As the air cools and the humid haze lifts from the peaks of Mt Aso, Kumamoto prefecture's active volcano, there is no better time to enjoy a drive along the rim of the world's largest caldera. September sees the arrival of silver pampas grass, or susuki, which blankets the rolling highlands. Hayrolls dot the ranchers' fields and purple and pink cosmos blossom bring the last spot of summer color to the area. Even though Mt Aso has been quite active recently, you can still witness the wonder of this geological feature from the safety of the Milk Road, which follows the edge of the old caldera's northern edge.
Find out more about Mount Aso.