Minamioguni is one of seven towns and villages that make up the area in Kumamoto known as Aso. Aso itself is famous for being Japans largest active volcano known for its giant caldera that creates a very unique topography. The small town of Minamioguni is located in the northern parts of Mount Aso and consists of barely 4000 people.
Even though the town is a small one it has a lot to be proud of!
Most famous is the top-class hot spring area Kurokawa onsen that attracts domestic as well as international visitors. The fact that Mount Aso is an active volcano is what enables this onsen paradise and even if Kurokawa is the most famous one there are a lot more for the hot spring lover to explore.
Aso and Minamioguni are also famous for their wide open grass plains that stretch over the mountain peaks and have been maintained and protected through husbandry for over 1000 years. This process protects a unique eco-system which maintains both animal and plant life that has become extinct elsewhere in Japan. This is one of the reasons that Aso has been acknowledged as a World Agriculture Heritage.
Another aspect of Minamioguni that contributes to the beautiful landscape of scenery is a long tradition of forestry. Japanese cedar trees are plentiful in the area and thrive thanks to variation between hot and cold which results in a strong flexible timber that has been recognized to the point that it has become a brand known as Oguni Sugi. The carefully managed forests are both beautiful with their appearance as they soar up towards the sky but they also play an important role in protecting the lives of the local people.
Lastly, Minamioguni is also a place filled with warm and inspiring people that are experts at growing their own food as they strive towards self-sufficiency while living in harmony with the seasons. They love to talk, they love to share and believe it or not, many of them love to drink! Japanese hospitality in its truest form can be found in abundance here.
This was a crash course in what Minamioguni is! This is where I live and enjoy the kind of slow life that only the countryside can offer. And I love it! Why not stop by and enjoy the nature and warmth of Minamioguni with me?