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Highlights of Aso-Kuju National Park

Mt. Tsurumi
photo of Mt. Tsurumi
Mt. Tsurumi
There is an aerial lift and you can command a view of Beppu Bay from the summit. You can enjoy seasonal blessings, including Rhododendron kiusianum in spring, cool weather in summer, colored leaves in autumn and rime ice in winter.
Mt. Yufudake
photo of Mt. Yufudake
Mt. Yufudake
Standing behind Yufuin, the mountain is called "Bungo Fuji (Mount Fuji of Oita)" because of the graceful shape.
Over its base, there spreads the scenery of grassland maintained by controlled burning. In autumn, you shouldn't miss the colored leaves on the hillside.
Beppu-Ichinomiya Route (Yamanami Highway) Milk Road
photo of Beppu-Ichinomiya Route (Yamanami Highway) Milk Road
Beppu-Ichinomiya Route (Yamanami Highway) Milk Road
The Yamanami Highway that connects the Aso and Kuju areas, and the Milk Road that runs across Kita-Gairin caldera in the Aso-region are representative roads of Aso Kuju National Park and both offer views of vast grasslands and the Kuju Mountain Range and the five peaks of Mt. Aso that stretch out in the distance.
Kuju Bogatsuru and Tadewara Moor
photo of Kuju Bogatsuru and Tadewara Moor
Kuju Bogatsuru and Tadewara Moor
Intermediate moors formed from the springs at the foot of Mt. Kujusan reflect the diverse topology and geology, with a wide range of plant and animal life. The intermediate moors formed in the mountains cover the greatest area in Japan, and are registered in the Ramsar Site.
Mt. Hiiji
photo of Mt. Hiiji
Mt. Hiiji
This mountain is popular among trekkers with the summit having a huge community of Rhododendron kiusianum. You can command a view of Bogatsuru Moor, which is a registered wetland under the Ramsar Convention.
Komatsu Jigoku
photo of Komatsu Jigoku
Komatsu Jigoku
The natural fumarole zone shows you unique scenery where hot water, water vapor, and mud spout out. There is a walking trail, letting you enjoy the scenery while feeling the energy of the volcano close by.
Mt. Kurodake Natural Forest
photo of Mt. Kurodake Natural Forest
Mt. Kurodake Natural Forest
Mt. Kurodake is covered with natural forest up to the summit, with many Japanese beech and Japanese elm. Oike Pond, Shiramizu Spring and Kakushimizu located at the trail entrance are known as some of the best waters.
Kuju Plateau
photo of Kuju Plateau
Kuju Plateau
The wide and gentle plateau was formed by pyroclastic sediment. Pasturing is conducted in the idyllic scenery, and controlled burning is done in spring.
Kikuchi Gorge
photo of Kikuchi Gorge
(Photo provided by: Kikuchi City)
Kikuchi Gorge
The beautiful valley is located in the northwest of the somma and has various big and small streams and waterfalls. The water temperature is low even in summer, and the cool environment attracts a lot of visitors.
Daikanbo
photo of Daikanbo
Daikanbo
This peak is a good lookout site that allows you to see the five peaks of Mt. Aso called "Reclining Buddha of Aso," and commands a view of surrounding vast grassland and also north side of the Aso caldera below your eyes. There is a parking lot from where you can walk to the lookout spot in about 10 minutes.
Five Peaks of Mt. Aso
photo of Five Peaks of Mt. Aso
Five Peaks of Mt. Aso
Refers to Mt. Takadake, Mt. Nakadake, Mt. Nekodake, Mt. Kijima, and Mt. Eboshi. The five peaks resemble the Buddha asleep face-up, and therefore, collectively referred to as "Reclining Buddha." Mt. Nakadake is an active volcano.
Komezuka
photo of Komezuka
Komezuka
Shaped most recently among the Aso volcanoes (about 3,000 years ago), it has a beautiful cone shape as if you turned down a bowl. It is about 80 meters high and has a vestige of crater at the summit. (You can't enter here because of vegetation preservation.)
Nakadake Central Crater
photo of Nakadake Central Crater
Nakadake Central Crater
This active volcano is rare in the world in a sense that visitors can look into the crater. You can go near the crater on foot, by ropeway or car. (Upon visiting, please check the "Information on restrictions for Aso Volcano Crater.")
Kusasenri-ga-hama
photo of Kusasenri-ga-hama
Kusasenri-ga-hama
This is a double crater in which the crater of about 400 m was produced inside a crater of about 1 km in diameter. There are two ponds and grasslands, which allow you to spend time in a relaxed way in the idyllic scenery.
Shirakawa Headspring
photo of Shirakawa Headspring
Shirakawa Headspring
This is one of the water sources of the Shirakawa River, a first-class river in Kumamoto City. Representing the cluster of springs in Minamiaso district, this headspring generates 60 tons of water a minute. It was designated as one of the best hundred waters of Japan selected by Ministry of the Environment.

Wildlife & Plants

Viola orientalis
photo of Viola orientalis
Viola orientalis
A yellow carpet is laid on the blackened remains after the grasslands have been burnt off. Blooming in April and May throughout the grasslands of the Aso region.
Rhododendron kiusianum
photo of Rhododendron kiusianum
Rhododendron kiusianum
A member of the Azalea family. Found on bare volcanic mountainsides in Kyushu. The mountains are covered in pink when the flowers bloom in May and June. In the Kuju Mountain Range, this species is being overwhelmed by other species, and are dying out. Protective measures are underway.
Echinops setifer
photo of Echinops setifer
Echinops setifer
A rare plant that still remains. Spread from the continent in the Ice Age. The spherical flowers bloom in azure blue in August and September. Leaves resemble those of the thistle, and have prickles. Found on grasslands. Susceptible to extinction as grasslands disappear.
Akaushi (Japanese Brown Cattle)
photo of Akaushi (Japanese Brown Cattle)
Akaushi (Japanese Brown Cattle)
A brown cow representative of Aso. Used in agricultural work, and raised by farming households in Aso for hundreds of years. Popular as beef today. Japanese Brown Cattle are put out to pasture, providing an idyllic scene as they eat their way through the grasslands.