Tuesday 24 July 2018

Beaches and coastal walking Summer 2018

Beaches and coastal walking Summer 2018

Summer is in full swing and I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the beaches and coastal area of the area. Here are some pretty nice places to visit for enjoying the coast. I already have another post with details of Ooshima Island and Koga beach so check them out. Here are two other spots which are worthy of your attention. They are not hiking really although there is plenty of beach walking to be done in both locations. 

Nata Beach 奈多

Access: Take the JR Kagoshima line to JR Kashii from there change to the Saitozaki line to JR Nata 奈多駅. It only takes about half a hour. After leaving the station head to Shishiki shrine 志式神社 for an easy access point to the beach. When I went we tried to enter the beach further down and came out on the top of a small cliff. 

View from the top of the cliff

Climbing down the sandstone cliffs over the dunes

The sand was soft and warm, very soothing

Birds of prey circle over head

I like the view of the sand dunes

The path from the shrine to the beach through the sand dunes

Shishiki shrine and impressive sea shrine

Iki Island 壱岐島

Iki Island is located just about an hour away by ferry from Hakata port. It is a beautiful Island with access to caves, clear shallow seas, sandy beaches and a rich history. 

Access: Take the Nishittetsu bus from either Hakata or Tenjin to Hakata port. From there you can catch a ferry to Iki Island. Getting around the Island is not really hikeable (although there are plenty of places to walk around the Island) instead the best choices are to rent a car or to rent a bicycle. We rented a car so it was easy to zip around the Island. 

The port area is pretty dull with little to sea or do. The best beaches are a little way away and there are some interesting historical sights more inland. 

Kojima Shrine 小島神社 only accesable during low tide

View from Kojima Shrine

A boat trip around the small Islands. The colour and clarity of the sea wa amazing

Dolphin park was actually kind of depressing
A Kofun, burial mound. Iki has a number of these and they are very well kept. 

Saruiwa 猿岩A rock that is said to be shaped like a monkey
More wonderful sea views

We finished the day at Tsutsukihama beach 筒城浜 which is listed as one of the 100 best beaches in Japan. It wasn't too crowded and the sea was amazing. 

Monday 23 July 2018

Tenpaizan 天拝山 and Hōmanzan 宝満山 with Leina 2018.7.15 & 16

Tenpaizan 天拝山 and Hōmanzan 宝満山 with my daughter2018.7.15 & 16

This was a return to the first two hikes I have done this year. But this time I took my youngest with me both times and combined them with drips to hot springs near by. Tenpaizan 7/15

We decided to take on tenpaizan as it cooled later in the evening. 

The light made for some great photos

The shrine cats were more eager and curious today and came to check us out. 

On the trail

Time for a short rest

Admiring the view with the binoculars

Unfortunately the more challenging and interesting way down seems to be closed probably due to the heavy rain that occured the week before. 

So we took the same path back down the mountain and headed to Futsukaichi onsen (Hot Spring) 二日市温泉
Stopped by the temple at the base to get some late afternoon shots on the small pond. 
Futsukaichi Onsen

The onsen itself seems to have a long history. 
It is easy to locate on the main road after coming down the mountain. It was very cheap only 250 Yen per person but it doesn't have an outdoor bath and soap and shampoo are not included, best to bring a small set. 

Homan-zan 7/16

I planned to go early to Homan for a summer hike up all those steps. I asked Malena but she complained about having too much homework. Then Leina piped up and said she wanted to go. So off we went for a much more challenging but rewarding hike and onsen trip. 
Kamado shrine with a large grass ring
Leina soon gave up using the hiking pole and put on her gloves and went on all fours, spiderman style. 

Mukade ムカデ Japanese centerpede

Finally reaching the summit and enjoying the stunning views that never get old. This time I climbed the central rock as there were a lot less people around. 

Great views of the forest below.

Cooking up some cup noodles

Some more views through the trees

After getting to the bottom, which was much more challenging for Leina than the climb. We headed to the onsen. 

The hot spring we went to was Tsukushi-onsen 都久志の湯 which is about 700metres from the entrance to the shrine. The bath house it self was nice with an outdoor bath. Soap and shampoo are included and facilities such as hairdryers are free to use. Leina enjoyed some milk coffee from a glass bottle and we headed down to Dazaifu to grab some Umegae-mochi the famous snack of Dazaifu
A pretty blue dragonfly in Kamado shrine at the base of the mountain