All About Japan

Offbeat Japan: Water & Greenery in Kumamoto

Tour Kumamoto Kyushu

It was here I had a brilliant idea: I like enjoying the majestic mountain scenery. Why not add a rotenburo (an outdoor bath) to the mix? Maybe a field of birds? If that isn't picture perfect, I don't know what is.

Next up is another hidden gem. This is the Kokuzo Sanctuary, not far from Aso.

Somewhat hidden, here one can find an ancient sixth-century tomb, a kofun. What's amazing is that unlike most, the interior can actually be visited. I rushed in, but almost immediately rushed out: the tomb is full of overly friendly and slimy creatures.

I headed back to town for a short hike before sunset. Life is truly serene in Aso, despite the volcano's changing moods.

In Aso and Kumamoto, horse sashimi (basashi) and beef (akagyu, the local wagyu) are local specialties. Needless to say, meat lovers will have a lot to enjoy.