Mount Aso (hR, Asosan) is an active volcano in the center of Kyushu which most recently erupted in 2021 and 2016. Aso's ancient caldera ranks among the world's largest, with a diameter of up to 25 kilometers and a circumference of over 100 kilometers. In the center of the caldera stand the mountain's active volcanic peaks, including Mount Nakadake, whose spectacular crater is accessible to tourists.

Note, however, that the crater area is often partially and sometimes completely closed off to visitors due to poisonous volcanic gases, bad weather or the risk of volcanic activity. So, make sure to check the volcano's current state before traveling there. Even when the area around the summit is open, gases can be intense, and people with respiratory problems should refrain from approaching the crater.

Not far from the Nakadake crater, Kusasenri (or Kusasenri-ga-hama) is a grass-covered plain with grazing cows and a few horses. Horse riding is possible from early March to mid December. On the opposite side of the road stands the Aso Volcano Museum with explanations about the volcano.

Komezuka is a small, beautifully shaped volcanic cone on the northern slopes of Nakadake. There are pleasant walking trails in the vicinity (but not to the top) of Komezuka, however, easy access by public transportation is not provided.

Getting there and around

The Nakadake Crater can be reached in a 30-40 minute bus ride from JR Aso Station. There is one bus about every 1-2 hours. The one way trip costs 730 yen and is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. Buses travel as far as Asosan Sancho Terminal, from where a shuttle bus gets visitors to the crater (600 yen one way). Alternatively you can walk to the crater in about 30 minutes one way. Cars can drive all the way to a parking lot just next to the crater, but must pay 800 yen for the last kilometers, which is a toll road.

Make sure to check the volcano's current state before your visit. During times of heightened volcanic activity, the crater can be off-limits and the road and walking trail to the crater closed.

How to get to and around Aso

Hours and Fees

Aso Volcano Museum

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around Aso

Top rated in Aso
Budget:
    • Fairfield by Marriott Kumamoto Aso
      Mid-range
      Situated in Aso, 34 km from Egao Kenko Stadium Kumamoto, Fairfield by Marriott Kumamoto Aso features accommodation with a shared lounge, free private parking and a terrace. With free WiFi, this 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk. The property is non-smoking and is set 42 km from Kumamoto Castle. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a wardrobe, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At Fairfield by Marriott Kumamoto Aso the rooms are fitted with bed linen and towels. Suizenji Park is 42 km from the accommodation, while Hosokawa Residence Gyobutei is 43 km from the property. The nearest airport is Kumamoto Airport, 28 km from Fairfield by Marriott Kumamoto Aso.
      View on Booking.com
      9.1Booking.com
    • Minshuku Asogen
      Budget-friendly
      Minshuku Asogen, a property with a garden, is situated in Aso, 30 km from Egao Kenko Stadium Kumamoto, 38 km from Kumamoto Castle, as well as 38 km from Suizenji Park. The property is around 39 km from Hosokawa Residence Gyobutei, 8.8 km from Mount Aso and 30 km from KK Wings. The ryokan features rooms with air conditioning, free private parking and free WiFi. A fridge and kettle are also offered. At the ryokan, units include a tatami and a flat-screen TV. Kuroishi Station is 32 km from the ryokan, while Lake Ezu is 40 km from the property. The nearest airport is Kumamoto Airport, 24 km from Minshuku Asogen.
      View on Booking.com
      9.0Booking.com
    • Syukubo Aso
      Mid-range
      Situated in Aso, 42 km from Kumamoto Castle, Syukubo Aso features accommodation with a public bath. The air-conditioned accommodation is 33 km from Egao Kenko Stadium Kumamoto, and guests can benefit from private parking available on site and free WiFi. Mount Aso is 7.3 km from the ryokan and KK Wings is 33 km away. The ryokan has a flat-screen TV. Towels and bed linen are offered in the ryokan. At the ryokan, there is a dressing room for guests to change in. Guests can relax in the garden at the property. Suizenji Park is 42 km from Syukubo Aso, while Hosokawa Residence Gyobutei is 42 km from the property. The nearest airport is Kumamoto Airport, 28 km from the accommodation.
      View on Booking.com
      9.0Booking.com
    • Aso Base Backpackers
      Budget-friendly
      Only a 3-minute walk from JR Aso Train Station, Aso Base Backpackers offers affordable accommodation with free Wi-Fi. Guests can use the free parking on-site. Aso Shrine is a 10-minute drive away. Guests can stay in dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds or in private rooms. Bathrooms and toilets are shared. A coin-launderette is on-site. A free-use kitchen is available for guests to cook their own meals and travel stories can be shared with each other at the common living room. Luggage storage is provided. Backpackers Aso Base is a 20-minute drive from Daikanbo and a 3-minute drive from Cuddly Dominion. Kumamoto Airport is a 50-minute drive away. The craters of Mount Aso are a 30-minute drive away and guests can enjoy hiking on its trails. No meals are served.
      View on Booking.com
      8.9Booking.com
    • Aso Hakuun Sanso
      Mid-range
      AsoHakuunSanso quietly located in the vast Aso Caldera Basin at the foot of Mt.Aso is a natural hot spring resort hotel Enjoy the view of the majestic Aso mountains from the hotel, and relax in the hot spring of AkamizuOnsen, which is good for beautiful skin, and the delicious cuisine for which the hotel prides itself. All rooms in the hotel building have twin bedsroom and offer views of the five Aso peaks or the outer rim of Aso.JP Superior rooms have beds on tatami mat floors, allowing guests to take off their shoes. Dinner and breakfast is served buffet style with a variety of Japanese and Western dishes will be served at GOGAKU restaurant. The hotel is located 15 km from Aso Shrine and 18 km aroundf Mt.Aso. You can come here on foot in 10 minutes from the nearest station, JR Akamizu Station. A free shuttle bus to and from JR Akamizu Station is also available. and there are also 80 free parking spaces available.
      View on Booking.com
      8.6Booking.com
    • AsoTsuruya
      Mid-range
      38 km from Egao Kenko Stadium Kumamoto, AsoTsuruya is a recently renovated property set in Aso and offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and private parking. Featuring a housekeeping service, this property also provides guests with a traditional restaurant. The ryokan features family rooms. All units come with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom with bathrobes, bidet, bath and shower. Some units feature a balcony and/or a patio with mountain or inner courtyard views. At the ryokan, the units come with bed linen and towels. Guests may chill out in the on-site bar or lounge. Kumamoto Castle is 47 km from the ryokan, while Suizenji Park is 47 km away. The nearest airport is Kumamoto Airport, 32 km from AsoTsuruya.
      View on Booking.com
      8.2Booking.com
    • Yumeoi-so
      Luxury
      Boasting various hot spring baths that can be reserved for private use, Yumeoi-so provides chic Japanese-style accommodation. Guests can enjoy karaoke and table tennis for free. Free Wi-Fi is provided in the lobby. Yumeoi-so offers large public hot spring baths and 12 private-use hot spring baths for guestsf relaxation. A game room with traditional Japanese games and a kidsf room are available on site. Female guests can choose their own yukata robe when checking in. Rooms at Yumeoi-so feature tatami (woven-straw) flooring and traditional futon bedding. A low table and seating cushions are provided, and rooms come with facilities like flat-screen TV, a fridge and an electric kettle. A Japanese and Western breakfast buffet is available. The property is a 15-minute walk from JR Aso Station. Mount Aso is a 30-minute drive, and Aso Farmland is a 25-minute drive away.
      View on Booking.com
      8.1Booking.com
    • KAMENOI HOTEL Aso
      Luxury
      Set in Aso, 37 km from Egao Kenko Stadium Kumamoto, KAMENOI HOTEL Aso offers accommodation with a garden, free private parking, a shared lounge and a restaurant. The property is around 45 km from Kumamoto Castle, 46 km from Suizenji Park and 46 km from Hosokawa Residence Gyobutei. The resort features mountain views, a sun terrace, a 24-hour front desk, and free WiFi is available throughout the property. All rooms in the resort are equipped with a kettle. The units will provide guests with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a flat-screen TV. KAMENOI HOTEL Aso offers 4-star accommodation with a hot spring bath. Mount Aso is 8.8 km from the accommodation, while KK Wings is 37 km away. The nearest airport is Kumamoto Airport, 31 km from KAMENOI HOTEL Aso.
      View on Booking.com
      7.9Booking.com
    • Guest House Asora
      Budget-friendly
      Guest House Asora offers free Wi-Fi and beds in Western and Japanese-style rooms. It also features a garden, a free-use kitchen and a coin-operated washing machine. JR Aso Station is a 10-minute walk away. Open since 2013, Asora is a non-smoking guest house. The common kitchen comes with a fridge, a stove and a microwave. A rice cooker and an electric kettle are also provided. Guests can socialise at the shared lounge. Japanese-style rooms are for mixed use, and feature traditional futon bedding on a tatami (woven-straw) floor. Toilets and bathroom facilities are shared, and towels are available for rent for an additional fee. Guest House Asora is a 20-minute drive from view spot Daikanbo, and a 30-minute drive from Mount Aso. The nearest hot spring bathhouse is located within a 10-minute walk, while Kurokawa Onsen Hot Springs can be visited a 50-minute drive away. No meals are served.
      View on Booking.com
      7.9Booking.com
    • Aso Resort Grandvrio Hotel
      Luxury
      Aso Resort Grand Vrio Hotel is located a 7-minute drive from Akamizu Train Station. It offers modern accommodation with indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths, a golf course and karaoke. Rooms have a satellite TV, a sofa and nature views. Guestrooms are equipped with a fridge. The en suite bathroom comes with toiletries and a bathtub. The hotel has 2 hot-spring baths on site, one indoor and the other outdoor. Guests can enjoy a massage, unwind at the sauna or try the gganbanyokuh stone spa for an extra fee. Other recreational facilities include a mini golf course. Barbecue facilities are available during the summer and require an advance reservation. Breakfast and dinner feature local Aso-style cuisine. Kumamoto Airport is a 40-minute drive from Hotel Aso Resert Grand Vrio.
      View on Booking.com
      7.6Booking.com