Hiking Guide: Iimori Yama

Iimori Yama 飯盛山 (382m)

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A grand hike on a smaller scale
Overlooking ricefields on the western edge of Fukuoka City, Iimori Yama is a relatively steep, short hike with plenty to reward your efforts. This is particularly true around June, when hundreds of hydrangeas lining the return route are in bloom. The trail also takes in the impressive Iimori Jinja and offers views of both Fukuoka City and the coastline near Itoshima. Great for beginners looking to challenge themselves on some steeper terrain, Iimori is also a perfect mountain getaway for anyone without time to hit the longer trails.


View Iimori Yama 飯盛山 in a larger map

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Course Details
Hanedo bus stop > Iimori Yama > Iimori Jinja Iriguchi bus stop
Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Time: 2~3 hours
Distance: ~4.5 km
Elevation: 382m

Facilities
Toilets: public toilets at Iimori Jinja (飯盛神社) at the foot of the mountain
Signage: Adequate (Japanese)
Water sources: None

Equipment
Shoes: Trail (recommended), Trekking (suitable), Running (not recommended)
Trekking pole: Useful for descent (may be available at trailhead, see Comments & Tips)
Other: Gloves are recommended for roped sections

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Getting there
TRAIN/BUS: From Tenjin, take the subway to Meinohama (姪浜, ¥290, 14mins) and head for the south exit of the station.
Directly outside is a row of stands making up the Meinohama-eki Minamiguchi bus stop (姪浜駅南口) – look for the number 1 bound for Kanatake Eigyosho (金武営業所).
Get off the bus at Hanedo (羽根戸, ¥290, 25-30mins).
The buses to this area are not frequent, but there following are convenient times to connect with a return trip from the Iimori Jinja Iriguchi (飯盛神社入口) bus stop:

iimoriyama-timetable
*Times correct as of 25th Nov 2013

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The hike
With the Iimori Jinja(飯盛神社) as a central point, this hike takes in the most scenic parts of the mountain by taking advantage of different trails on the ascent and descent. This includes the Hydrangea Route (アジサイの路) which is covered in the spectacular flowers that bloom in June, as well as beautiful foliage in autumn.

STAGE 1: Hanedo bus stop > Iimori Yama
From the Hanedo bus stop, walk back in the direction the bus had come and turn left across the intersection. Shortly afterwards follow the sign leading left to Iimori Jinja (飯盛神社). Continue along this road as a small creek appears on your left and turn right at the large white sign indicating Iimori Jinja.

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The road winds between houses as it climbs gradually to the shrine. Follow the road past the car park all the way to the end, then turn right onto the green and red path that leads into the grounds of the shrine.

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Follow the coloured path as it passes in front of the shrine and heads into the trees beyond. As the coloured asphault comes to an end a dirt path diverts to the right, but continue up the road as it begins to wind uphill.

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After some 10-15mins the road comes to the trailhead, which lies beside the impressive torii gate of the Iimori Chugu (中宮). The trail leads into the forrest and soon begins to climb steeply.

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The trail may be a little tricky in places but should be easy to follow. Some 15-20mins out of Chugu is a 3-way junction with clear signage indicating a different route back down, as well as the path to the summit straight ahead (飯盛山山頂).

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From the junction the trail starts to get a bit tougher, with fixed ropes to help you over steeper obstacles. Near the summit the trail forks with red signs leading left, but these lead back down so stick to the right.

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Just before the summit the trail gets steeper again with a few rocky obstacles, but before long you round the bend onto the shady summit.

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Through the trees you can catch glimpses of the ocean, as well as Aburayama and Fukuoka City.

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STAGE 2: Iimori Yama > Iimori Jinja Iriguchi bus stop
Descend back down the same path, taking care on rocks and steeper sections. Again, ignore the red signs leading away to the right and follow the trail back down to the 3-way junction, this time taking the path right to Chugu (中宮).

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The path climbs back up a short way before emerging onto an asphault road – the Hydrangea Route (アジサイの路). Turn right and follow this path as it winds down to Chugu.

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From Chugu, simply continue down the road to Iimori Jinja, retracing the same path as the ascent. Upon emerging onto the red/green asphault, follow it straight down as it exits the shrine grounds and runs downhill to a staircase with another torii. Take the stairs down to the street below.

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After the stairs turn left and then take the next right, following the road as it emerges in between rice fields. On the other side of these fields you will see the main road and the Iimori Jinja Iriguchi (飯盛神社入口) bus stop which has buses running back to Meinohama.

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Comments & Tips
• Just off the path between Iimori Jinja and Chugu is a small park with a few wooden benches, a rope swing and a view of Fukuoka.

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• At the trailhead near Chugu is a container that usually has bamboo sticks that can be used as trekking poles. These can really come in handy, particularly if the area has seen recent rain. Just make sure to return it on your way back down!

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• The trail directly below the summit can be quite steep and slippery, particularly when descending. Make good use of the fixed ropes, but make sure they can support your weight before relying on them.
• The length of the hike and its close proximity to the city makes cycling to Iimori Jinja a good option for those who don’t want to rely on public transport. Following the Muromi River inland from the coast brings you into view of the mountain, and from there it’s a straightforward ride to Iimori Jinja.

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alps-kam

Author: Kamil Spychalski
Kamil Spychalski is an Australian resident of Fukuoka and recently turned hiking fanatic. Since last year Kam’s been exploring many of the great hiking trails near and not so near to Fukuoka. Each month he will share details of his recommended trails for beginners and the more advanced.

►Full Hiking Guide here.

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Originally written for Fukuoka Now November 2013.
NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy there is a possible of error and facility details may change. If you notice any errors or changes please contact us. This report was originally written in November of 2013.

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