Saturday, July 22, 2006


Day 5
That morning we took a bus to Aso Volcano. Here are some pictures from the bus ride.
Aso Volcano

The area around the volcano is beautiful and green.

The mountains of Aso are from ancient volcanic explosions that collapsed one gigantic volcano to create the Aso caldera, the world's largest crater. The crater has a 128 meter circumference and accommodates towns, villages and trains. The volcano is still active and the last major blast was in 1993, but the summit is regularly restricted to visitors due to toxic gas fumes. In order to reach the summit, tourists can either walk or take a cable car.

Warning Sign for Visitors


A tour guide on a ladder to get a good group shot of the bus loads of people that stop by everyday.

In 1958, when an unexpected eruption killed 12 tourists, concrete "bomb shelters" were built around the rim, for sight seers to use in case of an emergency. In 1979, an eruption killed 3 people and destroyed a cable car.
"Bomb Shelters"

Ruined "bomb shelter" - doesn't look so safe to me

This looked like a really cool hike, but we didn't have time.

After our visit to Aso-san, it was time to go to the onsen town of Beppu. We wanted to take the train. Our choice was to take a late train or a bus - we opted for the bus. Although I prefer trains over buses, the bus ride to Beppu was incredibly beautiful. We made our way through gorgeous forests, mountains and towns.

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