Mt. Aso, one of the world's largest super volcanoes, destructively erupted four times between 270,000 and 90,000 years ago to form its present caldera. A small portion of the lava generated by these massive eruptions
flowed into the Gokase River, which flows through the northern Miyazaki Prefecture, and solidified. Over a long period of time, the hardened lava was eroded by this river water, creating a deep, narrow, v-shaped gorge. This is Takachiho Gorge. The gorge is flanked by cliffs up to 100 meters high for 7 kilometers, and a 1-kilometer promenade runs along the top of the cliffs. The unique scenery has made it a very popular tourist destination especially during the summer months, when it is not uncommon to wait several hours to board a rowboat. The geology of the area is made up of columnar joints, polygonal columnar rocks derived from the magma of the volcano, and there are countless cracks in the rocks. Ground water and rainwater gush out from these cracks like a waterfall from here to there.
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