Friday 29 November 2019

Mt. Ohira 大平山 the last of 2019 Autumn colours 2019/11/23

Mt. Ohira 大平山 the last of 2019 Autumn colours 


As we move from November to December the seasonal transition from Autumn to Winter is underway. The beautiful Autumn foliage will soon start to disappear and we replaced by clear forests and snow on the mre remote and higher peaks. I went to the nearby Amagi park to climb Mt. Ohira and enjoy the last of the Autumn colours. It is a shame that it doesn't last long but as one door closes another opens and I am looking forward to what winter might bring. Below are some lovely views to hopefully inspire everyone to get out and enjoy the Autumn while it lasts! See my original post on how to get to this mountain and park 

Amagi park in the Autumn 
The park is also beautiful to visit in the springtime! 

The Autumn colours were great at various spots on the mountain and in the park itself. 

The mountain is not too hard to climb but still offers wonderful views! Many hikers and casual walkers visit the mountain everyday. It is the perfect place to take a relaxed hike. 

Saturday 23 November 2019

Ebino Plateau えびの高原: views of Karakunidake 韓国岳 2019/11/16

Ebino Plateau えびの高原: views of Karakunidake 韓国岳 2019/11/16

On our return journey from Kagoshima and hiking Kaimondake we decided to stop by the Ebino Plateau. This area is in Kirishima and borders Miyazaki prefecture and Kagoshima prefecture. The area has a number of peaks and is highly volcanic with some routes closed on the day due to this. I wanted to hike up to Mt. Karakuni however my daughter flat out refused to do it and to be honest we were ill prepared for another hike.

So I have decided to share some of the wonderful Autumn views of Kirishima and Mt. Karakuni and I will return next year for a full hike of the area.

The view of Karakunidake 韓国岳 you can see the volcanic debris left over from past explosions. The weather was wonderful which really enhanced the views and Autumn foliage. 

The Autumn colours were simply stunning with bright yellows, reds and browns everywhere. 

We got a great view of the surrounding area from a view point on the side of the road on the way down. We also stopped by a shrine to look at the red maple leaves. 

A fantastic place to visit in the Autumn and I look forward to hiking and hopefully camping in the area next year. The campsite is currently closed for renovations and maintenance but we walked around it and it looked great. 

Sunday 17 November 2019

Kaimondake 開聞岳 Hiking 2019/11/15

Kaimondake 開聞岳 Kagoshima Hiking 2019/11/15

Kaimondake is an active volcano at the very southern point of the island of Kyushu in Kagoshima prefecture. The last eruption occurred in the year 885 however it is still very much an active volcano. Amazingly evidence of this last eruption can still be found around the mountain the area is still active. The mountain has a beautiful shape and is sometimes known as the "Fuji of Satsuma" because it's shape resembles that of Mt. Fuji. 

Getting there: We went by car and parked at the Kaimonsanrokufureai Park かいもん山麓ふれあい公園. Here there is a campsite which I stayed in which has basic facilities and was very reasonably priced. I then went back to Kagoshima by train and used JR Kaimon station 開聞駅 it takes about 20 minutes to wall to the park and stage one of the hiking from here. Be aware though that there aren't many services per day so check, also IC cards do not work past Ibusuki station 指宿駅 so you will need to get a numbered ticket as you get on the train and pay when you arrive. The station is unmanned

The view of Kaimondake from across Ikeda lake 池田湖. Legend has it that a large monster similar to Nessie in Loch Ness in scotland lives here. 

We parked the car and started heading up through the park towards Kaimondake. The impressive shape looked easy to climb. Although we would find it more challenging than expected. 

Our hike started properly at the 2nd point. Just 3.6km to go to reach the Summit! The hike starts easy climbing through a clear forest. There were a number of trees how had fallen across the trail so we needed to watch our heads! 

At stop point 5 we got our first glimpse of the views of the ocean and the lands beyond. There is a bench here so we took at view minutes to rest before venturing on. The rock became a lot more rocky from here and slippery as well. 

From point 7 with only a short way to go we could see the debris left behind from the last major eruption of Kaimondake. We had to climb large boulders some with deep holes underneath. I was sure to keep an eye on Leina for of her disappearing down some of the holes! 

The sea was to the left of us and it felt a little disorientating at times as if we were hanging over the ocean! 

The last sections from point 8 and 9 had plenty of ropes, ladders and steps to climb as well as more great views every so often. 

Finally we reached the summit. The view are stunning with great views of Ikeda lake in the distance. There we lots of other college students who had also hiked up on the day and helped us out by lending us a lighter to help get our stove started. 

After eating lunch and enjoying the wonderful views we started the hike down. There doesn't appear to be any other routes so we hiked down the one we came up. When we hit the area pictured to the left our pace dropped as it was very slippery and dangerous and we had to be very careful not to fall! 
 After the descent we went to the campsite and got a pitch. I set up camp and then we went in search of an Onsen. The sun was setting giving wonderful views ocean and Kaimondake. We visited this hot spring ヘルシーランド 温泉保養館 which had wonderful views of the ocean 

 After reaching my tent I enjoyed the evening alone and undisturbed gazing at the stars and eating dinner. 

In the morning I had to dismantle the tent and get a move on to JR Kaimon station to catch the early train at 6:55. I made it with five minutes to spare. The station was very small on a single track line. I snapped the last few shots of Kaimondake as the train headed towards Kagoshima city.