How to travel between Aso and Kumamoto
Kumamoto and Aso are connected by infrequently departing local and limited express trains along the JR Hohi Line. The one way trip takes around 70 minutes and costs about 2000 yen by limited express or around 100 minutes and 1110 yen by local train. It is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
The Kyushu Odan Bus by Kyusanko travels from Kumamoto (stopping at Kumamoto Station, the Kotsu Center and the airport) to Aso Station before continuing on across Kyushu to Beppu. The one way trip between Kumamoto Station and Aso Station takes 100-140 minutes, costs 1250 yen and is covered by the Sun Q Pass.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
A rental car is the recommended means of transportation in the Aso area. Although most tourist sites are served by public transportation, the trains and buses are not very frequent, and a rental car provides considerably more flexibility and comfort. Many rental car outlets are located in Kumamoto City and at Kumamoto Airport, but only a few can be found in the Aso area.
The transportation hub in Aso is Aso Station on the JR Hohi Line, which runs across Kyushu between Kumamoto and Oita. Buses run between Aso Station and the peak of Mount Aso. The Minami Aso Railway is for the most part only useful for travelers who plan on continuing to Takachiho, as there is a bus connection to Takachiho from around Takamori Station.