Exploration to Kuju Mountain, A Journey to The Highest Peak in Kyushu Island

en11

※This article was published at June 2015.※

Kuju Mountain is the highest mountain in Kyushu and is located in Aso-Kuju national park. 
It's the border between Oita Prefecture and Kumamoto Prefecture. 
This national park is the oldest one in Japan and is included in the list of the 100 most famous hiking routes in Japan. 

Whether you are a fan of outdoor adventure or not, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to explore the highest peak in Kyushu!  

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It takes 75 minutes to reach Chojabaru visitor centre by car from Beppu city. 
Something to take note of is that there is no mobile signal in the area : it might be a little inconvenient because there is no way to access any maps application on a mobile phone. 
However, the facilities at Chojabaru visitor centre are convenient enough to support the hikers. 
They provide the parking lot for free, maps for hiking routes, and there is also a souvenir shop and a small food court that sells snacks.

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Most of Mount Kuju's routes are safe and easy enough for newbie hikers. 
Additionally, several resting points are provided for those who want to take a break during the hike.   

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However, it's better not to spend too much time to relax at the first resting spot, because the journey is not finished yet ! 
The distance between the first resting post to the top of Kuju mountain is about 3,5 kilometers : it is still a long way to go.

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The condition of the hiking route varies a lot. 
Sometimes there will be some muddy parts, which can be difficult for those who do not wear proper boots.
Other parts of the route are really rocky and steep.

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There is a quiet large restroom in the last resting post. 
The temperature is gradually going down as you climb higher, which can affect your physical condition. 
The last resting post often becomes a camping site for hikers because its wide area provides a good location for a tent and a bon fire. 

The last route to reach the top is quite challenging even for a professional mountain climber : if you are a newbie, make sure to climb it along with experienced hikers. 

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Finally, the peak of the highest mountain in Kyushu!
It is 1786.5 meter above the sea level.
The view from the top is simply breathtaking, and the green landscape of Kumamoto rural area can be seen from the distance.

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How to get there:
- Travellers from Fukuoka can reach Aso Kuju National Park by taking the train to Bungo nakamura station on the JR Kyudai Line.   
- Rental car is the most convenient transportation to reach Aso Kuju National park because it only takes about 75 minutes both for those who access from Kumamoto Prefecture or Oita Prefecture.


Hours and Fees:
Chojabaru Visitor Centre
Operational hours: 9:00 – 16:00 but they open until 17:00 during the peak season (May to October)
Closed: December 29 to January 3
Entrance fee: Free

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