Explore Aso, Kumamoto, on rental bikes! Two recommended theme-based cycling routes

A symbol of Kumamoto Prefecture in the Kyushu region, Mt. Aso is home to one of the world’s largest calderas. “Mt. Aso” collectively refers to the Aso Gogaku (the “five mountains of Aso”), which includes the active volcano Nakadake. The area is known as “Aso.”

From the scenic beauty formed by the volcano, the lives of the locals of the caldera terrain, to the hot springs, Aso is full of unique charm. To get the full experience, we recommend hopping on a rental bike. For anyone unsure of how to explore the expansive Aso area, we have put together two cycling routes based on different themes.

“The Great Outdoors” Route: Bokuya Ride

The vista of the wide grasslands stretching out over the caldera terrain is unique to Aso. These grasslands have been managed by the hands of people for over a thousand years, and the Kumamoto brand beef “Akagyu” also comes from here. While typically closed off for environmental conservation, Bokuya Ride offers a special opportunity to explore this area on a bike with a guide. The guides know Aso through and through and will take you to magnificent observation points and secret spots offering views of the Aso Gogaku.

The guides are the staff of “Michi-no-Eki Aso,” a facility adjacent to JR Aso Station. They are Aso experts.

Enjoy it your way, whether on a casual two-hour route or a full-day route that includes lunch on the grasslands.

You can also rent an e-bike equipped with pedal-assist features. Travel with ease over rough roads and hills!

The registration fee includes Bokuya maintenance fees, so you’ll be contributing to Aso’s nature conservation efforts just by taking part!

  • From 8,800 yen (depending on plan)
  • Reservations needed (at least 7 days in advance)

Access 365 days a year
Telephone number 0967355077
Business hours 9:00-18:00
URL https://www.aso-denku.jp/cycling/

“Leisurely Town Exploration” Route: Gourmet Cycling “TABEKOGI”

This cycling plan will let you enjoy the Aso scenery while trying the delicious local foods. The rental bike comes with seven tickets that can be used at the local stores so you can revel in four hours of gourmet cycling, or “tabekogi.” There are two different courses to choose from: the Aso Shrine Course going to the Aso Shrine and the surrounding shopping street, and the Uchinomaki Course traveling through rural landscapes and the Uchinomaki hot spring resort.

Recommended spots along the beginner-friendly Aso Shrine Course

Get your bicycle and ticket at the Aso CLAMP store. It is located in the Uchinomaki hot spring resort of Aso City, roughly 15 minutes by bus or car from JR Aso Station.

Aso, where the locals live alongside water sources, is home to numerous springs. Enjoy a tour of these water sources.

For a quick break, we recommend the lemonade from “La Luce” made with spring water and ingredients from Aso.

At “Kanzarashi-no-Mise ‘Yui,’” a cafe inside a renovated girls’ school, you can try kanzarashi (a dessert made from shiratama dango dumplings cooled with spring water) made with Aso spring water.

Take a quick break in the retro atmosphere imbued with the warmth of wood.

  • Basic Plan (MTB) 3,500 yen, E-bike Plan (Electric Bike) 4,000 yen (up to 4 hours)
  • Reservations must be made by phone (at least 3 days in advance)
Access JR Aso Station -> 15 minutes by bus -> Aso Shinmachi stop -> 1-minute walk
Telephone number 0967320928
Business hours 9:00-17:00 (final admission 13:00, suspended during winter)
Regular holiday Thursdays (open on national holidays and in August)
URL http://aso.ne.jp/clamp/cycle/tabekogi/

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The information herein is as of May 2023
I am Ayumi from Chiba Prefecture. I love sweets. I majored in Japanese history in my university. I have visited many historic sites from the ancient days to the modern days on my trips. I have visited about 100 castles of various sizes. I am also obsessed with visiting “anime pilgrimage sites,” the locations featured in popular anime and manga.

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