You are healed with vitality of mountains and hot springs.
Takeo City blends with mountains which are standing ferociously and bloom beautiful flowers seasonally.
Feel spirt of mountains with skin, soak in transparent and soft hot water of traditional bustle Takeo Hot Spring.
Devote yourself to the healing of one moment which celebrities also must have experienced while coming and going from Nagasaki Kaido Road.
Walk around birthplace of Shiro Amakusa
Iwajima, the home of Shiro Amakusa who held with ambition and died in west sea.
You forget time for a while by fantastic view of Aso and Unzen, each islands of Amakusa which you see from top of small hill.
While walking along the coastline created by nature, the comfortable wave sound beats rhythm.
Walk around village in mountain valley and think of history.
Castle wall standing at 325mt. high plateau. Oka Castle is known as impregnable castle all through Sengoku era/Edo Period.
In twilight, or cherry trees veiled in haze during spring, stonewall only reflects prosperity and decline of history.
While walking around Ruins of village in mountain valley and devoting yourself to breath of nature, bustle of vegetation plays song.
Feel Black Current on the beach path.
Ibusuki is the place where spring comes early in Kyushu Island. Nishi Oyama Station where the course start, is the southernmost JR station in Japan.
A white lighthouse that stands at Nagasakibana where, according to the legend, Urashima Taro travelled to Ryugu Castle.
Approaching Mt. Kaimon called as Fuji of Satsuma, your mind will purify in Hirakiki Shinto Shrine, and there resides Satsuma Ichinomiya Shrine which is religiously worshipped deeply for traffic safety.
Looking from the jewel-like Port of Hirado, is the transparent sea, and the buildings on the hilltop looking down the anchored ship and port is like a beautiful girl look innocently. With the commercial trading with Portugal and Holland that has started since 1500, Hirado has long been known as "Capital of West", and indeed it has a rich history. It has connected with mainland and no longer an island, the current Hirado is the place where you can feel western atmosphere that blends naturally into Japan, and you'll be tempted to take pictures. The course begins at the harbor and continues up a mild slope behind the town, where you meet with deep forest of Saikai National Park, passing by spacious meadow of about 30 hectares. When you stand at Kawachitoge atop the round hill which almost looks like OLLE of Jeju Island. The breathtaking view of magnificent archipelago spreads out 360 degree before your eyes. After refreshing your body and mind to your heart's content in cool and wild wind on the hilltop, begin your descent along the road that leads to town. When reach to the steep slope that leads to the old Catholic church (Hirado Xavier memorial church), be sure to look back and take the scenery. You will see the moment of visible composite scene in one frame that campanile of church is over a traditional Japanese Buddhist tower. Hirado Castle, at the hilltop across from the harbor entrance, appears or hides itself depending on the angle, but at times it appears to wave in welcome. It seems to call us to stop by a little after trekking. As you are busy exploring the nostalgic two-story shops to find local specialties, and visiting other tourist spots, before you recognize, you'll reach your destination, where you can relax in the foot and arm baths. OLLE is harmonized the town full of exotic atmosphere which is different from normal traditional Japanese village and the solemn landscape.
As you say good bye, you can't cease to wonder islands of Amakusa, and remember again and again. Since main islands are now connected with five bridges, they are no longer isolated. However, small islands peeking above the ocean, which is as placid as a lake, appear as they are comparing who is more tall. The course begins at the cross section of ocean and river where Chijyu Kannon deity, worshiped by local residents is enshrined. From among the fertile rice paddies which reaffirm to be of rich harvests, you will see the mountains approaching closer. After rest, although the slopes aren't steep, the uphill walk can gradually level you out of breath. Reduce your pace a bit and continue walking, and before you realize, you'll find yourself standing on mountaintop. The name "Matsushima" refers to a landscape consisting of many scattered dancing like islands. This place is selected as one of the three most beautiful Matsushima in Japan. From Sengenmoridate, known for its beautiful gigantic rock formation, you can enjoy a 360 degree panoramic view. A 16 years old boy, "Amakusa Shiro (1621-1638), who led the Amakusa and Shimabara rebellions, held a banquet in celebration of victory. Passing the playground in the woods, where adults would have more fun, and maneuvering through the gigantic rocks, you'll walk through deep forest path with little sunlight, which connects to small fishing villages and reach the foot bath at the point of arrival. This course holds history and scenery along the way.
The start point is Tourist Information Center, in the center of Takachiho, a typical small Japanese town. At the Information Center, Wi-Fi is available and there are special local specialties and light snacks. Soon after you start walking, you will see Takachiho Shrine. The draping branches and leaves of huge trees at the entrance to the shrine intensify its extraordinary ambience. Walk along the endless stairs extended through the lush green trees, it reaches Takachiho Gorge. The gorge which exclaims you in sigh of grief, looks like someone secretly opened the gap in huge columnar joint. Under gorge, you can rent a boat and closely enjoy the Manai no Taki. The clear blue water flows narrowly under gorge where hexagon rocks are standing in tandem, overflowing water separately breaks close to you. It is good to be close to the gorge and under the fall, stay and play for a while like a hero in Oriental paintings. The path is already into the forest, and connected to the deep forest, far seeing is the silhouette of huge mountain range. With quiet meditation, walk to Mukaiyama Shrine, which hides itself at the corner of the forest, you reach a town that is full of green tea fields. While walking along the front garden of a house with green tea field, you meet an old lady who is 80 year or more, profound with humanity, if lucky you might get taste a cup of deep flavor of Maruono Green Tea. Going up and down the valley path at an altitude of 100~200mt. with sweat coming out, again appears the view of town nearing you to the end point which is not so far from the start point. In Kamadase Market at the end point, you can eat cuisine which is made by local food materials, which sells every type of special local products of Takachiho.
This trail is known as the path where the famous Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-1867), who laid down the foundation for Japan's modernization, walked with his bride, Oryo for honeymoon. For the first time an English word "honeymoon" was used for their trip by Ryoma himself and it is known for first honeymoon in Japan. Mt. Kirishima, noted as one of 100 famous mountains in Japan, was the first place in Japan to be designated as a national park with Unzen and its landscape is truly magnificent. The starting point, Myoken, is a well-known Hot Spring area in a deep valley. Hot Springs spread on both sides of valley as you look down from suspension bridge over Amorigawa River. The steam rising from Hot Springs blends with river sound and disappears, and the real trekking begins just after crossing the bridge. Deep forest continues to the end of the course. The path is perfect for trekking. In early spring, the forest is filled with wisteria flowers, and in autumn the path is covered with fallen leaves and chestnuts, but cedar trees towering skyward are most impressive. As you walk through, you will come to Inukaino Taki Waterfall and Wake Shrine which purifies you mind completely. At the arrival point, you can soak your tired feet in the free foot bath. There is also a memorial hall where you can review the personal history of Sakamoto Ryoma.
Karatsu has long been an important position of contact joining the mainland people by sea. It is a port town where things and cultural exchanges have taken place lively. And, since 1994 when "Jeju OLLE" started, it had a sister city relationship with Jeju Islands. Karatsu Course of OLLE coast resembles the original Jeju course where you can see the coast and can touch the old history and culture, mainly Nagoya Castle Ruins and still existed 400 years old road.
In the first part of the course, you will spend time around Nagoya Castle Ruins and its battlements. In 1592, Hideyoshi Toyotomi constructed Nagoya Castle to invade Korea. He amassed the troops of federal lords from all over Japan and stationed them around castle, and this is the exact ruin. Under the blue sky, green lawn is paved that looks peaceful. Through the battlefield, you can find remnants of past which officers of Bunroku and Keicho left behind. Passing on the simple and former old path connecting to the ruins, stop at Tea House "Kaigetsu" and try a cup of rich taste of green tea. This is such a peaceful spot that it is difficult to imagine that it was first created to use for battle. As you continue a little further along the route from here, you will come to Tenshudai of Nagoya Castle Ruins that could be called the highlight of the course. Panoramic view of Iki, Tsushima, Sea of Genkai, in one sight, blows up your worries from bottom of heart. Now as you leave Nagoya Castle Ruins, you come into a quiet village street. In midway of the town, there is "Hinatagama", "Karatsu Ceramics" ware which is called as "Japan's three great tea cup" and Japanese loves it. Upon leaving the town, on the second half of the course, located in northwest Japan, "Hado Misaki (peninsula) coast OLLE" starts. Here, because of the shapes nature has carved out of the rocks and blue green pine trees of all Kyushu OLLE paths, it is said that this is the almost like the original "Jeju coast OLLE" course. Since black pine trees lined esplanade are so well maintained, it makes a very safe walk for families with kids. In the second half of the course, the coast of Hadomisaki spreads, which shows in bits between the black pine trees. Unique food such as grilled turban shell and overnight-dried cuttlefish are sold in many small shops standing in Hado Peninsula Parking at the end point, are the delicacies not to be missed.
It is strange. Even though you walk over 10 km, you never feel out of breath, in fact you can walk with light step. While walking along the course, panoramic pasture area and silver grass field in front of eyes heal you. Kokonoe is the city located in mid-western Oita Prefecture, this course has been mostly specified as Aso Kuju National Park. Set at 900mt. above sea level, this walk starts at Kokonoe "Yume" grand suspension bridge which is one of the longest and highest bridges for pedestrians in Japan.
Depending on season, after enjoying beautiful 360 degree panorama, the attraction of Kuju changes dramatically, with the feeling of just had appetizer, it whets your appetite for the upcoming views during the walk. A short while after the start point, you will enter "Uke no kuchi" Hot Springs Town. The place where Nobel prize winning author Yasunari Kawabata spent his time in inn and concentrated on his writing here. Continuing the walk on simple forest path along gorge with water silently flowing, sense literary seems to recover, which was buried in busy city life. Upon leaving forest, now it is the time to enjoy magnificent Handa highland. Along with Yamanami Highway, the famous drive route for lovers, Handa highland located, which couples look through narrow window of their car, has been made so that couples can slowly pass holding their hands along the horse path. Drop in Yamanami Farm on the side of the horse path and have a light meal, while following the direction of the path and passing quiet lake and peaceful forest path, you arrive at the end point around Tadewara Wetland. Here is the place where silver grass field and grassland spreads widely at the background of Kuju Mountain Range, highest mountain in Kyushu. Here you sit firmly and eliminate unnecessary thoughts, enjoy the view. The scenery here, changes with season, during Spring and Summer, brilliant green new leaves, in Autumn bright red leaves, and in Winter, snow dazzle Kuju Mountain Range.
This course is the only Kyushu OLLE Course where you have to ride a boat to enter and it is created on the biggest island of Fukuoka Prefecture. Oshima is full of beautiful natural landscapes, its deep history can be felt, and it is nominated to become a part of World Heritage Sites.
You will take around 25 minutes ferry ride from Kono Ferry Port of Munakata City and arrive at Oshima. The port itself is quite simple, but Mt. Ontake towering over the island gives the place a majestic feeling.
As you start, before long, you will arrive at Munakata Grand Shrine Nakatsu-gu. This is the shrine where resides Tagitsu Hime-no-Kami, one of the three Munakata goddesses, and worshiped.
Hikoboshi Shrine and Orihime Shrine, both are adjacent to the shrine, the meaning of the river is Milky Way, having the legend of Hikobosi and Orihime, flows on the entrance.
Upon passing the shrine, a little steep mountain path begins to climb up the mountain peak of Mt. Ontake. As you walk up the mountain, you will feel little out of breath but climb up to the observation deck on top of the mountain comfortably. While looking at surrounding view of the sea in every direction which only an island can present, you can calm down your heavy breath with cool breeze after climbing up to the slope.
From here, the path leads your steps to quiet woodland path. The woodland road with mysterious atmosphere can prove that exploring troops said to have visited here dozen times to explore the unspoiled path. In this road which makes you feel that you are the only one in the forest, you hear nothing and only hear your own voice in mind. After going through the mountain road, is spread the sigh like view.
The road connects to Wind Mill Observation Deck which is known for most romantic place in Oshima, interweaves silver grass and sea and sky is the highlight of this path.
Following Wind Mill Observation Deck, you will go up and encounter the remnants of former Houdaiato (remains of old wartime fort).
You can look over Sea of Genkai and feel freedom to the core of your heart. You only need to sit in observation deck. Walk a little further down from observation deck, you will find Okinoshima Youhaisho. Okinoshima Yohaisho gives the impression that it is floating, which increases the mysteriousness of island. The path from here to the goal, you will continuously walk through the quiet village path.
Situated in Saga Prefecture, Ureshino is peaceful and small Hot Spring Town.
Ureshino Hot Spring is known as one of “Japan’s three greatest hot springs to make your skin beautiful” and its characteristic is slimy touch.
In Hot Spring Town, there are public foot spas and pubic baths to experience with ease this “Hot spring for beautiful skin”. Together with the hot spring, it is known for its locale famous for Japanese tea, so your skin will become suppler just by walking in this town.
Ureshino Course starts in “Yoshida Ceramics” area of Ceramics Town. As a ceramic town, the stores sell pottery goods at residential buildings standing in order at intervals, wall surface covered by connecting pieces of ceramics, Daijoji temple/Yoshiura Shrine continues where gods of ceramic have been worshiped.
As you leave the Ceramic Town, under the blue sky the path of vast green tea fields stretch out before you. Walking alongside the green waves created by the precisely kept green tea, you will be welcomed by “22nd Century Asian Forest” of tall redwood trees.
Grown as symbol of “international exchange” between Japan and Asian countries, this forest receives Jeju OLLE Brand to emphasize the extra deep meaning in forest by creating “Kyushu OLLE” path. The sunshine filtering through redwood tree leaves is shining like small star. Leaving Asian forest, you will walk along silently flowing Ureshino river on the way to the walks end point at Siebold footspa, Hot Springs Town.
After you finish the course, you can heal your tired body and mind in Siebold Hot Spring (public bath) which is the symbol of Ureshino and Hot Springs Town where there are unique Japanese inns.
Expansively spread green tea field is fragrant, and the green rolling up ancient tombs has warmth too. Kyushu OLLE Yame Course along the gentle ridge line of hilly area is green OLLE where you always walk along with green color. Located southeast of Fukuoka Prefecture, Yame city is the production area of Gyokuro Green Tea which is considered one of the highest grade green tea, and is famous with strawberry and grapes. It entered with Geojedo of Gyeongsangnamdo in Korea as sister city and has active relationship.
Seeing along limpid Hoshino River, the path starts at Yamanoi Park and lead your steps to Donanzan Ancient Tomb which was made latest among group of Yame ancient tombs. In Yame area, there are around 30 ancient tombs and this is because Tsukushinokimi-Iwai who ruled North Kyushu region, extended his power in Yame area in Tumulus Period (6th century).
You can enter directly and see the stone chamber of gigantic stones, standing at Donanzan Ancient Tomb. And, you can check the remains of vermilion-lacquered. While passing by Inuo Castle Ruins which was built in 1191 by Sadamune Kawasaki, heir of Sukeyoshi Kuroki, castellan of Nekoo Castle on the ridge of 180mt. high mountain at north of Hoshino River, you will arrive Yame Central Tea Garden as the highlight of this course.
Yame Central Tea Garden has 65 hectare vast land and far stretched tea field is the highlight. It is an open green tea field, and your step would become light by pure small shining tea leaf on the branch of tea tree. In contrast to the whole view of Yame City spreading opposite of green tea field, this path feels more peaceful. About Yame Tea produced here, this group tea production area gives steady satisfactory result from production to sales in joint business. In 1979, it received Emperor's Cup in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Festival. After green tea field, while walking the town path, there is famous Ezaki Food which sells old style drink, lemon soda which is rare to open the cover of bottle. While walking to the end point with fresh feel, you meet the fine-featured Maruyamazuka Ancient Tomb. The cherry blossom (sakura) standing along ancient tombs seems like protecting them. Enjoy the view of Yame mountains far behind the ancient tombs and take some breath. While stepping, you remind the views of the path followed, you arrive at the end point before you know.
Located at almost center of Eastern Oita Prefecture, Beppu is already known well as the most famous Hot Springs Town in Japan among Korean visitors. Many people have heard about Beppu and visited, so many people might think that they have looked around enough of Beppu. But Beppu, where OLLE road passes, is different in looks from Beppu you remember and have ever imagined until now. In contrast to the bustle of famous Hot Springs Town, Beppu Course is calm and nature rich, that includes Aso Kuju National Park.
Beppu Course begins at Shidakako Lake, a Lake located at the height of 600m on the mountain, and ends at Shidakako Lake, so this course has same point from beginning to the end. Shidakako is a lake which was made by surrounding volcanic eruptions of Mt. Tsurumi about 1200 years ago, and its perimeter is around 2km surrounded by greenery where you feel more peaceful. Passing by the lake, forest road begins with quite cypress trees. Walk by forest road will make your heart heal like the peace of lake and will impress deeply in your mind. The road continues to observation tower brightening prospects in 360 degree, you can enjoy the superb view of Tsurumidake (altitude 1,375m) and Yufuin (altitude 1,584m) also called as Bungo-Huji. Leaving observation tower, on the way of quiet forest road, you can meet a pair of 500 years old big cypress trees that will let your sigh out. This cypress tree is standing at the entrance of Edako Community Center. Many of its branches are spread as mysteriously as you only see in dreams. Solemnness of cypress tree and mysterious road lead your steps again from Kagurameko lake to Shidakako lake, as start and end points, and will heal your mind peacefully.
Reihoku City is located at Northeast of Amakusa Shimoshima which is located in Southwestern Kumamoto Prefecture. The characteristic of Reihoku Town is Tomioka Peninsula elongated poking in the sea and connects to island by long sand reef. Reihoku Town has known for production area of Amakusa pottery stone as materials of ceramics since the Edo Period. Amakusa ceramics is proudly best both in quality and quantity in Japan, and as material for ceramics, today also it is dispatched from Tomioka Port.
The course also starts at Tomioka Port where Amakusa ceramics are lying everywhere. Upon walking calmly through the path connecting to Tomioka Castle, visitors are welcomed by red shrine gates of small Inari Shrine. When you walk through low steps, you will arrive at Tomioka Castle where main battlefield rose largely, it was called as "Shimabara Rebellion". The looks of town which you can overlook from top of the castle, is entirely so peaceful and calm that it lets you forget that there was aggressive fighting. Upon leaving the calm town view and walking along Tomioka Castel wall, the walks of Gongenyama start. Among trees planting in walks, the wind blows cooler than Air conditioner, and during the walk you only hear wave sound, that exactly associate with "sea's woodland path in Jeju OLLE 6 courses". The woodland path of Kyushu edition ends at Tomoika marine Park. It was built in 1960 and Japan's first nationally designated marine park where the view of Amakusa's rude sea with rare rocks and cliffs stands spread before your eyes. Upon going down observation deck and passing trail of Tomioka bathing beach, you will come to the town. Among the harmonized town, there are small Japanese sweet shops and delicious smell looms over. It is 140 years old established shop, which the kind looking owner couple have inherited and still managing, they are making/selling Japanese traditional sweets that you cannot taste in Korea. After looking around Literary Monument of Fumiko Hayashi, Japan's best woman writer in Okanoya Ryokan (inn) and Memorial Monument for victims in "Shimabara Rebellion", the course finishes in the center of Hot Spring which would heal your tired body at the end point.