Saturday 18 May 2019

Fukuchiyama 福智山 & Takatoriyama 鷹取山 hiking 2019.5.11

Fukuchiyama 福智山 & Takatoriyama 鷹取山 hiking in Tagawa 2019.5.11

For this hike I headed in land in Fukuoka to the area of Tagawa. This area was once supported heavily by natural resource mining and before the 1970s was one of the largest mining towns in Japan. Mining still exists here and can even been seen from the the top of Mt. Fukuchi however it is a far smaller industry. Now the area is rural with lots of farms and a great place to experience nature. 

Access: Take the JR Fukuhoku Yutaka line from Hakata to Nogata station 直方駅 which takes just over an hour. From there change to the Heisei Chikuho Railway Ita Line by exiting JR Nogata station. The train is on a small platform and there are no tickets gates as instead you pay in cash as you leave the train. Similar to buses you take a paper number and that 
lets you track the cost of the Journey. (No IC cards for this line) Take this train to Ichiba 市場駅 it costs 320 Yen and takes 12 minutes. The station here is just a platform and the mountains can be seen right in front of your across the fields. From here head to Agano Gorge 上野峡. The hiking routes can be found on large map boards. I stuck to the left side to make sure I went up Mt. Takatori first and then went up to Mt. Fukuchi and headed down to the waterfall to end the hike

The road to the mountains from Ichiba Sta. couldn't be clearer. Straight through some very rural farmland, over a river, past a dairy farm and up to the agano gorge. 

The small local train that goes through Tagawa

Looking at Fukuchiyama over the fields

And over a lake

After a good walk the road starts to head to to the gorge. There are coin operated water dispensers where people can refill the water bottles for their homes with fresh drinking water from the mountain. 

The route map. I went up the red trail and came down using the orange one. 

Before starting the hike up there are signs on the left of the trail which head up to a viewpoint. The viewpoint is nice if you don't intend to hike up the rest of the mountain but honestly it is note essential if you are going to the top. 
The view from the viewpoint tower 展望台.

I didn't cross the bridge instead kept going left up the trail 

The route is rocky and the trail is marked by spray painted rocks in places. 
Eventually I reached a crossroads. One direction is Mt. Takatori the other Mt. Fukuchi. It isn't a long walk to get to Takatori and is well worth the effort. It is a grassy treeless peak with some good views of the city below. 

I went back to the crossroads and headed followed this sign up to Mt. Fukuchi the route from here was only 1.4Km and not too tough.  Although it does get a little steeper there were not really any rock climbing sections. 

The top of Mt. Fukuchi is large and treeless. Instead it is covered with grass, rock and short Bamboo grass. The trails can be seen far into the distance. The views are wonderful! 


The mountain is also dotted with small stone shrines. 

The views stretch far into the distance and you can see the mining areas and the Hiraodai limestone plateau which is nearby.  

I followed the trails in the grass over a large hill to start the descent back. It seemed like this was going in the wrong direction however this was actually a more direct route of descent. Eventually I re-entered the forest. The route down is much steeper than the route I used to climb the mountain. There were even ropes in places. 

The signposts are also worse going this direction and are starting to become faded. I followed the black signpost to head to the waterfall 白糸の滝. 

After a lot of stumbling and sliding down I came out directing next to the base of the waterfall. 


Eventually I came out by this sign which points up to the waterfall. 

There is a small road and some more spring water dispensers. I followed the road going left to the find the final feature Fukuchichugu Shrine 福智中宮神社. 

The shrine was a pretty shrine in the forest. 

Fukuchichugu Shrine 福智中宮神社. 

ほうじょう温泉 ふじ湯の里
With the main part of the hike complete I turned my attention on getting to a onsen for a soak and relax. ほうじょう温泉 ふじ湯の里 is one of the nicest I have found. It is about 40 minutes from Agano Gorge but well worth the extra effort. They even run a free bus service which can take you to Kanada Station 金田駅 which is a few stops past Ichiba on the same line. The Onsen waters are cloudy and feel great. you can find out more here

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