The Kunisaki Peninsula is imbued with a placid spirituality embodied by 1,300 year-old…
Kuju Renzan is a 13km-long massif consisting of more than ten volcanic peaks including Mt. Naka-dake, which at 1,791m is the highest mountain in Kyushu. Each peak is dormant except Mt. Hossho-zan (1,762m), which suddenly erupted in 1995, 333 years since the previous eruption on the massif. It has remained active ever since.
A popular destination for hikers, trailheads are easily accessed at Chojabaru and Maki-no-toge, both of which are on the Yamanami Highway. There are several trails but spending one or more night at the Hokke-in Onsen at Bogatsuru, either camping or in the lodge, is recommended to fully explore the massif. Highlights include Amaga-ike marsh plateau, the onsen hot spring baths at Hokke-in that are only accessible to hikers, and reaching the peaks of Naka-dake and Kuju-san (1,787m).
With the correct equipment hiking is possible throughout the year. However, walkers throng here particularly in late May and early June when the mountainsides are ablaze with the pink blooms of miyama-kirishima azaleas, and also in November when the leaves of the forests change to their vibrant autumn colours.