Mount Aso

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Mount Aso (Aso san 阿蘇山)

***** Location: Kyushu, Japan
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Earth


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Mount Aso (阿蘇山, Aso-san) is the largest active volcano in Japan, and is among the largest in the world.
It stands in Kumamoto Prefecture, on the island of Kyūshū. Its peak is 1592 m above sea level. Its caldera is 25 km across north to south and 18 km across east to west. The caldera has a circumference of around 120 km (75 miles), although sources vary on the exact distance.

The eruption which formed the present somma occurred approximately 300,000 years ago.

Four large-scale eruptions (Aso 1 – 4) occurred during a period extending from 300,000 to 90,000 years ago. As large amounts of pyroclastic flow and volcanic ash were emitted from the volcanic chamber, a huge depression (caldera) was formed as the chamber collapsed. The fourth eruption (Aso 4) was the largest, with volcanic ash covering the entire Kyūshū region and even extending to Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Kome Zuka lies in the vast Aso caldera. Mt. Taka, Mt. Naka, Mt. Eboshi, and Mt. Kishima are cones formed following the fourth above-mentioned huge caldera eruption. Mt. Naka remains active today. It is presumed that Mt. Neko is older than the fourth huge caldera eruption.

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I visited there many years ago. The five peaks of Mount Aso remind us of the sight of Buddha lying down to die (nehan zoo 涅槃像 ).

Here is a photo from the early morning sun !
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© ukkai.web


Aso National Park

The National Park takes in the massifs of the volcano, Mount Aso, and Mount Kuju, together with the Tsurumi, Yufu and Takasakiyama summits to the west of Beppu. The crater region of Mount Aso is bounded on the north by the River Kurokawa and on the south by the Shirakawa, which have their own sources in the park and join at Toshita, on the west side of the volcano.

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Aso Shrine, Aso Jinja 阿蘇神社

Very different from the rugged beauty of the seething crater and its surrounding lava fields is the green landscape of the Mount Aso Basin, with its gentle rounded summits, its evergreen forests and its little villages. In the northern part of the region, 3/4mi/ 1km north of Miyaji Station, we find the Aso Shrine, dedicated to the divinity Takeiwatatsu-no-Mikoto. Legend has it that the shrine was founded in the year AD 100, making it the oldest in the historic province of Higo. The present buildings (main hall and gate) date from 1842. From early times this was the starting point of the pilgrimage to the Sanjo Shrine on Mount Nakadake.
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Worldwide use

Things found on the way


kigo for late summer

. Aso matsuri 阿蘇祭 (あそまつり) Aso festival  
onda matsuri 御田祭(おんだまつり)Festival of the shrine fields
otaue shinkoo shiki 御田植神幸式(おたうえしんこうしき) rice planting festival
at the shrine 国造神社

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. Aso matsuri 阿蘇祭 (あそまつり) Aso festival .

at Aso jinja 阿蘇神社 Aso Shrine
March 16


kumo no mine mikoshi mikoshite aso kemuri

peaks of clouds--
looking down, down...
Mount Aso's smoke

(Tr. David Lanoue)


the main road
leading to Mount Aso

Haiga and Renku by Nakamura Sakuo


Joy full in Japan
Climbing Mount Aso with you
My heart beats faster

© Stephen Wentworth, Hike Japan November 2005

Related words

****: . Aso Shrine Festivals 阿蘇神社

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***** Ashigara Mountain and the Kintaro Legend

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***** Tsukuba Mountain, First view of Mt. Tsukuba (hatsu Tsukuba)

***** Mountain, peak, hill (yama, gake, oka) Japan Worldwide.


1 comment:

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

. Higo Ichi no Miya 肥後一の宮 - Aso Jinj 阿蘇神社 .


Ichi no Miya shrines