Mt. Aso 阿蘇山 is the largest active volcano in Japan and one of the biggest in the world. For a long time is has been on high alert due to volcanic activity in the magma chamber deep in the earth. However recently it has been much calmer and as a result the warning level has been decreased which gives access to the hiking trails to Nakadake 中岳 and Takadake 高岳 as well as the main crater.
We parked up just before the main area. The closest car park opens from 8:30am only and coats more as the last part of the road is a toll road. We hiked up to Nakadake the route was steep and rocky and the views of the main Aso crater were amazing. Takadake was covered in thick cloud cover but luckily the clouds parted as we reached the summit so it was OK. I then went a random route off the main path and found deer foot prints. Eventually we headed back down to the crater area which had opened up so we went very close to the crater and peered inside. My daughter wanted to see bright green sulphur but unfortunately we could only really was clouds of steam and gas.
I highly recommend people make the trip while it is open! Aso is a wonderful place to visit. Visit the link for the route map and more pictures!