Road To Laputa: The Real-Life Trail

Want To Feel Like You’ve Stepped Into A Ghibli Film?

“Laputa: Castle In The Sky” holds a special place in this writer’s heart.  In fact, it is the movie that introduced me to anime.  Before coming across this movie, I wasn’t really aware that the world of animation had much more to offer than children’s cartoons, but seeing this movie (and searching out Miyazaki’s other works) opened up a whole new world for me.

But regardless of whether or not that film in particular has special significance to you, the visuals of Hayao Miyazaki’s imaginative worlds have received praise the world over.  Thus, it came as a pleasant surprise to me to find out that there was a real hiking trail that has actually been named “The Road to Laputa.”  (Laputa is a flying island that was first written about in Gulliver’s Travels, but has since been reimagined many times.)

While the road has not been known to lead hikers to an actual city in the clouds, it is a beautiful and impressive hike in its own right.  Check it out below!

If you want to feel like you’ve stepped into an animated film from Studio Ghibli, “The Road to Laputa” in Kyushu is one place you won’t want to miss.  With abundant hot springs and several active volcanoes, the area has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country, particularly around the Mount Aso region in Kumamoto Prefecture.

Mount Aso is an active volcano with one of the world’s largest calderas, which measures up to 26 kilometres in diameter and 100 kilometres in circumference. A caldera is formed when a volcano collapses into itself after an eruption, resulting in a large, basin-like depression and an outer rim that makes for an unusual landscape and some stunning scenery.
Fans of Studio Ghibli’s 1986 animated film Castle in the Sky will know Laputa as the mythical island that floats through the clouds. When the caldera basin fills with cloud, this particular patch of road appears to vanish into the sky, earning it the name “The Road to Laputa”. If there’s anywhere in Japan you might catch a glimpse of the magical world, this is surely the place.


From here you’ll be able to look out to the road that leads off into the sky. Even without the early morning cloud cover, the view is breathtaking.
Destination information
Road to Laputa
Address: Road to Laputa, Kario, Aso-shi, Kumamoto Prefecture 869-2235

Source: Rocket News

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