I tested the new free rental bike system in Aso!

Hello everyone!

We had a great weather on Friday this week and I was able to test the new and free rental bike system called Aso Share Bike.You can rent a bike from 4 different locations in Aso: the train station, the volcano museum at Kusasenri, the Daikanbou viewpoint, and Aso information center in Uchinomaki just next to a place called HanaAsobi. 


I chose to rent a bike at the volcano museum (you can go there by bus from Aso station). The reason why is because I really wanted to be able to enjoy the descent from the top. And I don’t regret my choice. 

The renting process is fairly simple. You need to download the dedicated application on your smartphone and enter the required information. Note that you can use any phone number (not just a japanese cellphone number as written on the app) and that the app require you to enter a valid credit card number (but you won’t be credited for the time you use the bike, it’s free). The good thing is that you can go through the all rental process on your own. 


The bikes are equipped with an assist option that is really helpful especially for people like me who aren’t really used to go cycling. There is also a screen that gives you details on your ride with your actual speed for example. There is also three different sizes depending on how tall you are.


So next comes the descent from Kusasenri to Aso station. It felt so good and so much better than using a car. It was a little windy but not enough for me to loose my hat. What’s great is that you can stop everywhere you want on your way down. You can stop of course to take great pictures of the Komezuka or of the inside of the caldera and you can even stop to take a look at the numerous cows and horses grazing on the grasslands. I tried to take some videos but riding the bike and taking a video on the sametime on my cellphone was harder than I imagined. 


Once I arrived near Aso station I decided to take the time to go to Aso Shrine. The shortest way is to use road 57 but I prefered to go there using little roads in the middle of rice fields. It is very enjoyable as you can enjoy the view on the outer rim on your left and the view on the five peaks of mount Aso on your right. 

Since I wasn’t that tired (thanks to the assist option on the bike) after a walk on the shopping street called Monzenmachi situated next to Aso Shrine, I decided to return the bike at Uchinomaki. This is another cool thing with this rental service. You can return the bike at any of the renting point. On my way there there is a water source fountain with, let’s say interesting statues just next to it. If you use road 110 from Aso Shrine to Uchinomaki you just need to go straight all the way. 


In the end my ride took me around three hours. It is important to note that I made many stops on the way to take pictures or just to enjoy the view. I’m not really a sport guy. Not at all in fact. But with this assist system the ride was pretty easy and very enjoyable. The service will stay free until November the 24th. So if you plan to Aso before that I highly recommend you to use it. It is definitely a great way to discover and enjoy Aso. And if you make the demand in advance you can also receive a taxi ticket (4000 in value) to go back to Aso station for example (note that you can only ask for this ticket at your renting point). 


Enjoy the pictures and see you soon in Aso!


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