National Parks of Japan Protecting our natural heritage for future generations

KirishimaKirishima-Kinkowan National Park

Top
ここから本文です。

Mt. Takachiho-no-mine Mountain Climbing Course

Mt. Takachiho-no-mine Mountain Climbing Course の写真
Type:
Mountain Climbing
Time Required:
3 h
Distance:
6.8 km
A legendary setting steeped in history.

Course Outline

Mt. Takachiho-no-mine is known as the stage of the legend of Tensonkorin telling of the Sun Goddess’s grandson’s descent to Earth and on this course, you will head to the summit to see the Amanosakahoko (the legendary spear), walking along the same path that Sakamoto Ryoma and his wife Oryo took as the first Japanese couple to go on a honeymoon. Mt.Takachiho-no-mine is a beautifully formed stratovolcano and at its summit stands the bronze Amanosakahoko that Ninigi no Mikoto supposedly thrust into the ground when he descended to Earth. Sakamoto Ryoma and his wife visited here during the end of the Edo Period in what is considered Japan’s first honeymoon. After walking from Takachihogawara to Kirishima Shrine Kogushi (ancient shrine ruins), start up the mountain climbing trail and pass through the trees. Once you make it up a steep, scree-covered slope, you will find yourself at Ohachi Crater’s summit. Circle around the crater, also known as the “horse’s back,” towards the left and continue on. From there, go down to the Setao col and take the lapilli and pumice-covered trail covered up to the peak of Mt. Takachiho-no-mine, where you can see the legendary Amanosakahoko.

Highlights

The view from Mt. Takachiho-no-mine
The view from Mt. Takachiho-no-mine

Mt. Takachiho-no-mine

With an elevation of 1,574 meters, Mt. Takachiho-no-mine is a mystic mountain mentioned in the legend of Tensonkorin in which the Sun Goddess’s grandson descends to Earth. It has a beautifully pointed peak formed through repeated volcanic eruptions. From the summit, Miike Crater Lake and the city of Miyakonojo look as if you could reach out and touch them and you can also see the smoking Mt. Sakurajima in the distance. Looking from Mt. Takachiho-no-mine, the sun rises from the Hyuganada Sea, so every New Year’s Day, the mountain is bustling with people who come to watch the first sunrise of the year.

A crater that still fumes to this day
A crater that still fumes to this day

Ohachi Crater

Located to the west of Mt.Takachiho-no-mine, Ohachi has been an active volcano for approximately the last 1,500 years. Its crater is roughly 500 meters in diameter and 200 meters deep, and you can still see volcanic gases rising from the bottom of the crater to this day. The crater’s edge and rim (known as the “horse’s back”) are dotted with enormous boulders that were volcanic bombs ejected by eruptions in the Meiji and Taisho Period, so they were not actually present in May of 1866 when Sakamoto Ryoma climbed the mountain.

A three-pronged spear thrust into the summit
A three-pronged spear thrust into the summit

Amanosakahoko (legendary spear)

The bronze, three-pronged spear standing inverted at Mt. Takachiho-no-mine’s summit is said to have been thrust into that spot by Ninigi no Mikoto when he descended to Earth. It is a treasure of Kirishima-higashi Shrine at the foot of the mountain. The spear is mentioned in Sakamoto Ryoma’s Kirishima Climbing Records and works by other Edo Period literary figures, giving you a sense of the long connection between nature and faith. During the end of the Edo Period when Sakamoto Ryoma and his wife Oryo visited this location on what is considered Japan’s first honeymoon, he told his sister Otome about the spear in a letter that still remains today.

Course Map

Mt. Takachiho-no-mine Mountain Climbing Course

Course Time

Starting Point
1
Takachihogawara Visitor Center
15 min.
0.5 km
2
Kirishima-jingu Shrine Kogushi (ancient shrine ruins)
15 min.
0.5 km
3
Mt. Takachiho-no-mine Trailhead 
30 min.
1 km
4
Ohachi Crater
30 min.
0.5 km
5
Setao
30 min.
0.9 km
6
Amanosakahoko (legendary spear)
60 min.
3.4 km
7
Takachihogawara Visitor Center
Terminus
*Course time and distance are estimates.