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Cycling, Trekking: A story of blessings and threats given by the river - Nakatsu, Yamakuni River

Cycling, Trekking: A story of blessings and threats given by the river - Nakatsu, Yamakuni River

Trip Overview

The Yamakuni River flows through the north-eastern part of Kyushu. This river, which flows from deep in the mountains, carves a valley with rapids and its abundant water provides people with a rich place to live. These include a castle town with Nakatsu Castle in the lower reaches and rich soils, including agricultural crops, in the middle reaches. On the other hand, the river has also been a source of hardship in people's lives. We offer trips where you can learn about the stories of these rivers through cycling and trekking.

●Area: Nakatsu City, Oita Pref.
●Main Activity:
Cycling and trekking along the Yamakuni River
●Difficulty: 3
●2 nights, 3 days
 Day 1: Nakatsu City
 Day 2: Nakatsu City
● Guide: An English speaking guide
●PAX: Minimum 4/ Maximum 8
●Price: JPY 185,000-


・Learn about the history of Nakatsu, which developed in the lowest reaches of the Yamakuni River.
・Cycling and trekking along the Yamakuni River to learn about the river's blessings and threats.
・Trekking up Mt. Hachimen to get a bird's eye view of the surrounding area.

Day 1

The journey begins in the city of Nakatsu at the 'Nakatsu City History Museum'. Nakatsu is located near the mouth of a tributary of the Yamakuni River, the main element of the journey ahead. The city of Nakatsu flourished because of this River. The museum provides an overview of Nakatsu, its geography and history. Take a short walk through the streets of Nakatsu, a castle town centered on Nakatsu Castle. The narrow streets and T-junctions that served to protect the town from outside enemies can still be seen today. The walls of Gougan-ji Temple are painted red, but why is that so? You will walk through the town, whilst listening to explanations to such questions.
You will stay at an inn in the town of Nakatsu and enjoy Nakatsu's local cuisine for dinner at a nearby restaurant. Today's activity is a walking tour, approx. 2km, taking 2 hours while listening to explanations.

Day 2

Enjoy cycling. Take a private car from the inn to “Yasuragi-no-Sato Yamakuni”, located upstream on the Yamakuni River. After a gear check, you will start. From here, a dedicated road has been developed that is ideal for cycling. Cyclists can enjoy a light ride along the clear river. On the way, you will hear stories about the legend of the Kappa, a representative of Japanese monsters, and drink locally-produced drinks. On the way, stop at the farmhouse “Midori-San-chi (Mrs. Midori’s house)” and have lunch at a local farmer’s inn where Mrs. Midori prepares local dishes. Afterwards, the cycling tour finishes at the “Ao-no-Doumon Tunnel”.
In the 18th century, when the water level of the Yamakuni River rose, residents using iron chains as lifelines, and some people died as a result of slipping and falling. The Buddhist Monk Zenkai stopped here on his journey to eliminate this hardship and was so distressed that he started digging the rock wall by himself. After digging for more than 30 years, he completed the tunnel.
Then, experience the road when there were no tunnels. This old route is called “Kyoshuho”. Walking along the steep, precipitous path, you can recall the hardships of those days.
The day's activities include 24.5km of cycling and 3.3km of light trekking, taking a total of 7 hours.

Day 3

On this day, trekking will take place on Mt. Hachimen, which is the icon of Nakatsu and rises 659.4m above sea level. It is called 'Eight-faced Mountain' because it looks almost the same when viewed from every direction. In ancient times, it was a mountain of ascetic practices that attracted the faith of mountain Buddhists, and there are many famous sites associated with it. From the inn, a private car will take you to the trailhead to start your journey. You will walk next to a small stream and next to a waterfall to reach the summit. Lunch is served near the summit and there are a number of spots from which to view the surroundings and enjoy the spectacular view.
After descending the mountain, a private car will take you to JR Nakatsu Station to finish the journey. The day's activities include a trekking distance of approximately 10km, an elevation gain of 663 meters, and a duration of 5 hours 30 minutes.

・Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone
・Address: 〒874-0926 11-8, Kyomachi, Beppu-shi, Oita
・Tel: +81-977-85-8511


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