Aso-san 阿蘇山 is the largest active volcano in Japan but it is also one of the biggest in the world! Right now the warning level prohibits access to the main crater (Yes you are often able to go right up to the crater and look inside! But check the warning level before planning to do that ) so hiking routes around Naka-dake and Taka-dake are not possible. To enjoy the wonderful scenery of Mt. Aso we hiked around the nearby peaks of Kishimadake and Eboshidake which provide wonderful views of the main crater and the surrounding scenery of Kumamoto. As usual click on the heading to the see the course route and go to the Yamap site.
We also went to a nearby river valley called the Kikuchi gorge 菊池渓谷 which is easily accessable by car. Here we went on a short 3km walk up around the mountain river and enjoyed views of the raging waterfalls and blue clear water.