Grasslands have expanded across the grand caldera that surrounds the still-active Mount Aso from long ago. The scenery you can see here is superb, being donned the "Thousand Year Grasslands" in Japanese. Within these grasslands, you'll find many ranches and farms where you can get to know the animals living there up close and personal. Make sure to not miss the chance to try out some of the farm's delicious food as well! Let's take a look at just some of the cute and cuddly animals you can see here.
1. Aso Cuddly Dominion
Within the park, you'll find over 80 different animals with 600 animals including mammals and birds in total. You can try holding a baby bear, see dogs and cats, play with alpacas and capybara, and even try horseback riding. The staff at the farm will ensure you're safe when handling the animals and instruct you on the proper methods to ensure neither you nor the animal gets hurt. You can also see some performances from some very smart animals! Don't miss it!
- Location Name：Aso Cuddly Dominion
- Address： 2163 Kurokawa, Aso, Kumamoto 869-2225
- Access：20-minute walk from JR Hohi Line Aso Station (3 minutes via taxi)
- Business Hours：
- Summer(Mid-March to Mid-October) 9:30am -5:00pm (Weekends and Public Holidays: 9:30am - 5:30pm)
- Winter(Mid-October to Mid-March) 10:00am - 4:30pm
- Closed: Wednesdays between December and February (with the exception of public holidays and winter break)
- Adults (incl.high school students)：2,400JPY
- Children (elementary/junior high school students)：1,300JPY
- Children (3years or older)：700JPY
2. El Patio Ranch
This is a ranch where you can enjoy nature atop a gentle horse. Seeing the amazing panoramic view atop the horse is breathtaking. The riding fields on the farm stretch 4 km with a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding scenery. This is surely a horseback experience you're not going to forget.
The restaurant is surrounded by the luscious nature that inhabits the Aso area, and you can try American hamburgers, steaks, barbeques, and many more delicious items.
※There is a height and weight limit for horse riding. Children must be above 120cm, and above 130cm for some courses. Riders must weigh less than 80kg for men and less than 70kg for women. There are times in which you cannot ride due to age or health concerns.
- Location Name：El Patio Ranch
- Address：2305-1 Ichinomiyamachi Sanno, Aso, Kumamoto 869-2602
- 15 minutes via taxi from JR Hohi Line Miyaji Station
- 60 minutes via oita-bound bus from Kumamoto Airport
- 90 minutes via car from within Kumamoto City
- Business Hours：Horse Riding 9:00-17:00 (Last Registry 16:30) Restaurant 10:30-15:00(Last Order 14:30)
- Fee：Differs depending on course and activity.
3. Aso Farm Land
This is a huge leisure facility that contains over 1000000㎡ of land with the theme of promoting health. Within the "Animal Kingdom" section of the park, you'll find various animals such as capybara, beavers, flamingos, and many more that you can get up close and personal with. There's also a popular catch-and-release fishing spot where even people who've never fished before can have fun!
Other than that, you'll find the "Forest of Vitality" where you can try out some equipment that's used to help strengthen your muscles, or the "Gel Candle Making" experience where you can make your own candle, or maybe you want to make your own music box? There are lots of activities to try and enjoy! The overnight facilities you'll find here are almost like a different, magical world, meaning you can enjoy not only the park but overnight stays also! You'll find facilities for disinfection and temperature measurement for infection prevention at the gate of the park.
- Location Name：Aso Farm Land
- Address：5579-3 Kawayō, Minamiaso, Aso District, Kumamoto 869-1404
- Access：40 minutes via Taxi from Kumamoto Airport / 1 hour via car from within Kumamoto City
- Business Hours：9:00-17:00
- Animal Kingdom：Adult 900JPY, Children 600JPY
- Arts & Crafts Experience：Fee differs depending on course
- Fun Fishing Land：770 JPY (Adult & Children)
- Interesting Aquarium Aqua Adult 660JPY, Children 440JPY
This is one of Aso's most well-known locations where you can see the volcanic mountain let off smoke. Horse riding on the nearby field is another popular activity here. It's very close to various facilities including the Aso Volcano Museum, restaurants and souvenir stores. The museum has three-dimensional dioramas, live cameras where you can see the current status of the volcanic crater, and much more for you to experience and enjoy.
- Location Name：Kusasenrigahama
- Address：Kumamoto, Aso District, Aso, Kusaenri
- 35 minutes via bus from Aso Station using the Hohi Line. Depart bus at "Aso Volcano Museum" stop.
- 50 minutes via taxi from Kumamoto Airport
- TEL:0967-32-1960（Aso Information Center）