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Mt. Naka-dake Course

Mt. Naka-dake Courseの写真
Type:
Mountain Climbing
Time Required:
5 h 15 min.
Distance:
11 km
The Golden Route of Kuju mountain hiking, heading for the highest peak in Kyushu.

Course Outline

Leaving Makinoto Pass at 1,330 m above sea level, you will enjoy a delightful walk along a ridge in the heart of the Kuju Mountain Range. As the highest peaks of the Kuju Mountain Range are clustered around this course, hikers with stamina and time can go as far as Mt. Kuju, Mt. Hossho, and Mt. Inaboshi.

The stretch from Makinoto Pass to Mt. Kutsukake involves a steep, 25-minute climb, but from there starts an open walk along the main ridge.

A bit off course, Mt. Ogigahana and Mt. Hossho are popular spots for admiring Kyushu azaleas in June, and colorful foliage in autumn.

At the plaza-like Kuju fork, Mt. Kuju looms ahead. Walking around the water-filled Miike Pond and then along the hanging ridge of Mt. Tengugajo, you eventually reach the rock-covered peak of Mt. Naka-dake.

Highlights

The ridge from Mt. Kutsukake
The ridge from Mt. Kutsukake

Mountain ridge with beautiful autumn foliage

Mt. Kutsukake (lit.: hanging shoes) derives its name from a practice in which people, returning from a hiking pilgrimage of Mt. Kuju, would pray for safety by changing from old to new straw sandals, hanging the old ones on a branch. From the summit, hikers can enjoy a high-altitude landscape that encompasses Mt. Ogigahana, Mt. Hossho, and other peaks of the magnificent Kuju Mountain Range, as well as mountain surfaces populated with broad-leaf trees.

Miike Pond
Miike Pond

The abundant waters of Miike Pond

Miike Pond takes on an emerald green color in summer. Although the empty pond in the volcanic crater remnant on the west side has no water, Miike Pond, located at an even higher altitude, surprisingly brims with water that never dries up. It freezes over completely in winter, allowing mountain hikers to enjoy sledding and skating on the surface.

The view from Mt. Naka-dake
The view from Mt. Naka-dake

The climactic view from the summit

At 1,791 m above sea level, Mt. Naka-dake boasts the highest peak on Kyushu’s main island. From the rocky-ridged summit, you can see Bogatsuru Marsh, Mt. Hiiji, and Mt. Taisen stretching out into the distance. The view composed of Mt. Kuju, Mt. Hossho, Mt. Inaboshi, and the main peaks of the Kuju Mountain Range behind Miike Pond, can be regarded as the inner parlor of Kuju.

Course Map

Mt. Naka-dake Course

Course Time

Starting Point
1
Makinoto Trailhead
25 min.
1 km
2
Mt. Kutsukake
45 min.
1.5 km
3
Ogigahana Junction
30 min.
1.5 km
4
Kujuwakare Branch Trail
45 min.
1 km
5
Miike Pond
25 min.
0.5 km
6
Mt. Naka-dake
25 min.
0.5 km
7
Miike Pond
35 min.
1 km
8
Kujuwakare Branch Trail
30 min.
1.5 km
9
Ogigahana Junction
40 min.
1.5 km
10
Mt. Kutsukake
15 min.
1 km
11
Makinoto Trailhead
Terminus
*Course time and distance are estimates.