Tuesday 30 April 2019

Mt. Kuzumi 久住山 & Mt. Inoboshi Kuju spring Hiking 2019.4.28

Mt. Kuzumi 久住山 & Mt. Inoboshi Kuju spring Hiking 2019.4.28

Despite it being the end of April the temperature from the Makinoto car park was still only 3 degrees so we wore a fleece and jackets much of the way up until about 10am. I would also suggest setting off early, we left 4am and arrived at the parking area at around 6:20am and we managed to get one of the last parking spaces. Otherwise it is on street parking along the road or the car park near the bottom of the hill. 

For this hike we decided to concentrate on some of the peaks we didn't hike up last November. We aimed for the main mountain Mt. Kuju (Kuzumi on google maps) and after than the rounded mountain on Inoboshi (Doesn't seem to appear on google maps. After than go through the route up again (Please see my last post for that) Instead I will concentrate on the different mountains, views and seasonal changes. 

Unlike last time a thick mist clouded our view as we hiked up. We could see the trail ahead well enough but the views from either side were almost completely blocked. 


Mt. Kuju this was our main goal for the day. The mountain is steep on most sides but can easily be conquered from the going around the back. It gets very busy and on this day there was a constant stream of people going up and down.

The view from the summit it fantastic. Looking over the Kuju mountains with the clouds constantly changing really left the impression of height. Looking the other directions gave an impression of vastness and we could see far into the distance. 

Mt. Kuju 久住山 summit sign

After taking in the views we hiked down to a nearby hill which overlooked Nakadake the largest mountain in the Kyush and the main aim for our last hike. We set up the gas stove and boiled up some cup noodles and toasted sandwiches yum! By now the clouds had started to clear giving much better views. 

After a spot of lunch we continued on my the next peak, Inoboshiyama. This mountain doesn't seem to appear on google maps however it is significantly different from the other with a red golden top. The rocks at the summit are very orangeish. 

Inoboshiyama summit signpost

Views were clear now and allowed us to gaze far into the distance. 
 We started the hike down past Nakadake and around the Miike lake. The weather had improved at gave us great views all the way down. It was also a lot less muddy than last time. On the previous hike snow melt had made most of the track very sticky and slow going. This time the soil was dryer and we made good time. 

The trail down with the sun coming out and the fog lifted. The variety of colours was striking and there were even small white flowers coming out. 

After getting back to the car and eating some lovely Milk ice cream (Nearby Aso is famous for its cows and milk) we headed to a onsen. The areas has lots of natural hot springs with steam vents gushing out of the earth all around the area. We visited the Kuju Kanko hotel which has impressive vents of steam coming out of the back

The cost was reasonable 500 Yen per adult and 400 Yen per child. The building that the baths were in was new and very clean. I had the luxury of having the baths to myself so I decided to get some pics. The water was hot and fantastic! 

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Sefuriyama 脊振山, Kanayama 金山 and the Bozu Waterfall 坊主ヶ滝 overnight backpacking hike 2019.4.20&22

Sefuriyama 脊振山, Kanayama 金山 and the Bozu Waterfall 坊主ヶ滝 overnight backpacking hike 2019.4.20&22 

All set with new overnight backpacking gear we set off to Sefuriyama for an overnight trip hiking and exploring some of the highest mountains in Fukuoka. I have been on this hike before, however the last time went it was for a day hike and I missed the waterfall on the other side of Kanayama. Approaching the mountain from the perspective of an overnight hike really helped me appreciate how wonderful this mountain and the area surrounding it really is. Fantastic views of the sunset and sunrise in addition to plenty of glimpses of animals such as snakes, badgers and countless birds were easier to take in with more time and a more relaxed pace. 

Access: We started at Shiiba accessible by using the #3 bus from Hakata. We took this to Wakiyama ES and then changed buses to another #3 bus which took us the rest of the way to Shiiba. The journey took about and hour and a half all by bus. From Shiiba we hiked to the Shiiba mountain pass and then up to Sefuriyama campground where we pitched our tents for the evening before hiking up to enjoy the sunset from the summit on Sefuriyama. The camp area is basically a small empty field. Due to the air force base and radars near the summit there is a road going to the top, a vending machine and a good toilet facility. Please see my previous hikes for more details Sefuri>Kana Sefuri>Saga

The bus stop at Shiiba. A short walk up from here brings you to a sign pointing towards the Shiiba mountain pass. 

We saw at least 4 different snakes over the course of the trip. This is best photo I could get. Its tail started to shake as I approached for a photo. We saw a black snake later on near the top of the mountain hiding in a storm pipe and another nimble snake which came down near us on Kanayama and quickly slid away into the trees. 

The trail up to Sefuriyama is wonderfully wild with lots of crisscrossing of streams and moss covered rocks and trees. We followed the pink tape and had to stop every so often to locate the route.

We turned left after emerging from the trail on the mountain road and continued onwards to Sefuriyama. We found the black snake in a storm pipe as mentioned earlier and enjoyed the views under brilliant blue skies. 

Tent pitched at Sefuri campground
Plenty of room for one! 
Sun growing heavy in the sky

Sunet on Sefuriyama

Sunset finally came casting a low light over the mountains in the distance and stretching the shadows. We headed back down to cook up some dinner. But first visited the statue just past the car park. 

Cheese toasties for comfort food! 
And finally coffee to relax

Before turning in for the night we equipped our head lamps and went back to the summit to take in the night view. The stars and city in the distance were great to see in person but didn't come out too well on simple smartphone cameras. 

A good night sleep later and I woke just before sunrise and headed back up to take in the morning. The sunset was wonderful to behold and provided a great feeling of peace and tranquility. 

Some curious badgers were exploring the area around the campsite as we ate breakfast. 

Off we headed back past the route we took up the mountain and onwards to Kanayama. The hike is long at goes over a few minor mountains. There are long stretches of easy forest walking and then some areas of more intense climbing (Especially with a 12kg pack on my back!)

A broken summit sign on the way to Kanayama. 猟師岩山

Fantastic view of the wild
One of the best views. The trees give way to a wonderful view of the splendour of wilderness and nature. 

Finally reaching Kanayama

The birthplace of the Muromi river

The ruins of an old Monk's house. 

The Bozu waterfall. I missed this on my first trip due to the waning sunlight. To reach it you simply turn right after emerging from the Kanayama route and follow the tarmac road up a little. It is a splendid sight and well worth the small amount of time it took to reach it. 

坊主ヶ滝 Bozu waterfall

After taking in the waterfall and refilling our water bottles we headed back down the road to the bathhouse. Flowers lined the road and we took a shortcut through the forest before finally reaching the bath house. 

The bathhouse was as great as the first time with a fantastic view of the mountains right from the baths. They run a free bus which will take you to a main bus hub connecting to #17 and #3 buses. To get the buss all you need to do is ask at the main reception and they will call the driver to take you to the main nishitetsu bus stop.