I'm not sure if there are any other places in the world that allow visitors to see the destruction caused by a volcano so close up. The March and April 2000 eruption of Mount Usu created about 60 new craters on the mountain. The changes in the landscape and smoke thrown high into the air caused a lot of damage to buildings and roads. A pair of hiking trails travels past the ruins.Yesterday's post showed you Showa Shinzan, a mountain formed in the 1940s.
Where's the road? This sign pokes up out of the grass. From the kindergarten, you can return back up the mountain to the start of the trail. There is a parking lot at the kindergarten, too, but the bus doesn't stop on this side of the trail. It is also possible to walk from this point to Toya Station, another 30 minutes (3 kilometers). It is probably all down hill from the kindergarten to Toya.
The bus from Toya Station to Toyako Onsen also stops at the start of the Nishiyama Crater Trail, and runs about once per hour in each direction. The trails are open from 9 AM to 6 PM, closing at 5 PM in October and early November; they are closed from early November to mid April. Admission is free. Be sure to pick up - and study - a map before taking the trip and during your hike on the Kompirayama Walking Trail. The Nishiyama trail is pretty simple to follow.