Kirishima-Yaku National Park
Kirishima-Yaku National Park (公園 島 屋 久 国立 公園 Kirishima-Yaku Kokuritsu Kōen) is a national park in Japan. This park consists of two parts: Kirishima-Kagoshima Bay, a prefecture of Kagoshima and Miyazaki known for its active volcanoes, its volcanic lakes and its onsen; and Yakushima, an island south of Kyūshū in Kagoshima Prefecture, known for its cryptomeries or yakusugi (屋 久 杉). The Kirishima-Yaku National Park extends from the southern island of Kyushu through two prefectures, Miyazaki and Kagoshima, to the island of Yakushima, 135 km further south. The park was created in 1934.
On March 16, 2012, Yakushima was divided into Yakushima National Park (245.66 km²) and Kirishima-Yaku National Park, which was renamed Kirishima-Kinkōwan National Park (365.86 km²).
Kirishima is an area located in the central part of Kagoshima Prefecture. Within this area we find the Kirishima National Park, which is one of the first three Japanese national parks.
As for the tourist resorts, you can observe the beauties of the nature of Kirishima at Myoken Onsen and Maruo Falls, as well as the Kirishima-Jingu Shrine, which is deeply linked to Japanese mythology. Another extremely popular place is Takachiho Valley, located on the border of Miyazaki prefecture, where the mythical “Ama-no-nuboko” spear is stuck in the top of the mountain.
Some areas of this park can be reached by a bus from the train station, and you can generally access the areas by public transport, but the train route is the one that most appreciates the landscape of Kirishima-Yaku National Park.
The nearest airport is Kagoshima; The nearest train station is Kagoshima Chuo Station. All tourist sites are about 30-50 minutes from the airport or train station.
The Kirishima-Yaku National Park on the island of Kyushu, as mentioned, was the first site of the country to be designated a national park. Its cedar forests and its almost lunar volcanic landscapes make it a unique place in Japan and around the world.
The park is named after the Kirishima mountains (a mountain range from Kagoshima to Miyazaki) and the first part of Yakushima. Kirishima-Yaku National Park includes the famous Sakura-jima, an active volcano. It is also popular among Japanese tourists for its blooming azaleas (like Miyama-kirishima) that can be found in the spring.
The surroundings of Mount Kirishima offer the possibility of wonderful excursions through a landscape that is often said to resemble the surface of the moon. You can also visit the Kirishima Shrine, dedicated to the nephew of Amaterasu, the sun goddess who is said to have started the imperial line. Volcanic lakes and onsen (spas) should be added to the use of this park, making it, something very special.
Further south of Kyushu is the small island of Yakushima. They say that its particular vegetation has inspired Hayao Miyazaki in his creation of the film Princess Mononoke (The Spectrum Princess). This island can be reached by ferry or motorboat (the journey is faster but more expensive). You can admire the incredible yaku-sugi (ancient cedars of Yakushima), estimated to be over 2,000 years old. This island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.