2.6 km
2 h45min
Takachihogawara Visitor Center
Takachihogawara Visitor Center

Takachihogawara Kyushu Azaleas—Miyama Kirishima Trail

Colorful seasonal flowers, old-growth forest and ancient shrine ruins

This course takes in the history and culture of the Mount Nakadake area as well as its diverse flora and fauna. The hike starts at Takachihogawara, the southernmost access point to the Kirishima mountain range. The path continues along the Mount Nakadake Chuufuku scenic route and on to the ruins of ancient Kirishima-jingu Shrine. This area is popular with hikers because it is close to the starting point for both the Mount Nakadake Chuufuku scenic route and the Mount Takachiho-no-Mine route.

The Mount Nakadake Chuufuku scenic route is famous for its varied plant life and dense flower colonies. Between May and June, their flowers blossom and turn much of the grasslands a bright pink color. The old-growth forests are home to a wide variety of trees, including Japanese red pine, as well as panicle hydrangeas and other flowering shrubs.


The Mount Nakadake Chuufuku scenic trail

Impressive floral displays in spring

This route provides impressive views throughout the year, but its main draw is springtime scenery. Between May and June, you can see thousands of blooming Kyushu azaleas, also known as Miyama Kirishima, after hiking up just 500 meters on the Mount Nakadake Chuufuku scenic trail. The magenta flowers contrast memorably with the vibrant green backdrop of the mountain. As you walk along the route, look out for Mount Takachiho-no-Mine, the Ohachi Crater, and the peak of Mount Nakadake. Mount Sakurajima and Kinkowan Bay are visible in the distance. There are three courses to choose from—Momiji (Maple), Tsutsuji (Azalea), and the mountain climbing course. Please be aware that it is not possible to climb to the top of Mount Shinmoe due to volcanic activity at the peak.

Kyushu azaleas (Miyama Kirishima)

A mountain covered in flowers

The Kyushu azalea is one of the most famous flowers found in the diverse habitats of the Kirishima mountain range. These azaleas form colonies in sunny spots at elevations greater than 700 meters, and produce flowers between May and June. In 1909, botanist Tomitaro Makino named them Miyama Kirishima, meaning "azaleas that bloom deep in the mountain." Kyushu azaleas thrive in areas covered with pumice—the rough, porous rock formed during volcanic eruptions.

The steps to the shrine gate at Kirishima-jingu Shrine's ruins (Furumiya Ato)

The shrine gate and the Ohachi Volcano

Kirishima-jingu Shrine Furumiya Ato is the former site of Kirishima-jingu Shrine. The original shrine burned down when the Ohachi Volcano erupted around 800 years ago. Here you can see the ruins of this Shinto shrine.

Trail Map

Takachihogawara Kyushu Azaleas—Miyama Kirishima Trail

Click to Expand Map