Aso-Kuju National Park
Vast grasslands and smoky volcanoes
Aso-Kuju National Park spans the majestic Aso mountain range, the lush rim of a massive caldera, and the sweeping fields that stretch in between. From Mt. Nakadake, whose stunning blue waters in its crater steam gently, to the dense greenery on the mountainsides, this park encapsulates the beautiful contrasts of Japan’s volcanic landscapes. Read more about Aso-Kuju National Park.
Visiting Japan's National Parks
Aso-Kuju National Park, like all of Japan's national parks, has no entrance fees, no opening and closing hours, and no permit is required to enter or stay in the park. The national parks of Japan differ from national parks worldwide in that the land within the national parks is not exclusively designated for national park use and is made up of private property as well as public and protected areas. Visitors are free to enter and leave at any time.
Mt. Aso towers on a huge caldera and the Kuju mountain range spreads to the north, all surrounded by grasslands. Around Mt. Aso, see the fuming Mt. Nakadake crater, the beautiful volcanic cone of Komezuka, and the vast Kusasenri-ga-hama.
- Viewing the blue lake and steaming vents of the Mt. Nakadake crater from the edge of the volcano or from a helicopter
- Horseback riding in the Aso grasslands
- Trekking through the beautiful Kuju Mountain Range
Around the Kuju Mountain Range you'll see steam rising from vents in the mountainsides, the vast grasslands of the Kuju Plateau and the wetlands of Tadewara Bogatsuru marshes. In the north of Aso-Kuju National Park, Mt. Tsurumi and Mt. Yufu supply hot spring water to Beppu and Yufuin among other onsen areas.
Mt. Aso has one of the world's largest calderas at about 25 kilometers north-south and 18 kilometers east-west. The lanscape is barren around the volcano, but as you go further from the crater rim, you will see pastoral lanscapes of grasslands.
KUJU MOUNTAIN RANGE
The Kuju Mountain Range has several peaks, each offering diverse scenery. Mt. Hiiji is home to huge communities of Rhododendron kiusianum. Trekkers on the Kuju Mountain Range have views of Bogatsuru Marsh, a registered wetland under the Ramsar Convention.
YAMANAMI HIGHWAY AND MILK ROAD
The Yamanami Highway connects the Aso and Kuju areas, while the Milk Road runs across Kita-Gairin caldera in the Aso region. Both have views of vast grasslands, the Kuju Mountain Range, and the five peaks of Mt. Aso.
BOGATSURU MARSH AND TADEWARA MARSH
The Bogatsuru Marsh and Tadewara Marsh have a combined area of 91 hectares.The marshlands were registered under the Ramsar Convention for its diversty of plants. Tadewara Marsh, which is adjacent to the Chojabaru Visitor Center, also features a wheelchair-accessible wooden path, allowing everyone to experience the nature of the area.
Standing behind Yufuin, this mountain is sometimes called Bungo Fuji, the "Mt. Fuji of Oita." The grassland at its base is maintained by controlled burning. Don't miss the brilliantly colored foliage on the hillsides in autumn.