There’s a first time for everything, and today was the day I woke up at 3:00am to go chase the sunrise. A few of us avid hikers drove up and made the quick hike up. Full disclosure! Most of these are my incredibly talented friend’s pictures from his amazing camera and the boring unedited ones are mine.
The sun rises very early in the summer so it was a little brighter than we planned on the way up, but incredibly beautiful.
Even at such a low elevation we were above the clouds, which in this sunrise pic look like the ocean I think.
I’ve been to this area a few times, it’s a pretty popular hike because if it’s accessibility and being beginner-friendly. It was really nice to have the place to ourselves.
It was such a nice start to the day and I would definitely go on another sunrise trek again.
Another sunny weekend! Rainy season is no problem if this pattern keeps up. A few people had told me about this very beautiful, mini hike in Itoshima that was a little windy so I was saving it for warmer weather. Itoshima is a bit of a beach town and it was great to explore around.
There are near panoramic view going most of the way up the mountain. Every 3 feet I stopped to take pictures, it’s really a prefect quick hike.
The terrain is unlike anything like I’ve seen in Fukuoka, you can see different rock sediment and its nearly all exposed rock. Most other places have more tree cover or are much softer earth.
These are all 3 different little beaches I popped into. Everything is so close and compact around here so it’s easy to see a lot.
Of course it wouldn’t be a hike without roadside produce! After I got off the course I waslked past some beaches and made my way over to the big rock/mini mountain. I think this is one of the most popular areas in Itoshima, every time I come to Itoshima with people we wind up here. I made my way to the other side of the rock to have lunch.
Maybe unsurprisingly I brought a sweet from Kichi Zoh with me. This one is special for June. It’s called minazuki・水無月 which is the name for June in the old Japanese calendar, before the Gregorian calendar was introduced to Japan. It literally means ‘month with no water’ which is hard to believe because June is rainy season. Interesting Japanese language tidbit, the 無・na typically means: no, none, without. However in old times it was also a possessive particle, so means the month full of water! Learning Japanese is a trip.
Anyway! The sweet minazuki is red bean on jellied mochi and was super good! I think I see more in my future this month.
Rainy season thankfully took a little break last weekend and a friend and I were able to get out of the city and go on a little hike. It was really beautiful! At the top there were cafes and locally made pottery shops, so quite different than my usual summits!
The locker-looking thing on the left is a fresh egg vending machine. I was kicking myself for having bought a dozen the day before! If you look really closely you can see the times the eggs were laid. I love little spots like this in the countryside and of course love finishing a hike at the beach. I need to start bringing my bathing suit on hikes. Hopefully we get weather this good again this coming weekend!
Recently the state of emergency was lifted in Fukuoka so I finally organized another group hike. It was so nice to see familiar faces enjoying time outdoors again. We went out west to Itoshima for a nice, easy hike and it was just a lovely day.
There was so, so, so many mikan (citrus fruit) along the entrance and descent of the hike. On the way up we saw the cutest little train trolley for picking fruit that I have ever seen.
The trail up was really nice and gentle, with lots of beautiful greenery.
At the summit of Tonbōyama is a giant rock that is really fun to climb up. As soon as we got to the top it became a little cloudy but we still got to see the ocean and a nice panoramic view around up.
One thing I love hiking is all the little cute things people add (that are not harmful!) like this little sakura amulet tied to this tree, that has 5 trunks emerging from the base, like the 5 petals of a sakura blossom. Unfortunately it wasn’t in bloom, yet!
On the way down we walked in and out of little streams and got some mini waterfalls as the sun came out again.
Of course it’s spring and we got to see sakura blossoms (early), ume blossoms (late), and white camellias and so many others.
In Itoshima it’s really easy to do sea-to-summit (or the reverse) hikes and that is definitely part of the magic of the place. We finished off dipping our toes into the sand before heading back. It was a wonderful day and a great, relaxing hike.
In Japan March 14th is White Day, which is closer to a western Valentine’s Day. Now men give chocolates or presents to their one sweetheart, after February 14th women give chocolate to their friends, colleagues, crushes, everyone. It’s a little different, but at least there is no shortage of sweets. I’m a lucky girl and recieved these really beautiful sakura, tea, and strawberry chocolates.
Now just wondering what the next seasonal thing might be…
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.