Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun has posted video of the heavy damage to “Laputa no Michi” (Road of Laputa) running through Aso in the heavily earthquake-affected Kumamoto Prefecture. The Kario main road got nicknamed for Hayao Miyazaki's original Studio Ghibli movie, Castle in the Sky, because the scenic view appears to be floating due to low-lying clouds obscuring the lower part of Mount Aso.
The April 16 quake caused significant landslides along the route, resulting in cracks and partial collapse. It's now blocked off to travallers from the prefectural road blocked with a chain and a "No Entry" sign.
“The road gives you a very refreshing experience that makes you feel like you’re riding into the sky," said 65-year-old adventure motorcyclist Shinji Kazama. "It was a holy ground for motorcyclists.”
In addition to ongoing fund-raising for those affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, Kazama and other riders plan to raise money for the latest quake victims of Kumamoto as well.
“It’s very devastating for us motorcyclists," he said, "But we hope to join to support Kumamoto.”