Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Wakisugiyama, Temples, Shrines and snow 米ノ山・若杉山・岳城山・雑木山 2021/12/18

Wakisugiyama, Temples, Shrines and snow 米ノ山・若杉山・岳城山・雑木山 2021/12/18

My first snow hike of the year! I climbed Wakasugiyama enjoying visiting the many temples and shrines on the way. As I hiked the snow started and covered the trees and statues with a thin fluffy layer of snow. I headed up to Komenoyama 米ノ山 first which has great views before hiking over to Wakisugiyama 若杉山

I stopped at the top of Wakasugiyama 若杉山 for lunch and then continued on to Takejosan 岳城山 which was my first visit to this mountain. I didn't know which direction to hike after that but finally decided on going down to Suechuo station. 

I checked the train time and ended up having to run to catch my train! Now home to make Mince pies which are traditional English food for Christmas and what English children put out for Santa along with a glass of Sherry. Click here for the route map! 







First winter hike: Kusenbuyama by rail 杓子ヶ峰・奥山・九千部山・石谷山

First winter hike: Kusenbuyama by rail 杓子ヶ峰・奥山・九千部山・石谷山 2021/12/4 

Winter has started although it is still warm during the day time in Kyushu. I left this house this morning with no clear plan of where to go or what to do. I just packed my bag, left the house and went to the station. I then decided to get off at Yayoigaoka station 弥生が丘駅 and walked past the bustling premium Tosu outlet stores and continued out into the mountains. On the way up a woman tending her vegetables called me over to warn me about monkeys in the mountain. I told her that I wanted to see them but she looked annoyed and said they are dangerous! Ha ha Unfortunately I didn't find any monkeys. 

I went up some smaller mountains before reaching the dam and continuing up to Kusenbuyama. It was great to use a new route as I have only hiked from the Fukuoka side in the past. I attention a late lunch on Kusebuyama 九千部山 and then continued to Ishidaniyama 石谷山 and down to the Ochouzu waterfall 御手洗の滝. I got worried that it may get dark before I could make it down so picked up my pace, I thought that I should pack a headlamp if I plan to wonder so aimlessly, silly me. In end it was fine as came to the station with about half an hour of daylight left. Click on the title or here for the route map and more pictures! 







Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Tagawa Ganjakuyama hiking and Genjinomori camping 稲荷山・岩石山

 Tagawa Ganjakuyama hiking and Genjinomori camping 稲荷山・岩石山 2021.28 to 29

For the last days of Autumn we went to Tagawa to hike Ganjakuyama and camp at Genjinomori. 

The mountain was once the shite of a castle. It isn't surprising when you reach the top as the mountain commands splendid views of the surrounding area. The hike is quite short but it us steep in some places. We all hiked up together but I took a different route to get down which was a lot steeper with chains and ropes. Soeda park at the bottom also has many beautiful maple trees and nice Autumn colours. Click on the title for the route map and Yamap post! 




After exploring the mountain we headed over to a farm shop where the kids begged me to buy them candy floss (Cotton candy in American English). After that we went to the Genjinomori 源じいの森 campsite and booked into our cabin and set up a campfire and BBQ. Lots of delicious meat and toasted marsh mellows! We ended the evening with a trip to the onsen 源じいの森温泉 which is discounted if you stay in the campsite.




Next up winter hiking!

Autumn colours in northern Kyushu 2021

 Autumn colours in northern Kyushu 2021 

I have been to many mountains over October and November to enjoy the wonderful Autumn colours in Northern Kyushu. All of these are repeat hikes. Below are some of the wonderful images captured out hiking, although the pictures really don't do it justice! Please visit Yamap or Instagram to view many more. Autumn is the best time to hike! 

Raizan 雷山 in Itoshima, Fukuoka




Yufudake 由布岳 in Beppu, Oita 




Myojosan 明星山 in Kurume, Fukuoka



Homanzan 宝満山 in Dazaifu, Fukuoka




Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Waitasan: more wonderful Kuju 一目山・みそこぶし山・女岳・涌蓋山 2021/10/9

 Waitasan: more wonderful Kuju 一目山・みそこぶし山・女岳・涌蓋山 2021/10/9

Mt. Waita is on the Aso Kuju national park on the border of Oita and Kumamoto. 

We left 5:30am and drove to Sujiyu onsen starting point and climbed Waitasan. The mountain has wonderful views of Kuju and far views of the surrounding area. The hike is very open which means great views from almost any point along the trail. It is not a difficult hike but does have some distance, also because it is so open I recommend bringing a hat and sun block. If you want to visit Kuju but get a different view of the area this is the perfect hike and reminds me a little of Tawarayama in whichover looks Mt. Aso in Kumamoto. 

After hiking we drove to Chojabaru, took a bath in a lovely onsen, walked the board walks and had soft ice cream. 

Kuju is the most wonderful area and every time I leave I get the Kuju blues!

Click here or on the title to view the route map and Yamap post! 






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