MARCH 10, 2020
We met again with Helen (Explore Kumamoto) to do the full-day tour on Mount Aso. However, we had bad weather as it was raining and quite foggy. Good thing Helen was prepared with a back-up plan!
We went first to SHIRAKAWA FOUNTAINHEAD, Southern Aso’s most sacred and beautiful spring. Helen shared that this was one of Japan’s top 100 water sources and we could fill our bottle with the spring water. It was really nice that there was no weird taste plus the water was cold. Helen said that the temperature never changes.
Next stop was KAMISHIKIMI KUMANO IMASU SHRINE. Quite a mouthful to say but Helen asked if we knew of Hotarubi no Mori e. I told her that I watched it and it was good for a short film. Apparently, this shrine was the inspiration for the setting of the film and the creator, Yuki Midorikawa, grew up in Aso region. Midorikawa-sensei is also the mangaka of Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume’s Book of Friends), which I am a huge fan of.
The gloomy weather made the shrine look mystical and straight out of a manga setting. After paying respect in the shrine, we trekked uphill and Helen shared another folklore involving oni.
The previous day, I shared with Helen that my most favorite manga / anime would be One Piece… and she told me we can visit the statue that was in Aso. HUHU SO NICE!!! We visited Usopp’s statue!
There was a local grocery nearby and I bought this Aso milk cheese pudding (¥300). Not a fan of milk but this was super yummy!
For lunch, she brought us to 鉄板焼 阿蘇まーぼー where we ordered akaushi teppanyaki (¥1,700). The owner cooked our akaushi to perfection (medium) and the egg was runny, yay!
We spotted a shop nearby selling Cremia (¥500) sooo what else to do but buy, right?