Thursday, 23 September 2021

Autumn Equinox hike at Togamidake 砥上岳 2021/9/23

 Autumn Equinox hike at Togamidake 砥上岳 2021/9/23

It's the Autumn Equinox the day when the day and night are the same length and it marks the beginning of Autumn when the nights will be longer than the days until the Spring equinox next year. 

We went to Togamidake for a next half day out enjoying the mountain and then heading to michi no eki (道の駅 筑前みなみの里) in Chikuzen for some lunch and fresh locally made soft cream. 

I took a new route down which is a real hiking trail but unfortunately not included on Yamap. You can download this my route if you want to follow it. This is a lovely area to light hike and enjoy the rural atmosphere. Sometimes it takes a few repeat hikes to work out the best trail. I think this is the best way to approach Togamidake. It is also easy to do from Chikuzen-Yamae station 筑前山家駅 check out the past hikes on the mountains index page. 

Click on the title or here for the route map and more images 

 


 


 


Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Kuju Hiking and camping in early Autumn 坊がつる 大船山 立中山 三俣山 指山 2021.09.19 > 21

 Kuju Hiking and camping in early Autumn  坊がつる 大船山 立中山 三俣山 指山 2021.09.19 > 21

With good weather forecast for the weekend, I headed to Kuju to hike some more mountains and camp at Bogatsuru again. 

I caught an express train to Bungo-Nakamura and then used a community bus to get to Chojabaru and hiked to Bogatsuru. Day 1 I hiked up to Taisenzan and over to Tattyuyama. The route went through lots of long marsh grasses and muddy rivers. I even saw a small common toad which startled me as it leapt across the trail. On day 2 I got up early, made some coffee and headed out. I hiked up to Mimatayama this time in perfect weather. I climbed down a dangerous route by accident because I followed the wrong trail and had to climb down the side of the mountain. I then hiked off to Yubiyama which is a very pleasant and not a difficult hike. I got back to camp as clouds had started to roll into the valley. I decided to use the Onsen at the mountain lodge, It costs 500 Yen and is very rustic. You cannot use Shampoo or Body soap so I rinsed off and then sunk into the warm water, It was wonderful. I got back to camp and ate as I watched even more clouds flooded in until I was engulfed in a thick mist. 

The weather remained misty and the wind picked up throughout the night. I woke on Day 3 and packed up early as there seemed no point in hanging around with this weather. I hiked back to Chojabaru to catch the bus. Unfortunately the bus was very slow to arrive at the station so I missed my express train and had to use the local train instead. Oh well it was a great trip and very nice hiking!

As usual click on the title or here to see the route map and more pictures 

 


 


 


 


 


 


Exploring Kawara: Osakayama and many small mountains and a wonderful rural atmosphere! 飯岳山(大坂山) 2021.09.11

Exploring Kawara: Osakayama and many small mountains and a wonderful rural atmosphere! 飯岳山(大坂山) 2021.09.11

I got up early and headed inland to explore and hike around the mountains of Kawara. The main aim was to hike Idekesan also known as Osakayama. This mountain is part of the Kyushu Nature trail which spans all over Kyushu. 

I started at Kawara station and first hiked to a small shrine before going to Nishiyama and Atagoyama. I then hiked over to Osakayama to enjoy the great views from there and Yakusinokashira. I then went down past many small mountains to reach the Wagie-no-sato (roadside farm shop) A great stop point with lots of locally produced bento boxes and farm produce. Then I went to explore Kagamiyamadai Shrine before walking along the Kibe river back to Kawara station and off through Tagawa and Iizuka enjoying the scenery from the small local trains. 

I highly recommend this hike if you are looking for somewhere different to go and enjoy farm shops!

As usual click on the title or here to see the route map and more pictures. 

 

 

 


Thursday, 9 September 2021

Transition to Autumn hike, Kurokamiyama and Seriasan 英山・本城岳(前黒髪)・黒髪山・蛇焼山・後黒髪東峰・青螺御前・青螺山 2021/9/5

 Transition to Autumn hike, Kurokamiyama and Seriasan 英山・本城岳(前黒髪)・黒髪山・蛇焼山・後黒髪東峰・青螺御前・青螺山 2021/9/5

The season is changing from Summer to Autumn and I felt it for the first time today at Kurokamiyama. Mushrooms everywhere! Every steps I would find a new one, there were so many that eventually I had to stop taking pictures and just get on with hiking. It was also cooler today and there were a few moments I even felt a little cold. 

The weather unfortunately was cloudy all day and for the most part dull and overcast. It made some of the wonderful views darker and not as spectacular as they really are. Kurakamiyama is one of my favourite mountains to hike but the weather definately did its best to spoil it. Still it was a good challenging with lots of ropes and chains to climb up and down the route I used after Seirasan has as little difficult to follow and I think it had been damaged by the recent torrential rainfall last month. 

 


 


 



Sunny Sarakurayama: Exploring Kitakyushu again 花尾山・内藤陣山・帆柱山・椎ノ巨木山・権現山・皿倉山・茶臼山・乳山・熊本山

 Sunny Sarakurayama: Exploring Kitakyushu again 花尾山・内藤陣山・帆柱山・椎ノ巨木山・権現山・皿倉山・茶臼山・乳山・熊本山 2021/8/28

The rain has finally stopped! It has been on and off rain for the past few weeks that honestly felt more like rainy season than the real rainy season did. The temperature luckily was still cool so I decided to grab a train and head off to Sarakurayama in Kitakyushu. 

I took a bus from Kurosaki station to Hanao Nishi Tozanguchi and started my hike from there. I explored a whole bunch of mountains around Sarakurayama using paths I haven't tried before. Hiking this mountain is very easy there are loads of routes but most are well signposted. I found lots of wonderful mushrooms, stunning ancient trees and even saw a Japanese weasel (Itachi イタチ) It ran across the trail about one metre in front of me, too fast for me to get a picture. 

On the way down I explored some of the smaller mountains, one turned out to be a shrine but the second was in a park and had tall view point with a great view of Sarakurayama. I ended the hike at space world station (They really need to think of a new name for this one!). A great hike to finish August.

 


 


 



Summit to Sea in Kitakyushu Adachiyama and Tonoueyama 砲台山・妙見山・足立山(霧ヶ岳)・冨野山・谷山・大台ヶ原・戸ノ上山 2021/8/10

 Summit to Sea in Kitakyushu Adachiyama and Tonoueyama 砲台山・妙見山・足立山(霧ヶ岳)・冨野山・谷山・大台ヶ原・戸ノ上山 2021/8/10

When I came to Japan I first lived in Kitakyushu city. The first mountain that I went to was Adachiyama 13 years ago (The first I walked up was actually Daimonjiyama in Kyoto 16 years ago). Back then I didn't have Yamap or a smartphone today thanks to technology I could see more routes so I started from Abeyamakoen station and hiked up to Adachiyama from there. After that I hiked over the mountains to Tonoueyama. 

There were a lot of spider webs across the trail so I walked into them and ended up with a yellow and black spider right on my face many times. The Typhoon had left a lot of debris with leaves and branches everywhere. The ground was moist and in places very slippy. I actually fell on the way down the mountain and landed on my back, ouch! 

I came down to Moji and walked to the docks area and walked along looking at the boats and ships entering the Kanmon strait I walked along to the Teriha spa resort which has a nice selection indoor and outdoor baths.

 


 


 



Exploring Munakata east side Gongenyama (Niidateyama, Shintateyama) 貴船山・明天寺山・丸山・平山・権現山(新立山)・高田山 2021/8/7

Exploring Munakata east side Gongenyama (Niidateyama, Shintateyama) 貴船山・明天寺山・丸山・平山・権現山(新立山)・高田山 2021/8/7


I cancelled my plan to visit Kuju for camping due to the approaching Typhoon and bad weather (Seems to happen every time I have time off!) So I visited Munakata city and headed east. The mountain area was not close to the train line so I walked through the rural area through farms and countryside. I first visited a small mountain near a tennis court before heading to the main mountain area. The smaller mountains had no view but when I got to Gogenyama (Or is it Niidateyama?) I was relieved because the view was great. I hiked down hoping to cut through to another mountain area but I couldn't find a trail. I walked back through more farms to a small residential area where I found a bus stop and noticed another small hill on Yamap so went to explore and found a burial mound (Kofun) in them middle of houses. I got some banana milk (It tasted fake but because also like banana heaven) and got the bus back to the station.