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Cycling,Trekking:Explore the life around Kyushu's majestic volcano by foot and e-bike

Cycling,Trekking:Explore the life around Kyushu's majestic volcano by foot and e-bike


Trip Overview

On this tour, you will actively enjoy the wonderful natural scenery of Kyushu through hiking and cycling. The local people take advantage of the blessings of its nature, and you can experience their lifestyle through cooking a local dish and touring a site where mushrooms are grown. The setting for your trip is Mount Aso, which is one of the world's largest volcanoes and a dominating peak in central Kyushu. A large eruption in ancient times created a caldera 18km east to west and 25km north to south, and its lava reached Takachiho Gorge at the foot of the central Kyushu mountain range. A deep valley was also created. Remaining active even today, the volcano makes us keenly aware of the earth’s power and presence. You can experience both the lives of the people of Aso, who make use of grasslands and Satoyama, and the lives of people in Takachiho, who live in harmony with deep mountains and valleys.

●Area: Kumamoto Pref. Miyazaki Pref. /Kyusyu
●Main Activity: :Adventure cycling
●Difficulty: 3
● 5 nights 6 days
  Day1: Solest Takachiho Hotel
  Day2: Hotel Forestpia
  DAY3: Aso Plaza Hotel
  DAY4: Aso Plaza Hotel
  DAY5: Aso Plaza Hotel
An English speaking guide: Max Wall (Through guide) from SMO Minamioguni
●PAX: Minimum 4 / Maximum 10
●Price: JPY 1,254,000-


・Outdoor activities in Takachiho
・Hiking along Kiritachigoe
・The Minamioguni Satoyama (*) Journey
・Aso adventure cycling
(*) A “satoyama" is an ecosystem maintained by human agricultural practices in harmony with mountains and woodlands. In other words, “satoyama” refers to the traditional rural landscape that once typified most of Japan.

Day 1

After meeting at Kumamoto Airport, you will take a 63km (39-mile) drive to Takachiho by chartered minibus. The drive takes about an hour and a half. During the journey, an overview of the Aso and Takachiho area and an explanation of the itinerary will be provided. On the way, you will stop at a spot overlooking Mount Aso to admire the majestic natural scenery. Check-in to the hotel is early in the evening, so you are free to visit the mythological sites if you wish. You will disperse early to prepare for the next day’s activities.

Day 2

On this day, you will see the deep Takachiho Gorge and how people live there. You will walk about 8km (4.9 miles) with a local guide. Your trip will start with a view of the beautiful columnar jointing throughout Takachiho Gorge. Have a light breakfast here as you observe the majestic scenery. Afterwards, you will walk along a nature trail in the deep valley and then enjoy outdoor cooking.
You will be making “Kappo Dori (chicken cooked in green bamboo)”, a Takachiho specialty. This wonderful meal is made by filling bamboo with chicken and vegetables and then placing it over a fire. The bamboo’s flavor enhances the taste of the ingredients. Put all those ingredients along with some sake in the bamboo and place it over the fire.
After lunch, head for the goal whilst viewing the terraced rice paddies and tea fields that efficiently use the land of shrines and narrow valleys and are the heart and soul of the local residents.
Once the tour ends, it is a 35km (21.7 mile) drive, which takes about 45 minutes, to the hotel from where you will set off for tomorrow's hike. You will watch a Yokagura performance of musical instruments and dance passed down from antiquity.

Day 3

On this day, you will walk an ancient path that kept people living deep in the mountains alive and ponder their lives. With a legendary local guide, you will walk about 16km (9.9 miles) along the mountain path for 8 hours. You will leave the hotel before dawn and see the headwaters of the river that carved the Takachiho Gorge, which you saw yesterday, and head to the starting point.
On a sunny day, you can see many high peaks in Kyushu in the distance from the starting point. Kiritachigoe is an ancient path that follows the ridges of 4 mountains in the central Kyushu mountains that stretch from north to south. As you see a natural forest thick with massive beech trees and rare plants particular to this limestone area, you will hear anecdotes regarding this “packhorse” path on which goods were transported on horseback long ago.
After descending the mountain and leaving Takachiho, you will finally enter the caldera. It is a 3-hour drive of 97km (60 miles) to Mount Aso. Relieve your fatigue in the hot springs and rest.

Day 4

On this day, you will experience how people live in the exceptional back hills created by Mt. Aso’s caldera. Your starting point is a high plateau, at a height of 900m (2,952 feet) above sea level, atop the outer rim of Mount Aso overlooking the mountain.
You can enjoy today’s cycling since it is all downhill. It will take about an hour to reach your first activity site. In a place the owner carved out from the back hills himself, you will enjoy the blessings of nature by harvesting fresh vegetables with the locals and cooking on a kitchen furnace.
Afterwards, you will visit a shiitake farmer who uses nature’s bounty to cultivate shiitake mushrooms on logs. After you hear about unique, traditional methods of production from an enthusiastic young business owner, you will harvest and sample the flavorful shiitake mushrooms.

Day 5

This day will be an important day to experience the extraordinary power of Mount Aso, which continues to spew smoke. Before the tour begins, you will enjoy a special breakfast at the summit of a small mountain near the hotel. From there, you will look over the route for today’s adventure.
You will start at Aso Station, which is at a height of 523m (1,715 feet) above sea level and which is the gateway to Mount Aso. You will ride e-bikes all the way up to Mt. Nakadake crater at a height of 1,258m (4,127 feet) above sea level. Cycling the grassland trail is a special cycling experience since it is normally closed. Still spewing smoke, Mt. Nakadake crater is a sight to behold.
You will conclude your tour with an adventure cycle of 32km (19.9 miles) in 7 hours, reaching a height of 780m (2,559 feet), before returning to your goal at the hotel.

Day 6

A small train station is reserved for the final breakfast. Trains are currently out of service due to the effects of a massive earthquake in 2016. A special outdoor breakfast site will be created on the railway platform and dishes made with locally grown ingredients will be prepared. The main dish is porridge made from rice harvested from the rice fields right in front of you. A car will take you to Kumamoto Airport. Your through guide will conclude the trip.


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