Thursday, 14 June 2018

Ōshima Munakata 大島 Hike 2018.5.26

Ōshima 大島 Munakata Hike 2018.5.26

Kyushu Olle 

Ōshima is an island located just off the coast of Munakata city in Fukuoka. It is a small fishing village which has some beautiful scenery and a rich history to explore. The hike I did is part of the Kyushu Olle walks and a great guide can be found here Kyushu Olle Oshima course

Access: To get to Ōshima you will need to take a ferry from Munakata port. Take the JR Kagoshima line to JR Togo station. From there you can catch a bus from Togo station east entrance bus stop to Konominato Hatoba(Pier) (神湊波止場) ( (往復共通)) The bus stops right in front of the ferry terminal you can check the bus timetable here Nishitetsu bus. You need to buy a ticket from the automated booth luckily they fully support English. The timetable for the ferry can be found here Oshima Ferry Timetable The ferry are about every two hours. I took the first ferry however I think aiming for the second one would be fine in most situations. The hike starts as soon has you leave the ferry terminal on Ōshima.

Gear: Ōshima is not a tough hike. The first mountain is the most strain you will feel so any sports shoes should be fine. But bring plenty of water as the hike is fairly long and there are few facilities. It is also a good idea to bring lunch with you as there aren't many shops or services on Oshima itself.





The weather was not so great but the the ferry ride to Oshima was very pleasant. The boat was full of fishing hobbyists. 








Despite the the grey early morning weather I pressed on to find the start of the Kyushu Olle course. 

Monument by the ferry port
Stone Torii (Shrine gate)
Approach to the shrine



Munakata-Taisha Nakasu Miya Shrine is a sub shrine of the main Munakata shrine on the mainland. The daughter of the sun goddess Amaterasu is enshrined here, Tagitsu Hime.


How to purify yourself for the shrine

A map showing the route up Mt. Mitake

Gejigeji sometimes known as a "house centipede"
Wooden Torii at the base of the shrine

Back on track a wooden Torri marks marks the start of the climb to Mitake 







The overcast sky dulled the view. Still it was impressive to see the ocean the small islands that surround the area. 


Kyushu Olle trail marker

The path looped downwards with more views 
 

An info. board

After reaching the base of Mitake I was in a valley with had some small farms and the trail became a lot more overgrown with branches of bamboo blocking the path

There were plenty of signs and bells warning about the presence of wild boar and urging caution.


Broken bamboo branches block the path


 
Kyushu Olle sign post and emergency area



Bells to avoid wild boar attacks you are advised to ring them as you go past



After emerging from the forest the landscape changed radically. Rolling coastal hills and a windmill in the distance. 

 
Cirsium japonicum
Japanese Thistle
 
Cows grazing on the hills, they were hiding almost completely hidden in the thistles and bushes. 
 
Winding paths lead up the hills




An old world war pill box/gun placement greeted me at the top. You can go inside and explore the interior. 
 
Yellow Poppy


 
Interior of pill box


Beach side Shinto shrine
宗像大社沖津宮遙拝所
 
Rocky beach was where I stopped for lunch



Roadside shrine

From the rocky beach It was another walk through some wild woodland to the final beach. I saw my first snake however I think it was a common Japanese rat snake and not a Mamushi!

 
A small island mound with a Torii on Kansu beach
 
Overlooking the bay near the beach 




Almost time to leave I looked back over the bay and at Miitake. The weather had improved significantly and the island now looked beautiful. 





The view from the ferry as Ooshima slips away in the distance 


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