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Hike Up to Mt. Tsurumi from Matogahama

Set out from 0 meters above sea level and ascend the mountain that is as a symbol of Beppu Onsen.
  • Duration
    1Day / 5.5Hours
    Highest Point
    1375m
    Elevation Gain
    1375m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level
Mt. Tsurumi (Tsurumi-dake) is a volcanic mountain located in Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. It is within the boundaries of Aso Kuju National Park. Lying at the eastern base of the mountain, the spa town of Beppu Onsen boasts the greatest number of hot spring baths with the greatest quantity of hot spring water in Japan. Mt. Tsurumi is the source of all that water. Although there is a ropeway from midway up the mountainside to the summit (approx. 10 minutes), the route introduced here starts near the water’s edge at Beppu-wan Bay. Follow a trail with a 1375-m ascent while admiring the mountain’s form, for a true “SEA TO SUMMIT” experience.

The starting point for this hike is Matogahama Park, a “spa beech” that looks out onto Beppu-wan Bay. Take a moment to touch the water where the waves crash on the shore and then get started with your hike.

Walk along Route 10 in the direction of Hinode, then cross a bridge, take a left turn, and follow the footpath that runs along the left bank of the Sakai-gawa River. When you get to pedestrian bridge called Inachus Bridge (Inakosu-no-hashi), cross back over to the right bank of the river, and continue on through Minamitateishi Park.

Pass through the Horita-tenman-jinja Shrine, located at 250 m above sea level, and pass under the expressway. There is a road called the “Yamanami Highway” which links Beppu City with the Beppu Ropeway and also a hiking trail running alongside it. Traverse the grassy slope and pass under the Yamanami Highway to reach the Beppu Ropeway’s Beppu Kogen Station. In total, it’s about a two hour and 40 minute walk from your starting point of Mato-ga-hama Park.

Continue on through a forest of Japanese cedars and climb a steep series of stone steps. In about 30 minutes you will come to a shrine called Otake Gongen-sha (Shrine). Follow a ridgeline path through a wooded area, turn right at the junction and hike up a steep, zigzagging section of trail until the surrounding trees thin out near the summit. From Otake Gongen-sha, it takes about an hour and 20 minutes to reach the peak of Mt. Tsurumi. From the west side of the mountaintop, you should be able to see the two horn-like points of Mt. Yufu (Yufu-dake)’s peak.

From the peak of Mt. Tsurumi, head down the footpath for about 10 minutes and pass through the torii gate to reach the Beppu Ropeway, Tsurumi Sanjo Station. Take the ropeway down the mountain to complete your descent.

Other Info

Mt. Tsurumi is an object of religious devotion. Including the Tsurumi Sanjo Gongen Ichinomiya Shrine, there are statues of shichi-fuku-jin (Seven Gods of Fortune) as well as stone statues of Buddha and Shinto gods in the area around the peak.
You can walk all the way around the mountain top area in about 40 minutes by following a purpose-built footpath.

Notes

A special event called the Beppu Mt. Tsurumi Ikki Tozan (“One shot mountain hike”) is held each April and follows a trail specially prepared for the event. The trail extends from the sea all the way to the summit and, unusually for such a route, does not involve walking on any large motorways.
While there are no personnel directing traffic except during events, there are signs and other forms of direction (in Japanese) along the route. Please take care not to get lost as you hike to the ropeway Beppu Kogen Station.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
1Day / 5.5Hours
Highest Point
1375m(Mt. Tsurumi)
Elevation Gain
1375m
Horizontal Distance
12.6Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping
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Eating

Shops at Beppu Ropeway Kogen and Sanjo

Hot-Springs

Beppu Onsen

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Access

Mt. Tsurumi is located in Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. From Haneda Airport, take a flight to Oita Airport (approx. one and half hours). From Oita Airport, take the “Airliner” shuttle bus to JR Beppu Station (approx. 51 minutes).
From Beppu Station, take an Oita Kotsu transit bus bound for Kannawa Onsen and get off at the Matogahama Park bus stop (approx. 5 minutes). From the Beppu Ropeway’s Tsurumi Sanjo Station, ride the ropeway down to the base of the mountain (approx. 10 minutes) to Beppu Kogen Station. Then transfer to the Kamenoi transit bus and travel to JR Oita Station (approx. 20 minutes).

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