Day 2 in Kirishima! I hadn’t planned on a second hike but couldn’t pass up on the good weather even if I was a little tired from the day before.
Off to a very cute start; I saw 2 deer nearly immediately on my way up to 高千穂峰 ・Mount Takachiho (1574m). Like Mt Karakuni yesterday, it’s all old volcanoes and craters that make for really out of this world views. Walking up and along the crater was very cool, the scenery seemed to change every 5 minutes.
This is a pretty popular part of the trail I took and it was a national holiday so I traded taking pictures with some nice people I met along the way up. All these 3 pictures on top are about 5 minutes away from each other. I love being on top of the crater, but it did take a lot of energy to summon some excitement to go up the next stretch.
From the top! Well worth the slippery, gravelly trek up. On the left picture you can see where I was the day before, and on the top right where I had just come up from the crater. The bottom right is where I was headed off to next for the very long part of the hike.
For the descent I took the long way down, aiming for the lake you can see on the bottom right picture. It was so, so beautiful walking along the ridge in the tall grass.
On the right is the second peak I hit, Futagoishi・二子石. It was very fun playing around and a beautiful walk through the forest down until i came to the abrupt end of the forest!
I walked down until the campground and then finally at the lake. It felt like I was walking out of the volcanoes and mountains and into a dream, it was almost too perfect looking to be real. Astonishingly enough, my partner had found Totoro while looking for another onsen so I could clean up before the drive back home. It was perfect. I loved everything about this hike.
After leaving Totoro we drove through rice fields and caught the sunset going down over the place I had hiked around in all day. If you ever find yourself in the south of Japan, you could do worse than spending time in Kirishima.