Sunday 22 September 2019

Kuju Hiking: Five mountains: Kutsukakeyama 沓掛山, Kujuyama 久住山, Hoshihoyama 星生山, Inoboshiyama 稲星山, Nakadake 中岳, Tenguyama 天狗ヶ城 2019.9.15

Kuju Hiking: Five mountains: Kutsukakeyama  沓掛山, Kujuyama 久住山, Hoshihoyama 星生山, Inoboshiyama 稲星山, Nakadake 中岳, Tenguyama 天狗ヶ城 2019.9.15

For my third trip to Kuju in Oita the aim was to get around all of the mountains in the ring of peaks up from the Makinoto pass. We managed to climb all peaks and get some fantastic views as a bonus.

Makinoto car park, Kutsukakeyama 沓掛山 and Hoshihoyama 星生山

We arrived at the car park at 6am only to find that it was already full! We found some off road parking a short distance back down the mountain and started the hike with the sun still rising. 

The first mountain is actually part of the route and is unavoidable. Kutsukakeyama is a smallish mountain and the sign can be a little tricky to spot. 

The second mountain, Hoshioyama is off the main track to the left. 

Hoshihoyama has some of the simply best views with a volcanic vent visible in the near distance. It also have some fantastic 360 degree panoramic views. 


A splendid panoramic from the top of Hoshihoyama

Kujuyama 久住山 & Inoboshiyama 稲星山

Kujuyama is the most popular peak for people to visit and the top is often busy. It is also one of the easiest to climb. The views from the western side extend for a long way. On this day the clouds were hanging low creating a wonderful atmosphere and a sense of height. 

Following the leader! 

Inoboshiyama is not far from Kujuyama and it is pretty easy to get to. The top is interesting is it is made of a very orange-ish rock which looks very volcanic. 

Kuju Nakadake 中岳 and Tenguyama 天狗ヶ城

The climb to Nakadake is a steep climb but well worth it. It is is the largest of all of the peaks on Kuju. It provides some wonderful views of the Miike 御池 lake and the eastern side of Kuju.    

A panoramic from Nakadake on Kuju


The final peak in the ring in this area of Kuju is Tenguyama 天狗ヶ城 which is actually Tengu castle although I am not sure why it is given this name. The route to get there follows along a mountain ridge from Nakadake and is easy to follow. It can be a little difficult to the route but but we went around to the right and found a trail to the peak. The closer views of Miike lake are wonderful from here. 

After enjoying the views and taking a short break by the lake we began our long walk back to the car. After the hike we went to a natural hot spring to sooth our legs before heading back to Fukuoka. 

It was a another fantastic hike. For the next trip to Kuju we will climb from a different point and try some camping with the aim to get to Mt. Taizen 大船山

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