Credits to JL-DB
Located within the massive caldera of Mount Aso, the largest active volcano on Earth, is a site of captivating beauty known as Kusasenri. Translated as "a thousand leagues of grass," this aptly named plateau unfolds like an emerald ocean, its rolling hills carpeted in vibrant green, dotted with grazing horses and reflecting the clouds in tranquil ponds.
While driving towards Kusasenri, we encountered numerous horses peacefully grazing in the lush grass along the way.
Standing on Kusasenri, you're not just gazing at a breathtaking landscape; you're peering into the heart of a geologically dynamic region. This seemingly serene expanse sits atop two colossal calderas, one nested within the other, formed by millennia of eruptions. Beneath your feet, a fiery cauldron bubbles just a few thousand meters down, a constant reminder of the raw power that shaped this extraordinary place.
Credit to photo.city.aso.kumamoto
The name "Kusasenri" evokes a sense of vastness, and rightfully so. The plateau stretches for over 5 square kilometers, offering endless photo opportunities and scenic walks. Hike or bike along the winding paths, soaking in the panoramic views of the Aso Five Mountains, including the ever-smoking Nakadake crater.
In summer, the vibrant green hues of Kusasenri paint a picture of life and vitality. Wildflowers paint the landscape with splashes of color, and the air hums with the buzz of insects. Come winter, the plateau transforms into a surreal wonderland, its grassy waves blanketed in pristine white snow, creating a breathtaking contrast with the dark volcanic peaks.
The charm of Kusasenri goes beyond its captivating visual beauty. It's a site rich in cultural heritage, where the age-old practice of traditional cattle ranching coexists seamlessly with contemporary tourism. Visitors even have the opportunity to enjoy horseback riding experiences.
Credit to note24
Witness herds of cows and horses grazing freely, their presence adding a touch of pastoral charm to the scene.
Kusasenri boasts several diverse restaurants offering a variety of cuisines. We chose one with glass windows, providing a stunning view of the lush surroundings as we enjoyed our meal.
Numerous gift shops at Kusasenri offer a wide array of locally produced items for sale.
Delve deeper into the local culture by exploring the nearby Aso Volcano Museum, where you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the region's geological wonders and the fascinating history of Mount Aso.
Learn about the region's fascinating geological history and volcanic activity. Mount Aso, Japan's largest active volcano, boasts a fiery heart within its vast caldera. Smoke continuously plumes from Nakadake crater, while its fiery belly occasionally erupts, spewing ash and lava, a reminder of the Earth's powerful forces at play. Though it slumbers between outbursts, the ever-present rumble and wisps of smoke keep visitors in awe of this magnificent, restless giant.
From volcanic fumes bloom resilient Giant Pussy Willow, drawing butterflies like Scarce Large Blue. On grassy plains, foxes stalk, while majestic eagles soar above the caldera rim, surveying a kingdom where nature thrives amidst the fiery embrace of Mount Aso.
Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a photographer, or simply seeking a unique and awe-inspiring experience, Kusasenri offers something for everyone. It's a place where the raw power of nature dances with serene beauty, creating a landscape that will leave you speechless.
Approximately 90m by car from Kumamoto City
Parking for a fee
*When the volcanic activity of Mt. Aso (Aso Nakadake) becomes active, part of the east side of Kusasenri may become off-limits due to entry restrictions (approximately 3 kilometers from the crater).
For more information, please check the Aso Volcano Disaster Prevention Council webpage. https://www.aso-volcano.jp/