The Rugby World Cup comes to Japan in 2019, the first time in the history of the sport that the...
The journey along the Yamanami Highway from Beppu via Yufuin to Aso, in neighbouring Kumamoto Prefecture is one of Japan’s greatest scenic routes to travel in a car, or on a motorbike or bicycle. Highway is a misnomer, as this is a delightful winding, country road. It leads south-west through an ever changing, spectacular landscape of forests and farms from Beppu, via Yufu-dake and Yufuin, across the Handa Kogen plateau and Chojabaru marshes. Here it climbs up to and over the Maki-no-To Pass in the Kuju mountains before descending over hilly grasslands, before reaching a dramatic finalé at the rim of a huge and spectacular caldera in the middle of which Mt. Aso-san, an active volcano, often sends plumes of vapour and smoke into the skies. Strung along the highway are a variety of shops, restaurants, cafes and viewing points to pause for a rest and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
At a glance
A three-hour drive through beautiful and multi-varied, rural countryside