Daikanbo Lookout – The Best Viewpoint in Mount Aso

Daikanbo Lookout is a stunning viewpoint located in the Aso Kuju National Park in Japan, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Aso Caldera, one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world.

Overlooking the Daikanbo Lookout

The Daikanbo Lookout is the best first place to visit if you’re visiting the Mount Aso area. It provides 360-degree panoramic views, and it’s the absolute best location to view Aso’s caldera and all of Mount Aso’s 5 peaks.

Daikanbo Lookout Details

How to Get to Daikanbo Lookout

The Daikanbo Lookout is in the Kumamoto Prefecture of Kyushu Island in Japan.

As with most places in Kyushu, the best way to get to Daikanbo Lookout is by renting a car.

Daikanbo Lookout from Kumamoto: The closest city to Daikanbo Lookout is Kumamoto. The drive from Kumamoto is 53 km and takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Daikanbo Lookout from Fukuoka: The drive from Fukuoka is 122 km and takes 2 hours.

Best Way to Rent a Car in Japan

When we rent a car in Japan, we personally recommend and ALWAYS use Klook. They offer both local and international rental cars, so you always get the best deal possible.

Daikanbo Lookout Map Location

Best Time to Visit Daikanbo Lookout

I recommend visiting Daikanbo lookout either early in the morning or late in the day.

View at Daikanbo Lookout

If you visit Daikanbo Lookout early in the morning, the caldera will sometimes be full of fog, giving you the illusion that you’re standing above the clouds. I’ve seen pictures of this online and it looks magical.

If you visit Daikanbo Lookout late in the day, then you’ll be able to take advantage of the evening “golden hour” to take some epic photos. Plus all the fog should be cleared out so you can soak all the views in.

Chloe at Daikanbo Lookout for sunset

We visited the lookout in the late afternoon, and the longer we stayed there, the more dramatic the lighting got.

Our Experience at Daikanbo Lookout

Daikanbo Lookout was our first stop in the Mount Aso area during our 6-day camper van trip around Kyushu.

We got to Daikanbo lookout at around 3 pm and were expecting to do a quick look around as we do at most lookouts. However, when we got there we quickly found out that there is quite a bit to the lookout.

There are all sorts of little trails that go through the grass and around the lookout, so it’s easy to lose track of time while exploring it. We ended up spending 2 hours at the lookout enjoying the mountain scenery.

The sun started to set while we were at the lookout, so the atmosphere created by the evening sunlight made the landscape of the Mount Aso caldera exceptionally breathtaking.

daikanbo lookout portrait

By the time we were ready to leave it was just before 5 pm. We walked back to our van to find a worker writing parking tickets to all of the cars parked in the parking lot. It turns out that the lookout closes at 5 pm and the parking area is strictly enforced. We were able to communicate to the worker that we were just about to get in our van and leave, so she decided to spare us from a ticket.

A ticket wouldn’t have been a super big deal, but we noticed that there was a gate to the parking lot, so if we got trapped behind a closed gate after the lookout closed then we would have been stuck there for the night.

Fortunately, there is a small gravel lot just outside of the gated area at the lookout. It looks like it’s okay to park there at any time since we saw lots of other people parked there to enjoy the sunset and take photos after the main lookout parking lot was closed. We also stopped there for a few minutes to snap a few more pictures before continuing on our journey down into the caldera to the town of Aso.

Chloe at Daikanbo Lookout for sunset
Cinematic view of Daikanbo Lookout
Trey Lewis is an outdoor enthusiast. Whether its hiking knife-edge ridges or just fishing by the river, Trey isn't afraid to get dirty in search of the next adventure.

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