Mt. Kirishima 霧島山
Take a trip to the land of the gods
Mt. Kirishima is in a stunning volcanic mountain range spanning Kagoshima and Miyazaki Prefectures and is a major part of the Kirishima-Yaku National Park. You can explore the many peaks and lakes connected to the Japanese creation myth and find your spiritual side deep in the mountains.
How to Get There
Mt. Kirishima is most easily accessed by car.
Due to the lack of regular public transportation to most of the hiking trails, it's highly recommended to rent a car. From both Kirishima Onsen and Kirishima Shrine, it takes one to two hours to reach the mountain by car. From Kagoshima, it will take two-plus hours. It is also possible to reach Mt. Kirishima from neighboring Miyazaki Prefecture.
Shinmoedake, one of the peaks, was used as a base for a Bond villain in the movie You Only Live Twice
These are active volcano ranges, so be sure to check for activity before you go
Islands in the sky
Mt. Kirishima is comprised of over a dozen peaks covering an area of over 15 kilometers. Mt. Karakuni, the tallest, soars 1,700 meters in the center. To the south is Mt. Takachiho, revered as where the god Ninigi no Mikoto descended to earth and eventually founded the Japanese Imperial line. The mountains are often shrouded in mist, making them appear to float above the surrounding foothills.
Hiking through heaven
To truly appreciate the majestic natural beauty of the area head into the hills. Choose from many different courses, but know the full-length Kirishima ridge trail provides the best views of the surrounding scenery and amazing crater lakes. Be sure to check volcanic activity as the path closes when Shinmoedake erupts.
The spear of the gods
The trail from Takachiho-gawara, the original location of Kirishima-jingu Shrine , to Mt. Takachiho is perhaps the most spiritual. On a misty morning, you can imagine you're in a scene from Japanese mythology. This is also true when you reach the peak and see Ninigi no Mikoto's spear piercing the mountaintop.