Sunday 28 October 2018

Takasuzan 高祖山 Hiking 2018.10.28

Takasuzan 高祖山 Hiking 2018.10.28

Takasuzan is one of the mountains in the Itoshima region of Fukuoka. It is a short hike, only lasting around 3 or so hours which makes it ideal if you want to hike some but not spend all day doing it. The mountain was once home to a large castle and there are plenty of ruins and earthworks around the area which you can find. My hike ended with the Takasu shrine which is a beautiful shrine at the base of the mountain. I would suggest that you do this hike in the reverse fashion to how it has been displayed here. There is car parking near the shrine, toilets and a map box with free Takusuzan hiking maps and there is even a local convenience store by the road. 

Access: Take the train to Susenji 周船寺駅 station using the Kuko subway line to Meinohama that then changes line to get to Itoshima. There is a local bus service that runs down the main road next to the mountain it has a flat rate of 200 Yen which you need to pay in cash when you get on the bus. The timetable can be found here Taksuzan Bus Time table the main local city site is here Itoshima city. I started the hike at the Koraiji 高来寺 bus stop however I suggest you stay on the bus for a few more stops and get off at 高祖 Takasu and walk up to the Takasu shrine 高祖神社 parking area and start from there. 
A scan of the map made by the local city. Paper copies are free. 
To get to the bus stop I had to leave the station and turn left at the river. The bus stop was easy to find. 

The Itoshima local bus service
An information board just down from the Koraji bus stop. It has English and explains some of the history of the area
Oitmatsu Shrine 老松神社 a pretty little local shrine

The entrance to the trail is a little way back up the road towards the station. The steps go up into the forest and there is plenty of signage in English and Japanese. 

The first of many sites where you can still see the foundations of some ancient buildings. Most of these were the previous sites of watch towers or other buildings connected to the main castle which was on the summit. Along the hiking route there were plenty short diversions which were around 20 to 50 meters from the main trail and well worth checking out. 

There were plenty of rest points with benches. The summit is not far from this point. The downward journey I took is to the right of the photo. I headed to the summit to take in the view and the history before descending from here. 

The summit sign. There was a mapbox right next to the sign. A strange place to put it I thought considering this would be the end of the most peoples hike. 

The summit was also the main site for the castle which was used for defence but also as a residence. 

The view from the summit was not the most amazing. But it did give a good look at the coast and Kayasan in the distance. 

The view from the other side of the mountain. 

The sun finally came out!

The route down was pretty and in places steep and challenging. It headed down to an old road which goes straight to the Takasu Shrine. 

The Takasu shrine is a fairly large shrine. There were a number of buildings connected to it. The pictures and art in the shrine itself was interesting to look at

The final part of the hike near the main road. Taksuan can be seen in the background. 

I missed the bus and because I ended the hike far from the station it meant a walk of around 50 mins to get back. Not the end of the world but another reason why it would be better to start from that point and end the hike closer to the station. 

I looked back over the fields of Cosmos flowers at Takusuzan in the distance.  A good hike that left with plenty of the day left to relax. 

The full photo album can be viewed here Takasuzan Photo Album

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