TOURS

【One-day Tour】Nakae Iwato Kagura and Mt. Nakadake Crater Tour(2024 April to September)

Book Now for Nakae Iwato Kagura and Mt. Nakadake crater Tour!

Nakae Iwato Kagura(中江岩戸神楽) is performed in Namino, Aso City on the first Sunday of every April through November (except October). Kagura is a song and dance performed to dedicate to the gods in Shinto festivals and Shinto rituals. Nakae Iwato Kagura has been passed down for more than 250 years at the Hagi Shrine in the area. It requires a lot of energy and stamina to keep dancing and play the instruments for three hours but local young Kagura performers perform with pride, and moreover we can see how they enjoy performing Kagura. It will be a great support to visit them and see their performance. In this tour, we will also visit the must-visit place in Aso which is Mt. Nakadake crater to feel the breath of great nature. Our English-speaking guide will share local myths and stories with you. Join us on this tour and enjoy both the local culture and great nature in Aso!

🌸 In this tour, we will will donate a portion of the tour fee to support Nakae Iwato Kagura.

Available

2024 June 2nd, July 7th, August 4th, September 8th

Time Table

9:15 Meet your guide at JR Aso station

※ We can pick you up at your accommodation in Aso city, too. Please let us know your preferred pickup location.

9:55 Arrive at Mt. Nakadake Crater
11:25 Lunch at Ubuan, soba restaurant in Aso City

※ We can change your lunch restaurant depending on your request. Let us know your food preference when you book.

12:50 Arrive at Nakae Iwato Kagura Theater
13:00 Kagura starts (total 3 hours)
In between Kagura performance, we will go hiking to Mt. Ogi, just behind the Kagura stage for about an hour.
16:15 Leave Kagura Theater
17:00 Arrive at JR Aso station

※ We can also drive you to your accommodation in Aso City. Please let us know your preferred drop-off location when booking.

※ We can arrange this tour according to your preference. Let us know what you want to see and experience with our friendly guide when you book!

Highlights

⭐️Nakae Iwato Kagura performance

Kagura is a song and dance performed to dedicate to the gods in Shinto festivals and Shinto rituals. There is one story in Kojiki and Nihonshoki, Japanese history books. When Amaterasu, the god of the sun, who was angered by the wild behavior of her younger brother Susanoo, hid in a cave and the world was shrouded in darkness, Amenouzume, the god of entertainment, performed a joyous dance in front of the cave. Amaterasu, intrigued by the liveliness of the performance, came out of it and light returned to this world. It is said that the dance at this time was the origin of Kagura performance. Nakae Iwato Kagura has been passed down for more than 250 years at the Hagi Shrine in the area. This area is a small community with only 20 or so households. In the past, only the eldest son of each family was allowed to dance in the Kagura. However, due to the declining birth rate, Kagura club has been formed at the local elementary school, and many children in the community are now learning the perfomance. Performances are held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. It must be very strenuous and demanding to play instruments and dance kagura continuously, but it is very powerful and exciting.  Above all, all the young people on stage look like they are having a lot of fun, which we can feel and want to support them. It takes a lot of effort to pass on traditional performing arts, but the young people of Namino practice with pride.

⭐️ Mt. Ogi

Mt. Ogi is located just behind the Kagura stage and its elevation is 843 m. The Kagura is a 4-part, 3-hour performance, and you can take a short break between the 2nd and 3rd parts to enjoy a light hiking tour which takes about an hour round trip. It will be a wonderful experience to climb the mountain while listening to the music of Kagura in the distance.

⭐️ Mt. Nakadake crater

Nakadake Crater is a must-visit place in Aso and one of the few places in the world where you can see an active crater. You will feel the breath of the earth. At Sunasenri area, you will see desolate volcanic landscape. It is an old crater and almost no vegetation grows here. It is a world of sand as far as the eye can see.

PAYMENT

Please pay cash directly to the guide on the day of the tour.

NOTES

・Itinerary may vary due to the weather, traffic conditions, COVID-19 restrictions and other unavoidable circumstances.
・This event is ON rain or shine. In case of bad weather, we will cut the outdoor activities short and visit some museums or other onsen in the area.

・The trail path may be slippery, so please wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

INCLUSION

Guide fee, Transportation(by guide's car), parking fee at Mt. Nakadake crater

EXCLUSION

・Food / Drinks
Lunch is not included in this tour. Please notify us in advance if you have any food preference.
・In this tour, travel insurance is not included. Please make sure that you will have your own travel insurance.