National Parks of Japan Protecting our natural heritage for future generations

KirishimaKirishima-Kinkowan National Park


Abundant Shiratori Kyodo-no-mori Forest Walking Course

Abundant Shiratori Kyodo-no-mori Forest Walking Courseの写真
Hot springs Mountain Climbing
Time Required:
4 h 15 min.
9.9 km
Be amazed by gigantic trees and feel life force of a flourishing forest.

Course Outline

This course takes you through Abundant Shiratori Kyodo-no-mori Forest, a natural primeval forest preserve along a mountain stream, and finishes at Shiratori Onsen where you can recuperate in the hot springs. In 2001, Ebino City and the Kyushu Regional Forest Office jointly agreed to preserve this 85-hectare area as a national forest in order to protect its natural environment and create a place of learning in the woodlands. There are a myriad of tree species that grow here, such as Japanese red pine, Mongolian oak, fir, hemlock, Japanese evergreen oak, Castanopsis sieboldii (a type of beech), and Distylium racemosum (a type of witch hazel). Many large and old trees can also be found in the forest, including about 600 giants that are over 280 centimeters in circumference and estimated to be more than 220 years old.
* Cellphone reception is weak in the forest due to its remote location. You will also need to make preparations suitable for mountain climbing.
* “Abundant” in the forest’s name refers to its rich and thriving environment.


The gigantic trees of the primeval forest
The gigantic trees of the primeval forest

The giant Castanopsis sieboldii beech

In Abundant Shiratori Kyodo-no-mori Forest, there are many gigantic trees of various species that will make people look tiny by comparison. Due to the high humidity, emerald moss grows over the base of these trees, making for a truly beautiful sight.
The giant Castanopsis sieboldii beech tree is 19 meters tall, 199 centimeters in diameter, and has a circumference of 624 centimeters. The humongous Japanese evergreen oak tree, which used to be 19 meters tall, 238 centimeters in diameter, and 740 centimeters in circumference, unfortunately fell over in August of 2016. Still, you can also see a huge fir tree that is 30 meters tall and 157 centimeters in diameter, and many other forest giants.         

Shiratori Onsen (Uwayu and Shimoyu)
Shiratori Onsen (Uwayu and Shimoyu)

Shimoyu’s outdoor garden bath

Shiratori Onsen is located on the way from Ebino City to Ebino Highland. Shimoyu is popular for its outdoor garden bath surrounded by forest and reservable baths that allow those needing assistance to also enjoy the hot spring. It was visited by poets Hiroshi (Tekkan) and Akiko Yosano in July of 1929 and a stone monument inscribed with a poem written by the couple during their stay was erected at the bathhouse. Uwayu, which is just 500 meters away, is the historical hot spring where Saigo Takamori stayed for three months for mental and physical relief after losing the Seikanron debate and resigning from the government. Its natural steam baths and the outdoor bath with an excellent view of Ebino City’s Kakuto Caldera are highly recommended.

The headwaters of the Shiratori River
The headwaters of the Shiratori River

Flow from abundant forest

Along this course, you will find a ravine along the Shiratori River, whose headwaters flow from the Abundant Shiratori-no-mori Forest. The water is so clear that a drinking water facility is located nearby and in the summer, children can play in sections of the river that have formed into a shallow pools. Shiratori River is a tributary of the Sendai River, which empties into the East China Sea at Satsumasendai City 60 kilometers away.

Course Map

Abundant Shiratori Kyodo-no-mori Forest Walking Course

Course Time

Starting Point
Ebino Eco-museum Center
30 min.
2 km
Former Ebino City Rotenburo (outdoor bath)
50 min.
2.4 km
Guide sign for Abundant Shiratori Kyodo-no-mori Forest
45 min.
1.1 km
Mitsutani Foresty Road Fork
15 min.
0.6 km
Giant Castanopsis sieboldii (Beech) Tree
60 min.
1.5 km
The Shiratori River Headwaters
30 min.
0.7 km
Shiratori Onsen Shimoyu
20 min.
1.3 km
Shiratori Onsen Jigoku
5 min.
1.3 km
Shiratori Onsen Uwayu
*Course time and distance are estimates.