A cat-shaped space in the rocks makes an adorable “power spot”

Cat-Themed “Power Spots”


Men-no-Ishi, a giant stone suspended in the air between two rocks, was a popular “power spot,” a source of spiritual energy. Sadly, the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake dislodged the stone, causing it to fall down. But now the space between the rocks looks just like the silhouette of a cat sitting and watching over the valley! Thanks to the addition of this delightful “good-luck cat,” Men-no-ishi is more popular than ever.
Image courtesy of Minami-Aso Tourism Association
*Actual view may differ slightly from the image due to photo edit.

Take a trekking tour to Men-no-Ishi

Local guides offer trekking tours to view the fallen Men-no-Ishi and the cat silhouette. The trek takes around 2 hours round-trip, but it’s a pretty tough hike. There’s a stretch of difficult, rocky terrain along the way, so be sure to wear shoes with grip. In addition, Men-no-Ishi is located on private property, so it’s not open to the public. You’ll need to be part of a guided trekking tour to see it (*reservations must be made with the Tourism Association at least 3 days in advance).

View the “power spot” from Tori no Kozuka Park

Tori no Kozuka Park, located at the base of the southern somma of Mt. Aso, is a good side trip for those without the time or stamina for the hike. It offers breathtaking vistas of Mt. Aso and the Nango Valley. Stand at the top of the park and look toward the top of the southern somma, and you can see the space carved into the rock where Men-no-Ishi was once lodged.

Piping hot Takamori dengaku

Dengaku is a signature Aso dish originating in neighboring Takamori. Local“tsurunoko” taro roots and tofu are coated in sesame miso and grilled over a charcoal hearth. The savory flavor is out of this world.

Takamori Yusui Tunnel Park

This valuable natural spring produces 32 tons of water every minute. The iconic tunnel features seasonal exhibitions, making it feel like an art gallery.


Location/Access Kain, Minami-Aso-mura, Aso-gun, Kumamoto-ken (Tori no Kozuka Park)

About 50 minutes by rental car from Kumamoto Airport
Inquiries Minami-Aso Tourism Association
TEL 0967-67-2222
Takamori Yusui Tunnel Park
TEL 0967-62-3331
http://www.town.takamori.kumamoto.jp/ kanko/kankomap/kanko/yusui.html

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