Fukuoka is famous for the ocean, but actually there are plenty of lush mountains and great spots for hiking and trekking. Here are 5 spots around Fukuoka to consider.
1. Mt. Homan
This mountain has an altitude of 829m. It's one of the mountains in the Sangun mountain range that crosses through Fukuoka from north to south, and it's a popular trekking spot that even beginners can fully enjoy. For beginners, the most recommended trail is the Kamado Shrine route that goes up the front of the mountain. There's a crossroads halfway up the trail, but since many people use that route, you won't get lost. It's a beginner's course but there are many rocks and stairs, so it might be tougher than you think. The trail is surrounded by greenery so it's very refreshing, and on nice days the view is wonderful. During summer and fall the trail might have bugs. Even if it's hot, make sure to wear long pants and sleeves and to use bug spray.
2. Mt. Hiko
This mountain has an elevation of 1,199m. There are a few courses, including Kita-dake, Naka-dake, and Minami-dake, but the most popular trail is the Hikosan Naka-dake Tozan course. It's actually a road leading up to a shrine, so the path from the foot of the mountain is up stone steps and you can see copper torii gates and the Zaizobo, a building filled with relics of how mountain ascetics lived. You can take a slope car (15 minute ride, 830 JPY for a round trip) up to the Hikosan Shrine's Hoheiden building. You can reach the summit of the Minami-dake route by walking from Hoheiden. You can take the same route home or walk around the famous places, so please enjoy this mountain after checking out the different routes and coming up with a plan.
3. Mt. Kana
This mountain has an elevation of 967m. This mountain is on the border between Fukuoka and Saga, and it's easily accessible from the city. It's a popular mountain all year round. There are plenty of courses and side paths, including courses that feel like you're just taking a walk in the forest. The recommended course is the Karan no Taki course, a course that has many fans. The name means "waterfall of flower petals," and the waterfall that you can see while on the course looks like beautiful flowers. In the early summer, a flower called himerenge (Sedum subtile) blooms near the rock overhang. Since this course is along a mountain stream, please wear non-slip shoes. Please enjoy a nice hike while listening to the babbling of the stream and the birdsong.
4. Mt. Sarakura
This mountain has an elevation of 622m. It's one of the symbols of Kitakyushu, as a mountain that's near a city but still lush and with a great view from the summit. There are 8 different courses, from the Sarakuraomote Touzanmichi course for beginners to the Kousai no Mori course for serious hikers. There is also a cable car or a slope car (1,200 JPY for a round-trip ticket) so people who aren't confident in their strength can reach the summit easily. Also, the night view from the glass slope car (weekends and holidays only) is a must-see. It's a popular sight chosen as a "10 billion dollar night view" and one of Japan's top 3 modern night views. There's a restaurant on the observation platform as well so it's a mountain you can enjoy both day and night.
*If you want to enjoy the night view, please take the cable car and avoid climbing the mountain at night.
5. Mt. Shiouji
This mountain has an elevation of 410m, and it's a great mountain for family hiking since it's easy to walk up. During your hike, you'll find the cornerstone of the Dazaifu Seicho Ruins that is now a park. It was a government office in the late 600s that acted as the point of contact for diplomacy starting with Kyushu. There are other things to see as well, including the Ohno Castle ruins and Kagamigaike, a lake that is said to never dry up no matter how much sunlight it gets from sitting at the top of the mountain. It's a mountain where you don't necessarily aim for the summit but to enjoy hiking to see the historical relics. Of course, the summit has a great view, so please have fun going up the mountain.
These are various kinds of mountains, from ones that can be enjoyed by beginners to serious hikers, that can all be enjoyed on a day trip. Please make sure to outfit yourself properly for a trek even as you have a good time.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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