As some of you already know, I often don’t spend much money on accommodation. I enjoy the pricier establishments of course, but many of my fondest memories were produced in much humbler places. Little Asia guest house, Minami-Aso, was one of those.


The guesthouse was run by this super mom and her dad (no English at all) + 2 kids lol. They’re so friendly and willing to help / chat. Homely Japanese hospitality.


Hubby and I stayed there for 3 nights. It was amazingly simple and homely. So relaxed with the wooden all over look. Tatami on a bunk bed?

There was a communal barbecue and kitchen. Cottage room came with private kitchen.


It was just a wonderful experience. Hubby and I did the full house thrifty experience by dining ‘locally’ too. Cup noodle for night no.1 LOL.

I was totally obsessed with this matcha / tea making machine!!! Too bad that it is only available for Japan 🙁


Based on our reservation, we had free breakfast with the accommodation:

Breakfast = 1 slice of toast + coffee / tea

Dinner (JPY350 / person) must be reserved daily before 17h00. Dinner = super mom made Japanese dinner. (LOVE)

While these were not a flashy meal, it was just one of those favourite meals! The simplicity and the local elements was what I loved about it. It was just so enjoyable to be having an half-ass Japanese conversation with a friendly grandpa or other felling travelers. I am a huge sucker for this type of experience.

Little Asia Guesthouse Minamiaso kumamoto japan-203104
Fellow long haul travellers, this dry was small but POWERFUL.

The guesthouse was within 5min walk to Konokayu onsen (木の香湯 hot spring house) and a special bread store (Pain Daigo パンダイゴ 南阿蘇)that opens late and closes whenever! These 2 places were both worthy mentions and deserve their own blog post.



Free bicycle rental is available.

Hike / farm / nature lovers’ heaven – see my Okamodo hike near this guesthouse


There’s a rice ‘cleaning machine’ near the choyo station. I had never seen one of these before. The Japanese community was so considerate! The nearby farms were largely organic and had low production. They could share the machine instead of invest.


How to get here?

Kumamoto Little Asia Guest House

3617-7 Kain Aso-mura, Aso-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture, 869-1411 South Mt. Aso

日本, 〒869-1411 熊本県阿蘇郡南阿蘇村河陰3617−7


Not within walking distance from any JR station

Local train station Choyo 長陽 was a solid 30min walk. The guesthouse was ON a hill. From choyo to guesthouse was a uphill walk.


Local bus, closes stop was this. 5~10min walk from the guesthouse. The bus stops just outside the hot spring house.

aso kumamoto japan-3364

Closest long distance transport was bus stop Konokayu entrance 木の香湯入口 – 12~15min walk. The bus was JPY680 and gets to Aso/Kumamoto airport & JR station. From the bus station to the guesthouse was a downhill walk.

Personally, I felt that the bus was easier than the train for this trip.


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Salut, I am Joyce. 40 something living in Paris. Appreciate little things and share giggles. Prudent, no nonsense reviews. #ExploreLaughRepeat


  1. We’ve already decided that we’ll be eating some meals at 7-11! 😆 No joke, I’m quite looking forward to it. I ate some breakfasts at 7-11 in Hong Kong and they were delish!
    We’ll be staying at a ryokan in Kyoto – haven’t decided which one yet… have you stayed in one?

    • Instant stuff are always fun to eat. I haven’t stayed overnight in a Kyoto ryokan before (only ate there). I have stayed in ryokans in other towns though. Kyoto ryokan is too pricey for me lol.

      • Oh yes, they ARE pricey! We’re looking at 3 nights’ stay – ouch! We’re also going to Kanazawa and possibly staying at a ryokan there! 🙂

  2. Sadly big quakes beat there several times last weekend. I hope your beautiful post could help everyone pay attention.

    • It is very sad. Poor Japan, one natural diseaster after another.

      Minami-Aso is very sparsely populated and mainly comprise of farms. No reports of people being hurt or ‘cracked farms’ in that part. Mount Aso did erupt on the 16th April though. Minami-Aso is 30km away from Mashiki. I guess it was not close enough to feel the full quake?

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