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Parks Index

Introducing places of interest: Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park

Kirishima Area

Ebinokogen Area

Mt. Karakuni-dake
[Mt. Karakuni-dake]

An important mountaineering base, the Ebinokogen Area rises 1,200 meters above sea level in the northern section of the Kirishima Mountain Range and comprises Mt. Karakuni-dake, Onaminoike Crater Lake, Mt. Koshiki-dake, Mt. Hinamori-dake, Mt. Shiratori, and a number of other volcanoes. Visitors can spot Malus spontanea (Makino) Makino trees, which have been designated a National Natural Monument, a forest of conifer trees on Mt. Koshiki-dake, and many other important clusters of flora in the area and enjoy an excellent natural landscape consisting of the fumaroles on still-active Mt. Iio, numerous crater lakes, and more.


Takachihokawara Area

A colony of Kyushu azaleas
[A colony of Kyushu azaleas]

Another important mountaineering base, the Takachihokawara area rises 970 meters above sea level in the southern section of the Kirishima Mountain Range and comprises Mt. Takachiho-mine, Ohachi Crater, Mt. Ya-dake, Mt. Naka-dake, and a number of other volcanic peaks. Visitors can explore variations in the vertical distribution of vegetation from Oike Pond to Mt. Takachiho-mine as well as a volcanic desert area and colonies of Kyushu azaleas made possible by volcanic activity in the vicinity of Ohachi Crater and Mt. Naka-dake. Some of the earliest creation myths of Japan are connected to Mt. Takachiho-mine, which is also the former site of Kirishima Jingu Shrine. The peak remains today a destination linked to sacred beliefs.


Miike Crater Lake

Miike Crater Lake
[Miike Crater Lake]

As the largest crater lake in the Kirishima area, the Miike Crater Lake is home to various aquatic organisms and draws large numbers of waterfowl from elsewhere. It is surrounded by a dense broad-leaved evergreen forest, a part of which has been set up and designated as National Miike Wild Birds' Forest. Visitors can make full use of a campground, rental boat pier, and other facilities. The lake is also a popular destination among fishing enthusiasts.
*Entry into wooded areas by visitors to the Wild Birds' Forest in recent years has been negatively affecting the breeding of wild birds. Please observe wild birds in silence and from vantage points on the designated trails.


Kurinotake Area

Kurino Hachiman Jigoku
[Kurino Hachiman Jigoku ("Hell")]

Formed tens of thousands of years ago, Mt. Kurino-take is among the oldest of the volcanic peaks belonging to the Kirishima group of volcanoes. The zone near its summit is home to a natural forest of fir and skimmia trees. Visitors to the park can relax at Kurinotake Onsen or observe the jigoku ("hell") phenomenon produced at locations where volcanic gas is vigorously discharged.


Kinko Bay Area

Sakurajima

Sakurajima: an active volcano to this day
[Sakurajima: an active volcano
to this day]

Sakurajima constitutes the central volcanic cone in the Aira Caldera. The Minami-dake crater, consisting of Kita-dake, Naka-dake, and Minami-dake, continues to actively and repeatedly erupt. The foot of this peak is replete with lava fields formed from molten lava that flowed forth during past eruptions. Given such names as Anei Lava, Taisho Lava, and Showa Lava, these lava fields allow visitors to explore the initial stages of penetration and plant succession carried out by moss, black pines, and other species. In the wake of an eruption in 1914, flowing lava caused Sakurajima to become joined with the Osumi Peninsula.


Cape Sata

Cape Sata
[Cape Sata]

Occupying the southernmost tip of the island of Kyushu, Cape Sata is home to numerous colonies of tropical and subtropical plants, including Cyatheaceae, Livistona chinensis, and Cycas revolute plants, which grow and form a tunnel-like space over a pedestrian trail that winds its way from the nearby parking lot to the observatory. The observatory itself affords a view of the islands of Yakushima and Tanegashima on clear days.


Ibusuki

A sandbar leading to Chiringashima rises above the surface of the water
[A sandbar leading to
Chiringashima rises above
the surface of the water]

Located on the southern end of the Satsuma Peninsula is Ibusuki Onsen, famous for its open-air beach sand baths. Situated on the outskirts of the onsen district is Ibusuki National Park Resort Village, where visitors can engage in leisure activities.
Chiringashima is an islet that sits offshore in the middle of the local bay. At low spring tide, a sandbar appears to allow visitors to cross to the island on foot in about 30 minutes. Since this sandbar only appears for about sixty days a year, you will need to confirm its status ahead of time. In the vicinity of Resort Village, you can reach both the foot of Mt. Kaimon-dake, a conical peak referred to as Satsuma-Fuji, and Lake Ikeda, the largest caldera lake in Kyushu and home to the protected giant mottled eel.