Hiking in Kirishima Mountains

Hiking in Kirishima Mountains

If you like outdoors activities and/or if you are a mountain enthusiast, you cannot miss the opportunity to hike in the mountains of Kirishima.

Please see here a hiking map in English : Hiking map and below are our recommendations 🙂

 

 MT TAKACHICHO-NO-MINE: Takachiho Gawara Trail Entrance

This is the first trail we would recommend. Why? Because it is actually the shortest and the most beautiful one. Starting from Takachiho-Gawara visitor Center, you will only need approximately 2 hours to reach the top of Mount Takachiho-no-mine (1574m) and 1 hour and a half to be back.

As there are barely no trees during the hike, you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking scenery all the way to the top. On the other side, it can be very dangerous to climb during a windy day.

Furthermore, we strongly advise to check the weather forecast beforehand as the visibility can be strongly reduced because of the fog.

The hike is quite short but not always easy, and we strongly recommend to wear hiking shoes as it gets slippery when you go down the mountain.

 

Required time to complete the hike: 3 to 4 hours

Level of difficulty: intermediate

Parking available (500 JPY)

          

 

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❷ MT KARAKUNIDAKE: Onami Lake Trail Entrance

Mt Karakunidake, with its 1700m high, is the highest peak in Kirishima mountains. Due to the recent eruptions at Ioyama, several entrance trails are closed. No worries, the Onami lake trail is open and safe!

We recommend this trail because of the numerous sceneries you will enjoy there and because… well it’s the highest peak! Which means you will get the best view at the end of your hike 😊 Halfway through the hike you will face the Onami lake. There are then two ways to get around the lake. You can take one on the way to the peak and then the other one on your way back! The fact that the trail has several ways is very appreciable !

If you are not motivated enough, or if you don’t have enough time to do the whole trail, you can simply go around the lake and come back, it should take approximately 3 hours and it should be very easy!

This trail is not as “wild” as the ① because there are less rocks to climb but you still need hiking shoes and good motivation!

 

Required time to complete the hike: 5 to 6 hours

Level of difficulty: easy/intermediate

Free parking available (note: the parking gets easily full on the weekend)

 

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❸ MT TAKACHICHO-NO-MINE: Ojibaru Koen Trail Entrance

For the third and last course, we are back to our dear Mt Takachiho-no-mine. To be honest, this mountain is so amazing it deserves many hiking courses!

This time the trail starts at Ojibaru koen. You will need to drive in the forest for quite a while before actually see the entrance. If you like walking in the forest this hike was made for you as you will be surrounded by trees for about two thirds of the way. The fact to have the trees hiding the scenery (and hiding from the sun during summer) will make you appreciate even more the landscape once you are out of the forest. Once again, you should check the weather forecast as it gets really foggy in this area. If the sun is out, you will be able the mount Yatake and the Miike Lake. Just a little bit before reaching the top you will cross a torii, showing how important this place is in Japanese legends.

Technically this trail is not hard but it is quite long and for us it seemed easy to get lost in the forest.

 

Required time to complete the hike: 6 hours

Level of difficulty: intermediate

Free parking available