Not many places you can peer down a live volcano. Mount Aso is Japan's biggest active volcano and like being on the moon.
Mt. Aso or Aso-san is one of Kyushu's most popular places - in addition to the crater spewing out steam and poisonous sulfuric gases, there is Kusasenri, the bottom of a mammoth old crater that offers horseback riding, and Komezuka, an 80m hill and once a volcano itself.
The caldera is one of the world's largest (450 sq. km) and most active 90,000-300,000 years ago. Its lava once flowed over half of the whole island of Kyushu. Even today, you can still see the remains of the violent activity. And while huge molten rocks may not be raining down on you, the large numbers of emergency concrete bunkers are there for a good reason.
This footage was taken just before the late spring rains turn most of the lower area a huge emerald green. Seeing the volcano is always hit-and-miss...one day it's open, the next it may be closed due to higher poisonous gas emissions. ALWAYS check before going to see if it's open (and hope in transit it stays open).
UPDATE: After 4 years, the Mt. Aso crater has been opened again, but always check the volcano status before going to avoid a wasted trip. Recently there has been some activity prompting its closure again.http://www.aso.ne.jp/~volcano/info/
For more great places to see in Kyushu, be sure to watch the Best Kyushu Sights Playlist:https://goo.gl/AJ9gBf
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