Ishida

Travel

Mt Aso in Kumamoto

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A day trip to Kumamoto's power spot. Mt Aso is quite a spiritual place - beautiful green for as far as the eye can see and a huge blue sky above. There aren't too many places in Japan where you can experience both in the same amount of vastness without mountains or buildings in the way.

I visited Daikanbo, Mt Aso in 2013, before the earthquakes ripped through Kumamoto prefecture. It takes a while to get to as it's only accessible by car, but an easy day trip from Fukuoka city. It was in the middle of Japan's humid summer, but after walking up to the lookout area, I was greeted by none other than a crisp, cool breeze. It's a place where you can sit down alone with your thoughts and just be at peace.

In the area, there's a market with a variety of food items. There was a grill going on outside at the time I went, and I tried their horse meat skewers which were tasty. One of the foods Kumamoto is known for in Japan is their variety of horse meant. Being an American, it took me a little bit of getting used to, but I've come to realize that it actually is quite good meat. Both cooked and raw horse is eaten here, and it's a minor part of the general Japanese diet as well.

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Nearby is a freshwater spring, Ikeyama Suigen. It's a freshwater spring, one of Japan's top 100, and is used for water in some of the major bottled drinks in the country.

The water was some of the clearest water I've ever seen. Flowing out from here, there is also a fountain area that you can fill up your bottle for free. Delicious, really. Stop by here when you're on your way back to the city.


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