Aso-san is one of the world’s largest calderas. With a whopping diameter of 25km the dimensions are very impressive. Naka-dake, a vulcanic cone of Aso-san, continues to be active. Just recently he has again erupted, so the surrounding was currently closed for hikers. However the road to the volcanic museum was open and we made the 500m ascend to be rewarded with a remarkable view.
Crossing the Yufu-dake Pass we headed for Beppu. As we approached the Tsurumi-dake Ropeway, we took the chance. In just a few minutes the gondola brought us to 1300m, where we enjoyed the sight of Beppu and Kyushu inland, for once without breaking a sweat.
After the following decline arriving in Beppu, we parked our bicycled and relaxed. Our Ryokan was located in Kannawa district, which hosts a great variety of hot springs. We were treating our legs in a unique steam bath or cooked our whole body in a herb grass steam bath. Neverthelesd, visiting the hot sand bath was the highlight of our stay. Dressed in a Yukata, were buried up to the neck in hot sand. For 15 minutes we lay there, sweating out the efforts of the past days!