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Mount Aso

01/08/2007

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Right after Kumamoto, I spent one day in Aso, a volcanic area featuring one of the largest active volcanoes on earth, Nagadake. Due to volcanic activity, the access is sometimes closed for safety reasons but I was lucky, there was no such restriction on that day. The weather was a bit foggy, not the best for taking pictures but awesome in terms of atmosphere.

In Japanese, the word for volcano is 火山, which literally means a "fire (火) mountain (山)".

At the background on the following picture is the area where the crater can be viewed:

On the left, shelters have been built in case of emergency.

The best moment is when you reach the edge and see the crater at the bottom, it is just a grandiose sight! Over the years, rainfall created a lake and that seemingly alive milky blue water is beautiful!...as well as impressive, with a feeling of power that is hard to describe...

As I was about to leave to reach the other summit I wanted to see, I spotted a path leading to an area where tourists are not supposed to go. They don't know what they miss...I found myself in a totally deserted area with a surreal atmosphere, almost feeling as if I were on another planet! The presence of the fog greatly added to it, and I just can't describe that experience.

As I was progressing, the sulfur vapors were getting more and more dense...because I was getting closer to the crater, except this time I was coming from behind. And I eventually reached it...As I stuck my head over the final hillock, all of a sudden I felt the power of the volcano...And this time, there was no security barrier, I was right at the edge of the crater!

Sure, it was stupid to get so close: first, it is quite slippery and second, the amount of sulfur is extremely high. But anyway, it was an exceptional experience I am not going to forget anytime soon. My legs were still shaking when I left...

To finish, I went to the summit of Nijitake, an extinguished volcano located nearby. Here is what remains of the crater:

And some pictures of the surroundings:

From what I was told, it is absolutely gorgeous in summer.

There are many hiking trails in the area, I might go back someday...

By the time I came back to the guesthouse, a second customer had arrived. An amazing coincidence, he was the owner of the guesthouse I had booked for the next night in Beppu!

Categories: Travel - Kyushu

5 comment(s)

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Comments

By mamie on 01/08/2007 at 20:42:34

grandioses tes photos ! mais tu m'as fait froid dans le dos .à l'avenir ,pense à ta grand-mère avant de faire de telles imprudences
et dis ou tu vas aux personnes chez qui tu loges afin que l'on puisse te secourir.grosses bises de ta mamie qui t'aime .

By inconnu on 01/09/2007 at 09:05:40

Mamie a raison!!!
et pourquoi t'as pas acheté un reflex qui te permets de prendre des photos aussi importante que l'événement!
bises

By Papa on 01/09/2007 at 11:14:00

C'est bien la peine d'être le premier de la classe si tu ne sais même pas lire les panneaux qui disent "ATTENTION - Descente dangereuse - Accès interdit au public"...!
Bravo malgré tout pour l'exploit et pour les photos, mais tu prends des risques inconsidérés. Que je ne t'y reprenne plus, petit chenapan, va !

By Musashi on 01/10/2007 at 14:05:42

GRANDIOSE !! j'ai vécu une expérience similaire sur de volcans en Indonésie, il règne une atmosphère indescriptible autour du volcan, ainsi que dans les villages aux alentours. Encore merci pour ces "reportages".
et tous nos voeux !!

By Alan on 01/14/2007 at 15:22:32

Quelque part ces photos me rappellent les conneries d'anim façon X Or. Les paysages où le shériff de l'espace se fritte avec le méchant monstre de fin de niveau ... Ca doit vraiment être flippant de se retrouver seul là dedans !

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