Featuring an immense caldera that reminds us of the power of nature.
Mount Karakuni is the highest peak on Mount Kirishima, which stretches across southern Kyushu. The peak stands about 1,700 m above sea level, and was formed by a volcanic eruption 17,000 years ago. The peak is topped by a caldera with a diameter of 800 m and a depth of 300 m, and the summit affords outstanding views of the other peaks on Mount Kirishima, as well as Sakurajima, an active volcano floating in Kagoshima Bay in the neighboring prefecture. Another attraction is the opportunity to see a diverse array of plants and wild deer. Panoramic views spread out before you.
There are a few theories about the derivation of its name: one school of thought is that it was originally named using two characters that both meant "Empty", after the fact that the path was rocky, so hardly anyone climbed it, or because there was little vegetation near the summit, and that those characters were then separately paired with the character for "Country" to create names that were both pronounced "Karakuni"; another theory is that it was once possible to see South Korea (the name of which is written using the same characters as are used in the name of this peak today) from the summit. It is not possible to see South Korea from here today, but it might have been possible in ancient times, when there were fewer mountains and the air was different.
It generally takes about an hour and a half to get to the summit. There is a tozan-todoke form at the entrance to the path, so please ensure you complete the necessary details on this and that you are suitably prepared in order to enjoy your walk. This mountain is suitable for novices to mountain climbing, but the path from the foot up the mountainside has many rocks and stones, so it is dangerous to climb if you are not suitably attired, with appropriate footwear. In addition, there are active volcanic peaks near Mount Karakuni, so restrictions on climbing the mountain may be imposed on occasion. Please check before your ascent.
Address: Suenaga, Ebino City, Miyazaki
Phone: 0984-35-3838 (Miyazaki Prefecture Ebino City Tourism Association)
Directions: 1 hour and 10 minutes from Kirishima-Jingu Station on the JR Nippou Line (2 hours and 30 minutes from Hakata Station) by a Hayashida Bus bound for Ebino-Kogen; get off at the last stop, then walk 10 minutes to "Tozanguchi." (Car) 30 minutes from the Kobayashi Interchange on the Miyazaki Expressway. A fee is charged for parking.