Tokyobling's Blog

Kumamoto Cows – Akaushi

Posted in Animals, Nature, Places by tokyobling on September 21, 2015

Driving through the insanely beautiful landscape of the Kumamoto highlands, one is bound to come across herds of a peculiar reddish cow – the famous Akaushi (あか牛), or Akagewashu, in English sometimes called Japanese Brown Cattle, a breed that has been recognized in Japan since the 1930s. They look a bit similar to the more internationally famous Jersey cattle breed.

I had to stop and say hello to most of the herds we passed, and I can not imagine any cows, anywhere in the world, living in a more ideal spot than these. Huge lands to roam, fantastic quality grass and clean mountain water. What more can a cow ask for? They certainly looked happy! The more curious ones would run up to me as soon as I got closer to say hello and check me out.






Mount Aso Geology

Posted in Nature, Places by tokyobling on September 17, 2015

Once I started looking at my old photos of Mount Aso in Kyushu’s Kumamoto Prefecture I found lots of interesting ones. These photos are from the other craters at the volcano. There are actually four clearly visible craters, but since 1934 all but one has been inactive. I have no doubt they will wake up again some day. Here you can clearly see examples of agglutinates, which is a lava-like form of scoria that rapidly deposits around the crater edge at an eruption. I can imagine this place must be heaven for volcanologists and geologists! For me, telling agglugates from lava and scoria from magma is a tough task though. Sadly geology was not covered very much in my school days. Still, I imagine that Mars would look something like this, minus the skies, clouds, water and vegetation!









Driving to Mount Aso

Posted in Nature, Places by tokyobling on September 16, 2015

Yesterday I shared some photos of the gorgeous (and lethal) volcano Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture, but there is still much more to share. Most of Kumamoto consist of highlands, grassy plains, wooded river valleys and bare mountains, some of which is dedicated to breeding great flocks of cows and horses. On the drive to Mount Aso (don’t worry, I was passenger) I took these photos of the surrounding countryside. Living in Tokyo you hardly ever see a horizon (there are always buildings in the way) so I was quite impressed by the rolling hills and mountains of Kumamoto!










Mount Aso Erupts

Posted in Nature, Places by tokyobling on September 15, 2015

On Sunday the famous Mount Aso volcano in southern Kyushu’s Kumamoto Prefecture erupted, sending a plume of rocks and smoke about 2000m up into the air. I have not seen any reports of injuries and there was no danger to the few hikers and tourists who were on their way to see the volcano lake. I haven’t been to Kumamoto Prefecture for a few years now but when I last visited Mount Aso I took these photos of the main crater. There was quite a lot of smoke and the whole area around the mountain is outstandingly beautiful, all in all maybe one of the best tourist attractions in the country. But let’s wait a little until this one calms down! Here are some photos from the summer of 2012.





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