If you are traveling with kids then you should definitely come to Aso. There are countless of kids-friendly spots where you can enjoy and interact with the great nature of Aso. Let us present some of our favorites!
Follow the Milk road unto the Higotai road until you find this giant wind turbine that serves as our landmark.
Ubuyama farm is a wonderful place with many friendly and curious animals such as horses and goats that kids and adults can interact with. There are also different fun activities and experiences for kids, many shops, and restaurants. You can easily spend an entire day here while keeping your little ones entertained. And do you want to know the best part??? There is no entrance fee!! (※ Participation fee for activities/experiences is paid separately)
For example, you can feed the goats…
…or for the price of 400 yen, you can learn how to milk a cow and taste fresh milk…
…how about using the milk from the ranch to make your own butter at the cheap price of 600 yen? (Reservation required)
You can even rent bicycles at the cost of 200 yen for 30 minutes to ride around the large grounds!
Go for a pony ride in the beautiful grasslands (500-yen, weight limit 50 kg)!
Play park golf surrounded by Mt. Aso, Kuju and Sobo while enjoying the green fields and beautiful scenery (Cost 500 yen and clubs available for rent at the cost of 200 yen).
As you can see there are more than enough activities to ensure a full and active day at Ubuyama farm.
And when you have played and worked up your appetite…
Let’s go to the super popular buffet where you can pick and choose freely among a sea of local ingredients.
You can even enjoy homemade juice and dessert!
Make sure to order a dish each, you can even try out the local delicacy Akaushi beef.
And since we are in Japan, of course, there is a souvenir shop as well!
The milk products you buy here all come from the Brown swiss breed that originates from Switzerland and only exists in a limited number of about 2000 cows all over Japan. The milk from these cows, that are raised grazing freely in the vast meadows, produces milk that isn’t only tasty but also healthy thanks to its high level of protein and calcium.
And as a dessert, we can recommend this ice cream. It also uses the flavorful milk of the Brown swiss! The soft and smooth texture with the deep flavor of the milk is totally irresistible.
Ubuyama farm is definitely one of the best ways to enjoy both the scenery and the culture of Aso if you are traveling with children! Choose a day with nice weather and enjoy endless playing, learning, and lots of laughter!
※ Depending on the activity, reservations may be required so check beforehand!
Address: 2100-3 Yamaga, Ubuyama, Aso District, Kumamoto 869-2703
Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (during winter season 10:00 – 16:00)
Souvenir store until 17:00, Restaurant until 15:00
Fixed holidays: Wednesday (5th Jan – 20th March)
Tractor/pony-riding unavailable 2nd week of Jan – 3rd week of March
Cow milking unavailable middle of Oct – end of April
Website: http://ubuyamafarm.com/ (Japanese only)
https://ubuyama-kanko.com/lan/en/ (←English information)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/6jGjCpoeCjybt6az7
Rakunoh Mother’s Aso Milk Ranch
About a 40-minute car ride from Kumamoto city, a 20-minute car ride from Kumamoto airport, right in the middle of the grasslands in Nishihara village.
At the ranch, you can find many different animals ranging from cows to goats, and maybe even lions?
The goats are friendly and gentle so even small children can enjoy feeding them and watching as they happily chew away at the tasty carrots!
And this beautiful pony will happily give small visitors a ride!
Just like Ubuyama Farm, Aso Milk Ranch offers experiences where you use the milk from the ranch to make your own tasty butter (reservation necessary).
Another of the attractions at Aso Milk Ranch is the great selection of restaurants!
This here is Mother’s Kitchen.
This buffet combining locally sourced vegetables with milk products from the ranch is both tasty and healthy! The overwhelming popularity among visitors is undeniable (Adults: 1600 yen)!
Right next to the restaurant we have ‘Jyuu Jyuu House’ where you can learn how to make sausages!
If you visit Aso Milk Ranch on the weekend or during festivals you can enjoy this beautiful terrace! Here you can try out domestically produced beef from both Kumamoto and other parts of Japan while looking out over the ranch.
You might pass by here and be drawn in by the heavenly smell of freshly baked bread.
This little bakery also only operates on weekends and holidays but if you have the chance make sure to try out their bread made from the ranch’s butter and milk. It’s simply delicious!
For sunny days we recommend buying yourself some bread to enjoy in your favorite spot outside!
Next, we have the so-called Milk market. Here you can buy souvenirs in the form of locally produced milk products, meat products, other local specialties and much more!
And while visiting Aso Milk Ranch, whatever you do, there is one thing you shouldn’t miss! This flavorful ice cream made from fresh Jersey milk! Whether it is the cold or the hot season, this ice cream always hits home!
Rakunoh Mother’s Aso Milk Ranch is packed full of the blessings provided by Aso’s great nature. Bring the family and enjoy it all to your heart’s content!
But remember, they don’t accept card payment so bring cash!!!
Rakunoh Mother’s Aso Milk Ranch
Address: 3944-1 Kawahara, Nishihara, Aso District, Kumamoto 861-2404
Opening hours: 10:00 – 17:00 ※ Restaurant
Fixed holidays: Unspecified ※ During the winter season the number of closed days increase so it’s recommended to check beforehand
Entry fee: 400 yen (children over 3 years)
Website: http://aso-milk.jp/ (Japanese only)
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/eLLLE16mFm1TBsfS7
Aso Farm Land ※Picture is from Aso Farm Land’s official website
This unusual village of small dome-shaped buildings is the landmark for Aso Farm Land.
Aso Farm Land is not only rare because of how it looks, but the theme of this park also makes it special. Aso Farm Land is namely a park based around the concept of ‘Health’.
Here you can experience healthy exercise, three proper meals, healing for the heart, overnight stay in the domes, educative activities, and a wide variety of products unique to Aso. All in all, this is a place that will make you feel and appreciate the importance of a healthy lifestyle!
Surrounded by flourishing nature you can enjoy balanced exercise that activates both the brain and the body. There are many interactive establishments and facilities where you can have fun while exercising!
One of these is ‘Genki no Mori’, the lively forest! Stretching over an area of 33000 square meters this area utilizes the valleys and the forests to create a place where kids and adults can activate their bodies through different playground equipment. There are over 70 different installments to play with so look forward to a day of fun and laughter!
Another vital part of a healthy life is of course what you put into your body. At Aso Farm Land you can choose between many different restaurants that all offer fun, tasty, and healthy food.
The picture above shows the popular ‘Health buffet’ from ‘Oo-Aso Restaurant’. Enjoy the tastes of Aso’s overflowing nature while keeping an eye on calories, nutrition and such through the detailed information provided about each dish.
The restaurant is designed with wide large windows creating an open space that lets you enjoy the beautiful Aso scenery outside as you refill your stomachs.
Another popular restaurant is ‘Aso Kinoko Tei’! This restaurant pays special attention to dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients while maintaining a low number of calories. The dishes are mainly based around mushrooms while also including Aso’s healthy beef Akaushi and other local specialties.
Apart from these two, there are many different health-conscious restaurants offering everything from ice cream to ramen and udon. The sheer number of alternatives makes it hard to choose where to eat. But that alone is also reason enough to visit Aso Farm Land over and over again! Oh, but remember, since we are thinking of our health here make sure not to overeat!
But speaking of Aso Farm Land, staying in one of these dome-shaped houses is probably one of the most memorable experiences. Every house is unique in its design and slightly different from the next one.
Even if you don’t stay the night, just walking through this slightly bizarre townscape and inspecting the houses with their different themes is fun enough by itself!
This place is tremendously popular with children so bring your children or your grandchildren and take a trip into the magical world of Aso Farm Land.
Play with animals,
Use your creativity,
Visit one of the most complete shops providing local products from Kumamoto and Aso! All at Aso Farm Land!
Spend an entire day playing and enjoying while also improving your health and well-being. Aso Farm Land is a place where old and young, the entire family, can make unforgettable memories together!
Aso Farm Land
Address: 5579 3 Kawayo, Minamiaso, Aso District, Kumamoto 869-1404
Tel: Inquiries regarding the facilities: 0967-67-2100
Inquiries regarding the lodging: 0967-67-3737
Opening hours: Weekdays 10:00 – 16:00, Weekends 10:00 – 17:00
Fixed holidays: None
Website: https://asofarmland.co.jp/ (Japanese only)
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ffGVxTKVbSUgexmB7
So, we have mainly introduced spots where you can spend an entire day with the family so far. But let us also introduce two other recommended spots that you definitely should check out if you are in the area and have time!
Firstly, the trolley train of the Minami Aso area!
This old-fashioned but stylish trolley train currently runs from Takamori station to Nakamatsu station covering a distance of 7,1 kilometers (because of the earthquake in 2016 the remaining stretch to Tateno station is under inspection).
The trolley with its open-style windows creates an open and refreshing feeling as you slowly proceed through the rural landscapes of Aso’s south parts. A one-way trip takes about 25 minutes and passes by famous tourist spots such as the Shirakawa river source. Depending on the season it might be a bit chilly so wear proper clothing!
The trolley only operates on weekends and holidays from the 10th of March to the 1st of December. Also, during spring, golden week and the summer vacations. Remember to check the schedule before heading out (Link below).
Address: Takamori, Aso District, Kumamoto 869-1602
Fee: Adults (13 years or older) one-way 800 yen, return 1400 yen
Children (12 or younger) one-way 460 yen, return 810 yen
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/4xRHprHQ4KWAhmbNA
And finally, our last recommendation for the day is a personal favorite!
Here we have a small and cozy restaurant in Minamioguni called Apple mint farm, Kaze no Mori!
This small restaurant focuses on naturally produced organic food and makes everything down to the seasoning themselves. If I could eat like this every day I would have become a vegetarian long ago!
This cute lunch set is guaranteed to hit home with the children!
But it isn’t only cute, it is also prepared with care excluding ingredients such as soybean, flour, milk, egg, and buckwheat that often cause allergies. As mentioned even the seasoning is made with natural home-grown ingredients making it a healthy meal with lots of nutrients for the children.
If you visit the store from the end of July to the end of September, you can also enjoy all-you-can-eat organic blueberry picking for only 500 yen! If you want to bring blueberries with you home, you only need to pay an additional 100 yen for every 100 grams you’ve picked.
If you happen to pass by Minamioguni around lunch-time, then this is a hidden gem you definitely shouldn’t miss out on!
Apple mint & herb farm, Natural food restaurant, Kaze no Mori
Address: 312 Manganji, Minamioguni town, Aso District, Kumamoto 869-2401
Opening hours: 10:00 – 17:00
Fixed holidays: Tuesday
Website: http://applemint.farm/restaurant.html (Japanese only)
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/TPKLQEDR644mpcbX6
So, there we have it! A couple of recommended spots where families can enjoy fun activities, healthy food, beautiful nature, and interaction with the Japanese culture!
Aso is truly a great place for kids to come in contact with nature and experience something else than the bustling city life so take a day or two to have fun here with us!