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11 Awesome Hikes In Kyushu, Japan: The Hiker’s Guide


by Merla Waldron


If you’re an avid hiker and nature enthusiast, then you’re in for a treat in Kyushu, Japan. Known for its stunning landscapes, rugged mountains, and breathtaking coastal trails, Kyushu offers a plethora of options for hikers of all levels. From serene forest hikes to challenging mountain ascents, this island is a hidden gem for outdoor adventurers.

In this comprehensive hiker’s guide, we’ll explore the top 11 awesome hikes in Kyushu that will take you off the beaten path and immerse you in the beauty of nature. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll through scenic valleys or an adrenaline-pumping climb to the summit, Kyushu has something to offer for everyone. So lace up your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and get ready to explore the stunning trails of Kyushu, Japan.

Mt. Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan.

If you’re up for an adventure, look no further than Mt. Aso. Standing as the largest active volcano in Japan, this majestic peak offers breathtaking views and exciting hiking trails. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, Mt. Aso has something for everyone. From challenging routes to serene pathways, you’ll be captivated by the raw beauty of this natural wonder.

The Kujū Mountains provide a range of hiking options.

The Kujū Mountains, located in the northern part of Kyushu, boast an array of hiking options for outdoor enthusiasts. With eleven main peaks to explore, each offering its own unique charm, you can spend days immersing yourself in the wonders of nature. From the lush greenery of spring to the vibrant hues of autumn, the Kujū Mountains offer a scenic getaway for hikers of all levels.

Takachiho Gorge offers a mystical hiking experience.

Embark on a journey through enchanting landscapes at Takachiho Gorge. Known for its breathtaking cliffs, waterfalls, and lush greenery, this natural wonder will transport you to a different world. Take a peaceful hike along the gorge, listening to the soothing sound of flowing water and immersing yourself in the serenity of nature.

Mount Sobo is the highest peak in the Kyushu region.

If you’re looking for a challenge, head to Mount Sobo, the highest peak in Kyushu. This formidable mountain offers a thrilling hiking experience with its steep slopes and rugged terrain. As you conquer each step, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, making it an unforgettable adventure for avid hikers.

Kirishima-Yaku National Park is a hiker’s paradise.

Nestled in the Kirishima mountain range, Kirishima-Yaku National Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts. With its vast network of trails, you can explore the diverse landscapes and encounter unique flora and fauna along the way. From volcanic peaks to tranquil lakes, this national park offers a captivating hiking experience for all.

Mount Tsurumi boasts stunning views of Beppu City.

Climb to the summit of Mount Tsurumi and be rewarded with breathtaking views of Beppu City. With its well-maintained trails and lush forests, this hike offers a perfect blend of nature and cityscape. Soak in the panoramic vistas as you ascend, and feel the sense of accomplishment when you reach the top.

Yanagawa City is home to scenic canal hikes.

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and indulge in the tranquil canal hikes of Yanagawa City. Meander along the picturesque waterways, surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms in spring or vibrant foliage in autumn. This hidden gem in Kyushu offers a peaceful and rejuvenating hiking experience.

Unzen Hell offers a unique hiking experience.

Unleash your adventurous spirit and explore the mystical landscapes of Unzen Hell. Known for its hot springs, volcanic vents, and geothermal activity, this otherworldly terrain will leave you in awe. Follow the trails that wind through the geothermal areas and witness the power of nature up close.

Mount Kuju is a hiker’s paradise.

With its diverse range of flora and fauna, Mount Kuju is a true paradise for hikers. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of this mountain, with its vast alpine meadows, crystal-clear lakes, and charming waterfalls. Whether you’re a nature lover, avid hiker, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Mount Kuju has it all.

Yakushima Island offers ancient forests and stunning hikes.

Step into a world of ancient forests and mesmerizing hikes on Yakushima Island. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this island is home to some of the oldest trees in the world, including the Yakusugi cedar. Explore the well-marked trails that lead you through dense forests, mystical waterfalls, and breathtaking coastal vistas.

Mount Aso’s Nakadake Crater is an awe-inspiring sight.

Witness the power of nature at Mount Aso’s Nakadake Crater, where you can peer into the heart of an active volcano. The sight of the steaming crater against the backdrop of lush greenery is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Take a guided hike to this extraordinary site and experience the thrill of being in such close proximity to a living volcano.


Kyushu, Japan is a paradise for hikers with its stunning landscapes and diverse trails. Whether you are a seasoned trekker or a beginner, this region offers an abundance of hiking opportunities that will leave you in awe. From volcanic peaks and breathtaking waterfalls to picturesque coastal walks and serene forest trails, Kyushu has it all.

Embark on the adventure of a lifetime as you explore the 11 awesome hikes detailed in this guide. Witness the beauty of iconic destinations like Mt. Aso and Yakushima Island, or discover hidden gems like the Kunimigaoka Trail and Yabakei Gorge. Each hike will provide you with a unique experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in Kyushu’s rich natural wonders.

So lace up your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the breathtaking landscapes of Kyushu, Japan.


Q: Are these hikes suitable for beginners?

A: While some hikes in Kyushu are more challenging and require a certain level of fitness and experience, there are also plenty of trails that are suitable for beginners. It’s important to choose a hike that matches your fitness level and abilities.

Q: When is the best time to go hiking in Kyushu?

A: The best time to go hiking in Kyushu is generally during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. The weather is mild, and you can witness beautiful cherry blossoms in spring and vibrant foliage in autumn.

Q: Are there any accommodations or facilities along these hiking trails?

A: Some hiking trails in Kyushu have accommodations or facilities such as mountain huts or visitor centers. However, it is advisable to carry essential supplies and plan for overnight stays in advance, especially for longer trails.

Q: Can I hike alone or do I need a guide?

A: Many of these hikes can be done without a guide, especially if you have previous hiking experience. However, it is always recommended to research the trail, inform someone about your plans, and take necessary safety precautions. Hiring a guide can be beneficial for unfamiliar or more challenging routes.

Q: Are these hiking trails well-marked?

A: Most of the popular hiking trails in Kyushu are well-marked with signposts, trail markers, and maps. However, it is still advisable to carry a detailed trail map or GPS device to ensure you stay on the right path.