Yamanami Highway

Oita Yamanami

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

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