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Kirishima Mythology Course

Kirishima Mythology Courseの写真
Type:
Hot springs drive
Time Required:
1 h 20 min.
Distance:
37.3 km
Visit historical sites and spiritual power spots in the land where a great deity descended to Earth.

Course Outline

The Kirishima Mountain Range is known as one of the largest hot spring areas in the country. This course takes you on a drive around the south side of the mountain range where you will visit numerous hot springs, Yunotaki Falls, the setting of the Tensonkorin legend, Takachihogawara’s ancient shrine ruins, Kirishima-jingu Shrine and other popular sites and spiritual power spots. Kirishima Spa Village is the hot spring area on the southwest side of Mt. Kirishima that is home to a variety of hot spring facilities ranging from Maruo Onsen’s many hotels and ryokan, to bathhouses nestled among the mountains. The water comes mainly from a sulfur spring source and you can enjoy a myriad of hot spring baths, including those with clear water and those that are milky white in color with a strong sulfur smell. At the nearby Maruo Falls, you can see an unusual waterfall that flows with hot water from the springs. After visiting the ancient shrine ruins (Kirishima-jingu Shrine Kogushi) in Takachihogawara, take a moment to relax and enjoy the view of the Kirishima Mountain Range at Takachiho Farm before finishing up the course with a visit to Kirishima-jingu Shrine. On this course, the majestic nature of the Kirishima Mountain Range, a hot spring village where steam rises from the earth, and the historical depth of a land from the Tensonkorin legend are all yours to experience in one place.

Highlights

A prestigious vermilion shrine and Important Cultural Property of Japan
A prestigious vermilion shrine and Important Cultural Property of Japan

Kirishima-jingu Shrine

As one of the shrines that symbolizes Kirishima’s deep connection to mythology, Kirishima-jingu Shrine was constructed in the 6th century. Its principle deity is Ninigi no Mikoto, the grandson of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu and protagonist in the Tensonkorin legend in which he descends to Earth. Until the year 1234, the shrine was located at Takachihogawara, which is now the site of its ancient ruins. Colored in bright vermilion, this prestigious shrine has been designated an Important Cultural Property. Four of the mysterious sites of natural phenomena known as the "Seven Wonders of Kirishima" (Mitarashi River, Cold Wind Cave, Turtle Rock, and the Midnight Music) can be found within the shrine precincts, where you can listen to a guided audio tour as you make the rounds to each spot.

A rare waterfall flowing with hot water
A rare waterfall flowing with hot water

Maruo Falls

Located a five-minute walk from Kirishima Onsen Market, Maruo Falls is 23 meters high and 16 meters wide. Coming from the upstream hot springs of Eno-o Onsen and Iodani Onsen, this unusual waterfall flows with hot water. It has a pale, milky color and sulfuric scent and in winter, steam rises from the falls giving it an atmosphere befitting a Spa Village.

A panoramic view from the observatory
A panoramic view from the observatory

Shinwa no Sato Park Observatory

Shinwa no Sato Park is located on a 600-meter-high rise along National Route 223. If you take the sightseeing lift up to the observatory, you will have a panoramic view of Kinkowan Bay and Mt. Sakurajima as well as the beautiful Mt. Takachiho-no-mine. The park offers various fun activities such as the Super Slider and Bockerl, and since the Kirishima Roadside Station is next door, you can also get a meal and take a moment to relax after your long drive.

Course Map

Kirishima Mythology Course

Course Time

Starting Point
1
Kirishima Spa Village
3 min.
0.5 km
2
Maruo Falls
12 min.
6.1 km
3
Shinwa no Sato Park
19 min.
10.1 km
4
Kirishima-jingu Shrine Kogushi
18 min.
8.6 km
5
Takachiho Ranch
12 min.
3.2 km
6
Kirishima-jingu Shrine
5 min.
1 km
7
Kirishima Shinsui Gorge
11 min.
7.8 km
8
Kirishima Spa Village
Terminus
*Course time and distance are estimates.