Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Return to Tara : One of the best in Kyushu 多良岳・経ヶ岳 2020/9/19 & 20

Return to Tara : One of the best in Kyushu 多良岳・経ヶ岳

2020/9/19 & 20

For the silver week holiday I decided to return to Tara which I first hiked back in May of 2019. The area is an ancient long deceased volcano with a wonderfully old forest. Moss grows everywhere and there are large boulders and cliffs. This time we used Yamap which made planning the route much easier as it is fairly easy to get lost. We started walking from Tara station and first hiked up through the countryside with lots of people saying hello and waving to us. An elderly man called Ikeda-san crossed the road to meet us to give us some fresh Mochi and to wish us well on our adventure. The people of Tara are very friendly! We continued on to Nakayama camp ground. Last year we we were impressed with how modern it is. Unfortunately the site had since been hit with heavy rain and landslides so the roads to the campsite were closed and they were badly damaged. After that we headed up to the Kinsenji shrine and mountain hut. We greeted the huts warden and paid the 500Yen camping fee before pitching our tents. We decided on hiking the longer route to Kyougatake passing a serious of other mountains. The views from the summit are breath taking!


As always click on the title above to visit the Yamap site for the full route map and lots more pictures!

 

 

 

We hiked back and dropped of our gear. We greeted the other visitors in the mountains cabin and sat down in front of the log fire for a chat. Great people and I hope to see them again!



 


The night was a good temperature and easy to sleep. In the morning we woke with the sunrise and had our morning coffee. We then hiked Taradake and another serious of mountains. Taradake has a large shrine at the summit. We continued the hike and came back near a cliff wall past many Buddha statues.

 


 


 


We finished the hike by heading back to Tara station passing lots more hikers on the way. Tara is simply one of the best hiking areas in Kyushu with lots of rock climbing and ropes and chains. The mountain hut with its log fire is a great place to drink and merrily talk with other mountains enthusiasts! Great views and a great ancient feel.

 


 


Sunday, 30 August 2020

Nakutareyama 成竹山 2020.8.29

Nakutareyama 成竹山 2020.8.29

We went to Nakagawa to 中ノ島公園 a river park which is very popular in the summer with families for river play and there is also a small vegetable shop there. I headed out hiking to Nakitareyama. 

Instead of following the standard trails I went "off trail" and followed old paths and ended up hiking through the woods. The viewpoint was impressive and well worth a visit. After the hike I went to the river park and walked around the shrine and up the river. I ended the day a Fukunoyu in Kasuga for more ice cream and beer!

There is a Nakagawa city bus service that goes to the park and the trail head for this mountain. You can find more info. here

As always you can view the route map I used on the Yamap site. I highly recommend downloading the app to your smartphone and using one of the designated trails. 






Thursday, 27 August 2020

Chikushino hiking: Miyajidake 宮地岳 and Nitayama ニタ山 2020.8.22

Chikushino hiking: Miyajidake 宮地岳 and 

Nitayama ニタ山 2020.8.22


A morning hike in Chikushino city. We hiked up Nitayama and then to Miyajidake. The route was overgrown in many places and there were large cobwebs over the trail. Luckily we had hiking poles to get rid of the webs and help clear away the vines over the trail. As we started the hike some old people playing gate ball shouted to warn us of Mamushi (Pit vipers). We didn't see any snakes but the large horse flies were a constant nuisance! A nice trail but it may be better to do it after the summer. 

As always click on the link description to go to the Yamap post for the trail map and more pictures. 



 
 

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Iimoriyama 飯盛山 to Takasuyama 高祖山 to Kanodake 叶岳 2020.8.16

Iimoriyama 飯盛山 to Takasuyama 高祖山 to Kanodake 

叶岳 2020.8.16

At the end of the Obon break I went for a trail run over Iimoriyama and Takasusan. I started out from Hashimoto station and ran in a big circle which also brought me back here again at the end. I first ran to Iimori shrine which is a beautiful shrine. The climb for Iimoriyama is steep but the views are good. I actually found the best views at nearby Hinatayama which I had never been to before. It is very easy to get to Hinatayama and well worth it. After that I ran to Koshidake and then round to Takasusan. I ran down to the river following a mountain stream and then hiked up to Kanodake. The route I used to climb up to Kanodake is very steep with Lots of steps! Kanodake has a large shrine on the top and there are a number of choices to hike down. I choose to hike down via Mt. Ura, it is a small peak with no view and was honestly not really worth it. The route was slippy with no ropes and lots of overgrown ferns to wade through. The worst bit was the spiders, lots of them everywhere and I must have walked into at least 30 large webs, it was like Mirkwood from the Hobbit!!! I came down and ran back to Hashimoto station. There are many convenience stores on the way so I stopped for some Skal (The best soda!) and was happy to arrive at Hashimoto station. It really makes you appreciate vending machines being everywhere with cold drinks to refresh you, there are so many more here in Japan than back home in the UK and they have a much better selection of drinks!

Click here or on the heading for a link to the Yamap post!

Friday, 31 July 2020

Mekubariyama 高宮山, 小鷹城山, 目配山

Mekubariyama 高宮山, 小鷹城山, 目配山

I first attempted Mekubariyama a few weeks ago in the middle of the crazy rain storms which have proved hugely destructive to Kyushu's rural areas and hiking trails. I had to abandon that attempt because of debris from landslides and parts of the trail collapsing right in front of me! You can view that attempt here

For this attempt the route is still badly damaged especially the end where parts of the road have completely fallen away however it was OK to hike and a great trail as well. I bumped into a family of wild boar which looked at me grunted and scampered into the forest just before I was able to get a photo. A little further on I saw what I thought was a rock but then its head emerged from the tall grass to reveal a large deer. Lots of wonderful wild life and a great mountain to visit. On the way back to the shrine parking area I stopped by another small mountain and an ancient Kofun tomb. As always click on the title to see the yamap post and trail map. Enjoy! 


 
 




Nadayama 灘山 in Itoshima

Nadayama 灘山 in Itoshima

Nadayama is a small mountain (209m) in Itoshima very near to Kayasan. It also has beautiful sea views and was once the site of castle structure over looking the sea for defence. If you are in the area it is definitely worth a visit and can be hiked in about an hour. Click on the title to visit the yamap post! 





 

Monday, 29 June 2020

Ryuozan rainy season hike 龍王山

Ryuozan rainy season hike 龍王山

Rainy season hike up Ryuozan 龍王山 (Dragon king mountain) The name comes from a local legend that a dragon sleeps beneath it!. I started the hike from Chikuzen-Daibu station 筑前大分駅 which is about 30 minutes from Hakata. You can use IC cards on this line however most of the smaller stations are unmanned most of the time. There is a lengthy walk from the station through farms and countryside before you reach the main mountain trail head. The top of the mountain has good views of the area and is treeless. The route I took down first had me following a rocky mountain stream and them walking on the road for a significant amount of time. Luckily there are plenty of short cuts that save a lot of distance and time eventually rejoining the road. From there it was a short distance to Nanzoin where I went to view the impressive stone Buddha and came back to Kidonanzoin-mae station 城戸南蔵院前駅. As always click on the title to go to the Yamap site to see the route map and details.