Thursday 16 August 2018

Yame 八女市 Hiking 2018.8.14

Yame 八女市 Hiking 

Kyushu Olle 2018.8.14

Yame is famous for its green tea but we also found that it is one of the best places to learn about Kofun period in Japan's history 古墳時代. Learn more about the Kofun period. The Kofun period followed the Yayoi period and has some similarities in the material culture that has been left behind. One of the characteristics from this time are the burial mounds which can be found all over the area.

Access: We followed the Kyushu Olle course. The guide and map can be found here Kyushu Olle Yame Course However the details on the site for how to get to the course are very poor. To get to the start point take the JR Kagoshima line to JR Hainuzuka station 羽犬塚駅 From here you can catch the Horikawa bus and use this route Horikawa bus timetable At the top is Hainuzuka station which is the start point. You need to get to 上山内 it takes about half a hour. Next to this bus stop is a Aeon Ministop convenience store which is useful for supplies and getting plenty of water. Across the road from from the shop is the start point for the trail. 

Ministop by the bus stop
Yame course start point
Getting back: To get back the easiest way is to use the Fukushima highschool bus stop (Fukushima koko-mae) and take this to Kurume (First it stops at Nishitetsukurume and after that JR Kurume so you choose depending on where you want to get to). The buses are frequent, about every 15 mins at peak times. You can check the times here Nishitetsu Time table the bus number is #31. The bus stop is right in front of a Lawson's convenience store just down from the endpoint of the hike. 

Be aware that the Nishitetsu bus does allow you to use an IC card. The Horikawa bus does not so you need to have cash ready. 

The bus to Kurume takes about 40 mins. 
After leaving the convenience store it was just a short walk up a nearby hill into a forested area. Here we found the first feature of the hike a very impressive Kofun tomb. It seems like some things have been added over the centuries after it was originally constructed such as Buddha statues. 

Dounanzan Tumulus

Interior of the tomb
Stone shrine
Right next to the Kofun was a stone shrine. The statue figure inside looks like it may have been replaced at some point. 

Coming out of the wooded area we got to see the first tea field. 

Green tea field

Just up from the tea field gave us a nice view of the surrounding area. Quite a lot more upward walking. The forested area was however very easy to walk with a nice atmosphere. 
The first RP: Rescue point
Large fir cones on the forest floor 
Another stone shrine

After quite a lot more forest path walking we came to the end. The landscape opened up revealing some very impressive views of the surrounding green tea fields. They were much larger than I had expected and there was a nice fragrance in the air. 
Looking out over the tea field from the hill

The sun was blazing down, very hot but it helped bring out the vibrant greens
Looking down on the tea fields from the RP
Looking back at the tea fields
Ichineji Temple
 Another trek through farmland and wooded areas finally got us to a large temple. The interior was impressive.

Kyushu Olle info. Board

Esaki Foods

Small lake on the way to a tomb

Not far from the lake is another tomb. However this one has no open entrance. It was a good chance to take a rest before continuing to the final points of the course. 
Maruyamazuka tomb

View from Maruyamazuka

More green tea

The last leg of the hike


Goal, the end point of the course

Iwatoyama history and cultural exchange center. 

The museum at the end point was very impressive with lots of history and artifacts that have been found in the thombs in the area. 

We got ourselves with Badges and looked around. 

Reconstruction of traditional housing in the Kofun period

The course took longer than the suggestion from Kyushu Olle due to doing it with kids. The course itself took around 5 hours. Due to the open sections I definitely recommend bringing plenty of water, a sun hat and to apply plenty of sun block to any exposed skin. 

The features of the hike were spread out nicely and there was a good deal of variety of landscape. 

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