Every once in a while you just have to get out on the road, and in this second installment to this year’s domestic travel guide, I would like to direct your attention to Kumamoto Prefecture, not so much the black castle which eerily dominates the city center, but the massive volcanic region of Mt. Aso National Park. English conversation students at the Smith’s School of English in Kotoen スミス英会話 甲東園 discuss this topic now and then.
The volcanic area is actually far larger than Mt. Aso itself, but the park takes its name from the active vent and caldera to which you can drive and visit first hand, all nice and comfortable-like, like climbing into a cage with a lion and then sticking your head inside a crocodile’s mouth! Interesting.
There are days when the activity prevents visitors from ascending the summit. It is handled on a day-by-day, sometimes even hourly basis and advance notice is usually not given, certainly not in English! 英会話
The original blast which took place some few millions of years ago opened up a crater roughly 80 kms in diameter. Route 157 running between the marvelous samurai village of Taketa in Oita Prefecture and Kumamoto City proper will guide you right through the center of the region which now is home to over a hundred thousand people. The very mineral-rich volcanic soils allow for stunning root vegetables prized by farmers in the area. We should hope that the volcanic activity won’t get too fired up any time soon!
Martin Werner Zander
Smiths School of English in Kotoen 月謝制 Monthly Tuition