Did you enjoy the Studio Ghibli animation Castle in the Sky? Then you’ll fall under the spell of this part of Kyushu: the Laputa Road (ラピュタの道)!
The site has obviously changed greatly since the Kumamoto earthquake, and that’s also why I decided to talk about it. You’ll find a link for donations at the foot of the page.
This is officially called the Road to Heaven. Used mainly by locals, it connects the Milk Road to the town of Aso. Here we’re just 40 km from the city of Kumamoto.
The Milk Road is a popular destination for bikers and, mmm, cows, which graze the high green slopes around Mount Aso, an active volcano. That’s it above, belching steam in the distance. I’ll take you a lot closer in a future article 🙂
But why is this road said to be in heaven? Simply because if you get there early enough there’s a stunning view of the Aso plain enveloped in mist and clouds.
No, it didn’t work out that way for me 😉 I tried my luck again but the same thing happened. Too bad, it’s beautiful anyway. And I’d already experienced a similar spectacle at Takeda Castle.
The best time to visit is in late September, with a clear sky and no wind. Try your luck! OK then, I’ll leave you to walk on in peace.
Sad to say the Laputa Road was badly damaged, partially destroyed by the earthquake that struck Kumamoto on 14 April 2016. No doubt the road will be repaired but at the time of writing (May 2016), it doesn’t seem to be a high priority.