These Walking Dreams: Day 13 (April 25, 2017)

Lake Miike, Miyazaki → 🌋 Takachiho-no-mine🌋 Mount Karakuni → Kakutō, Miyazaki

Map of Kyushu with the route of These Walking Dreams highlighted. Maps © Thunderforest, Data © OpenStreetMap 🗺 Open map in GaiaGPS ⇝


Blooming azaleas on the shore of Lake Miike, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Lake Miike, Miyazaki

Oh God, not another fucking beautiful day, to quote Alice de Janzé from White Mischief.


Buddha statue at East Kirishima Shrine, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

Blooming azalea at East Kirishima Shrine, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

Groundskeeper with leafblower at East Kirishima Shrine, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 East Kirishima Shrine, Miyazaki

Nothing would dare disrupt the tranquility of East Kirishima Shrine on an early morning but flocks of songbirds and a groundskeeper with a massive gas-powered leafblower, doing what others might do with a rake.


On the path to the summit of Takachino-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

On the path to the summit of Takachino-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

Shrine gate on the path to the summit of Takachino-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

Steps on the path to the summit of Takachino-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

On the path to the summit of Takachino-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Takachiho-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki


Soldiers on the way to the summit of Takachino-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

Soldiers on the way to the summit of Takachino-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

Soldiers on the way to the summit of Takachino-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

Screen on the slopes of Takachino-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

New shoots on the slopes of Takachino-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Takachiho-no-mine, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki

In a literal assault on the mountain, troops are marched in full battle gear up the west face of Takachiho-no-mine. Every one of them greeted me as I skipped down the rainbow scree of the volcano. Down in the parking lot, I counted seven troop carriers.


The buildings of Shinyu Hot Spring, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

The author at Shinyu Hot Spring, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Shinyu Hot Spring, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki

Fukada Kyūya, author of One Hundred Mountains of Japan, first climbed Takachiho-no-mine in 1939, and stayed at Shinyu, which he refers to as a rustic hot spring village”. It is now a cluster of slightly dilapidated buildings, but its translucent blue waters still make for a perfect, scalding dip on the way to the crater rim of Mount Karakuni, the highest point of Kirishima.


Deer skeleton on the path to the summit of Mount Karakuni, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

Bush on the path to the summit of Mount Karakuni, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

View of the Ebino Highlands and Mount Io from the path to the summit of Mount Karakuni, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Mount Karakuni, Kirishima Mountains, Kagoshima→Miyazaki


Road leading down from the Ebino Plateau, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Ebino Plateau, Kirishima Mountains, Miyazaki

It may be Mount Haruna which made touge racing famous, thanks to Initial D, but a quick look at some of the corners on the road down from the Ebino Plateau, on the northern slopes of the Kirishima Mountains, leads me to believe the practice may not be restricted to the mountain roads and volcanoes of Gunma, where Mount Haruna is.

Next → Day 14, April 26

Prev. ← Day 11, April 23


These Walking Dreams is a visual field diary of a 4,300-kilometer walk from one end of Japan to the other, in the spring and summer of 2017.