Mount Aso

The volcanic Mount Aso towers above the surrounding fields and villages. Mount Aso is an active volcano, and the closely monitored fumes rising from the crater remind the visitor of the very real danger. The conical peak, Mount Naka, holds the dubious honour of Japan's first recorded eruption, and is the real centre of Japan's hi no kuni: the land of fire.

The symmetrical Mount Naka lies at the centre of a much older volcano, the caldera of which is the largest in the world and surrounds the active peak with stunning views. The area around is a hotbed of geothermic activity, and there are many superb onsen baths which offer relaxation after a day of exploring the breathtaking countryside.