3 days
Plan your visit carefully and allow plenty of time for your activities in the park. Always check the latest weather information, and avoid overexerting yourself if you feel unwell.


Experience the Grasslands and Volcanic Grandeur of Mount Aso

Surrounding Mount Aso is one of the world's largest calderas, or volcanic craters, where grasslands have flourished for more than a millennium. Learn about nature's cycles of destruction and rebirth on an awe-inspiring journey through Aso-Kuju National Park.

Itinerary Highlights

  • An unforgettable taiko drumming performance at a high elevation.

  • Hiking or biking through the sweeping vistas of the Aso grasslands.

  • A thrilling helicopter ride straight over volcanic Mount Aso.

Trip Overview

A breathtaking taiko performance with a beautiful backdrop
Exclusive hiking or biking through the grasslands
A helicopter ride to the volcano
Day 1

A breathtaking taiko performance with a beautiful backdrop

Arrive at Kumamoto Airport in the morning and travel onward to the Mount Aso Visitor Center. The scenic environs of the center are the perfect place to get situated for the journey ahead. Learn about the science and history of the Aso Caldera and Aso-Kuju National Park before you have a laidback lunch.

In the afternoon, attend an outdoor performance by DRUM TAO, a globally acclaimed drum and dance ensemble that will blow your mind and set a tone for the exciting days to come. You won't forget this riveting taiko drum performance with a view of Mount Aso in the background. After that wraps up, take a car to Aso Uchinomaki Onsen, stopping by the lookout point called Daikanbo along the way. From Daikanbo Lookout, you can get a spectacular view of the five peaks of Mount Aso that are said to resemble a sleeping Buddha.

Aso Uchinomaki Onsen is a lively hot spring resort where many famous Japanese writers have stayed in the past. Wind down for the day and find a spot for dinner. Don't forget to take a dip in the onsen, with waters purported to soothe muscle pain and other chronic conditions while revitalizing the skin with natural minerals.

Day 2

Exclusive hiking or biking through the grasslands

Head out from your hotel in the morning and go to the meeting point for the Aso trail walk and grassland ride. This half-day excursion will allow you to experience the park by foot or mountain bike (e-bike) and enjoy amazing views in areas that are usually off-limits to casual visitors. The guided tour also brings participants to the bokuya (grasslands) where you can get to know more about the people who live here and their relationship to the land, such as their institution of the practice of controlled burning known as noyaki. Once this experience ends in the late afternoon, return to your hotel in Aso Uchinomaki Onsen for some more rest and relaxation.

Day 3

A helicopter ride to the volcano

In the morning, walk from your hotel to the Aso Grassland Conservation Center. Spend some time at this educational facility and learn about the environmental protection efforts that have been instituted in the national park. Then hop into a helicopter for a thrilling ride straight to Mount Aso, where you'll be able to see the plumes of the volcano from up on high. Viewing one of the world's largest calderas from this vantage point is simply an incredible and unparalleled experience.

After descending from the sky, gather your belongings and get ready to travel back to Kumamoto Airport. The sweeping vistas of Aso-Kuju National Park will fill your mind even as you fly away on your return journey.

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