Welcome to a new year and a new series! I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing about the time I spent in Japan and I’ve been telling my children stories of the places I travelled. I have been inspired by The Wise Owl Factory’s FREE Japan Presentations for SMART Board and PPt. What I am planning to do is go through the (Romanji) alphabet and share a little piece of Japan with you every couple of weeks. Most, if not all, of the photography used will by my own – back in the days of a pocket point-and-shoot film camera. Ooh how I would love to return with my digital camera!
Let’s start off today with the letter A.
When my mom came to visit me in 2002 we went on an epic adventure. From Toyama on down south to the island of Kyushu. We visited many places in between, but perhaps the most memorable was Aso-san; a live volcano!
Mom and I took an American steam train, called the Aso-Boy from Kumamoto to a station near the caldera. Sadly, the Aso-Boy is no longer in operation. My travel agent hadn’t hear of the Aso-Boy herself, and was surprised that I could find some interesting things do in Japan that were new to her. I just loved my travel agent, a year later I went back to my hometown of Toyama and we went to a festival together with her daughter.
A is for Aso-san
We arrived at the Aso Caldera, which is one of the world’s largest. At first we were disappointed that the Nakadake Crater was closed off due to sulfuric gases being emitted. We wandered around the information centre, hoping that we’d be able to get a closer look before our next form of transportation was scheduled.
We were in partial luck. The winds shifted and we were able to walk up to the rim of the crater an look down into it, but we weren’t able to walk right around the crater.
I was surprised to see that when looking down, it wasn’t all red and black lava, as one might expect. Rather, it was a pleasing blue and almost mint-green!
Of course Mom and I took the obligatory photo opportunity to have our photos taken in front of the might volcano.
In fact, you’ve probably heard of Aso-san yourself, as it’s erupted a couple of time in the past two years. One never thinks that could actually happen, but of course it does. Seeing the concrete shelters peppered near the crater’s edge was a clear reminder of that.
I hope you’ll join me again next time as I work my way through the alphabet. Below I’ve included some of my favourite Japanese resources for planning my trips (affiliate links).