Mt. Aso located in the center of Kyushu, which was described in the Chinese book in the 7th century, is one of the largest volcanoes of the world.
When people call it Mt. Aso, it means a group of mountains named ‘Aso godake’, literally Aso five peaks, which stands at the center of the gigantic caldera with a perimeter of 130 kilometers. To be precise, Mt. Aso includes the huge somma and caldera in which fifty thousand people are living. The crater with faint smoke in the picture is ‘Nakadake’, an only active peak of Mt. Aso, whose hight is 1500 meters above sea. The large-scale final eruption happened hundreds of thousands years ago combined two islands into one,present Kyushu, and the volcanic ashes ejected at that time can be discernible in Hokkaido and Korea.
This volcano produces many renowned hot springs like ‘Kurokawa onsen’ and ‘Uchinomaki onsen’ which entice even non-Japanese visitors.
By Masahisa Takaki.
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