Mt. Karakuni 韓国岳
A mountain hike through calderas, with nearby onsen inns
Near Ebino in Miyazaki's northeast, Mt. Karakuni is the tallest mountain in Kirishima National Park, standing at 1,700 meters above sea level. It's a relatively easy climb for most people and the visual rewards, both along the trail and from the top at the crater, make it a very special place.
- Incredible views of volcanic crater lakes
- A wide variety of indoor and outdoor onsen (hot spring baths)
- The incredible array of colors during the fall
How to Get There
You can access the mountain by train or car.
Access to Kirishima National Park is via Kirishima Jingu Station or Kobayashi Station. If you're coming by car, you can use the expressway and pay a toll, or use local roads. From Miyazaki, the drive is just over 90 minutes.
Each season brings its own unique colors
Mt. Karakuni is part of a highly volcanic area, which means you will see many incredible crater lakes with rich, blue colors along the way.
In the winter, start hiking early in the morning so you can see all the overnight ice hanging from the tree branches.
How to prepare for the hike
The main carpark that leads to Mt. Karakuni is 1,200 meters above sea level. This means it's only another 500 meters to the peak. Hiking shoes are advised, especially in winter, but sneakers are fine in the summer months.
It takes about two hours to get to the top, and about an hour back down.
There are 23 mountain peaks in the area, so you can easily take a few days to explore others, such as Mt. Kirishima . There are many small hotels you can stay in, and many have natural onsen hot springs.