Kirishima and where is Takachiho?
The single bath carved out of a tree trunk at Shinyu Onsen. The water has a lot of minerals that's why it is milky.
After a full dinner and an awesome soak in one of the outdoor baths last night (it was a beautiful starry night when there wasn’t rain getting into my eyes), I woke up to dismal weather. However, the breakfast made up for the weather. It must be said that the food at Kirishima Miyama Hotel is beautiful. Every dish that came out seemed to be better than the previous. Not only is the food good, the staff are also very friendly, and the hot spring baths are great too!
All three outdoor baths at Kirishima Miyama Hotel.
One of the many dishes from last night's dinner, apple gratin.
Due to the bad weather, the hike up Takachino-no-mine was cancelled and was changed to the walk around Ebino Kogen. But even that was cancelled when my guide arrived. We started at the Ebino Eco Museum Centre, and learnt more about the creation of the area around Kirishima and the local flora and fauna. Words like “crater lake”, “caledera”, “magma”, “tectonic plates” were heard constantly. It felt like a living lesson on geography! I left thinking that it’d be really interesting to be a geologist for a day (maybe a week).
The knowledgeable and friendly staff at Ebino Eco Museum Centre.
After that very educational tour at the museum, we left for a pit stop at Shinyu Onsen. Apparently, the waters there are one of it’s kind in Japan. Just 5 mins in the bath will leave you refreshed! I was in there for a little over 5mins and left wanting more. I can’t really explain it, but the waters are definitely different to the one at the hotel. You’ll have to come and try it out for yourselves.
Shinyu Onsen from the outside. That's also onsen water flowing in the canal.
The mixed outdoor bath at Shinyu Onsen. Note how milky the water is!
We also went to a crater lake, that usually has a view of Takachiho. An interesting fact about the crater lake is that there are fish in the lake. How did they get there and where did they come from?
At a crater lake, with Takachiho in the background (visible in better weather conditions)
Moving on to Takachiho Farm, we had a chance to take a walk around and see some of the farm animals like cows and horses. They also have sheep there but we didn’t get to see any. The cows at the farm produce milk that is used at the shop and restaurant. We also participated in a butter making class, which lasted a maximum of 10mins. That’s how fast it took to make butter!
Cows that produce the milk we can drink/buy at the farm.
Kids can experience horse riding at the farm too.
Finally, our last stop on this rainy day, my guides brought me to the nearby Maruo Waterfall. They explained the geological structure of the waterfall then brought me to see the top of the waterfall. It was all so interesting because the cross section of the waterfall was made by flowing lava over tens of thousands of years.
The lines behind the waterfall show how many layers of lava created the rock structure over time.
The top of the waterfall. If you cut down these rocks like cake, you'll find the same cross section like behind the waterfall.
Thanks to my knowledgeable guides, Nakamura-san and Ishikawa-san, I had a very educational and fun-filled day in the Kirishima Geopark area despite the bad weather. Thank you so much!
One of the two guides, Nakamura-san from Kirishima Geopark.
The drop is where Maruo waterfall starts.
Vending machines at Takachiho Farm, with special drinks like fizzy milk and a yogurt drink.
No pets at Takachiho Farm.
Milk ice cream! Tasted like.... milk.
Lunch was local chargrilled chicken with soba.
Kirishima mountain range hiding behind clouds.
Takachiho and Kirishima hiding behind those clouds.
At Shinyu Onsen.
Breakfast this morning.