); Naka-dake (1506m); Neko-dake (1408m), furthest east; and the highest,...

Shinto Shrine in Aso-san Area

Kamishikimi-Kumanoimasu-jinja

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 Mori e. It's easy to see why directors chose it. You...

Shinto Shrine in Aso-san Area

Aso-jinja

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 of the destruction. Some of the buildings are being...

Museum in Aso-san Area

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...

Steak in Aso-san Area

Yamaichi

Aso akaushi (beef from local brown cows) is prized for its relatively low fat content. Get it here sliced over donburi (rice bowl). Set meals come with dangojiru (local dumpling soup) and takana gohan (rice with...

Japanese in Aso-san Area

Sanzoku-Tabiji

Cute roadhouse known for dangojiru (miso soup with thick-cut noodles) and takana ryōri (dishes using mustard greens), served à la carte or in hearty set meals. There are also other noodle and rice dishes. It's...

Cafe in Aso-san Area

Olmo Coppia

This lovable, cool organic cafe, in a converted storehouse from the late Edo period, serves daily-changing lunch set menus: curry, pasta etc. It's about a 15-minute walk east of JR Aso station; from the main...

Viewpoint in Aso-san Area

Daikanbō Lookout

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, walk past the gift shop and follow the paved path a few...

Cafe in Aso-san Area

Oshimaya Kagu Cafe

At this retro cafe you can sample coffees, cakes, smoothies and Aso-made ice creams while sitting on designy mid-century furniture (kagu in Japanese). Look for the giant metal chair on the corner just outside....

Gorge in Aso-san Area

Sensui Gorge

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 earthquake damage in 2016, this area had been inaccessible but...

Market in Aso-san Area

Michi no Eki Aso

Next to JR Aso station, this meeting place and market has a colourful selection of local produce, bentō (boxed meals), baked and packaged goods, snacks, ice cream and drinks. There's a seating area in the back...