Mt. Hiko 英彦山

At 1200 meters, Mt. Hiko straddles the border between Fukuoka and Oita prefectures. The mountain itself was an object of worship; for over a thousand years it drew followers of mountain asceticism (Shugendô) to its holy peak. If you take the main mountain path, climbing up the stone steps lined with novelty shops, you’ll reach the lower shrine. The Mt. Hiko Shrine has been designated “important cultural property” by the government and there are a number of historical landmarks from the pilgrimages of Buddhist monks as well. The upper shrine is on Hiko’s ridge, though the shrine branches off in two directions about midway down the main peak, toward the north and south peaks. On the south peak, you can make your way to a gargantuan cedar that is estimated to be about 1200 years old. In the vicinity there is also an unmolested forest of Japanese beeches and firs interspersed with jagged boulders and weirdly shaped rocks. It’s quite unusual natural scenery that’s part of the mountain’s allure. Mt. Hiko is a great sanctuary of Kyushu’s flora and fauna, and each season brings new beauty to enjoy.

The mountain opens up in May and the many hikers enjoying the slopes make for a colorful scene. There are four courses, from a one-hour jaunt for beginners to a much more grueling climb; choose the course that best suits your strength and youth.

Mt. Hiko’s ancient history and expansive natural scenery will not disappoint. What are you waiting for?

Opening day, 2010: May 30th
Location: Fukuoka prefecture, Tagawa-gun, Soeda
Access: JR Hita-Hiko line (Hiko Station); bus to Jingu
Info: Soeda Town Office Tourism




TEL: 0947-82-1231(代)

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