Mount Osuzu, a beautiful peak in Miyazaki Prefecture, was recognized as a place of scenic beauty for its cascading falls by the Japanese government in 1944. It was the first waterfall area to have received this designation.
Known as one of Japan’s 200 most famous mountains, Osuzu is home to many stunning waterfalls and valleys. Yatogi Waterfall in particular is considered one of the country’s 100 best.
Put On Your Hiking Boots
Mount Osuzu, which has a peak of 1,405 meters, is an excellent mountain for hiking year-round. It has over 30 waterfalls for climbers to enjoy, most of which center around the Amacha Valley, Yatogi Valley and Bou Valley.
The most well-known waterfall, Yatogi Waterfall, at around 73 meters tall, is matched only by the 75-meter Shirataki Falls. These many waterfalls nestled into the lush vegetation of the Kyushu mountainside make for gorgeous views.
The shortest beginner hiking course brings you past scenic hillsides and four waterfalls, like the lovely Suzumi Falls and famous Yatogi Falls, which are only 25 minutes from the base camp. This course is two kilometers long and will take you about 70 minutes. It packs a punch by showing off many of the mountain’s gems on a relatively leisurely hike.
For more experienced hikers, there is also a 10-kilometer course where you can see nine waterfalls, as well as the most advanced, a 12-kilometer course, which leads to the summit.
April and May are the months when Mount Osuzu is known for being especially pleasant. For instance, the mountain has many different varieties of tsutsuji (azaleas) in bloom, like the akebono tsutsuji and mitsuba tsutsuji in the springtime. Simultaneously, shakunage (rhododendron) flowers also burst open on the scene and, as such, much of the area is covered in a blanket of pink flowers of various hues and shades. Another floral treasure of Mount Osuzu in spring is asebi, also known as Japanese lily-of-the-valley.
Autumn is the mountain’s other main time for flower tourism. During this time, the alpine peak houses an extremely rare type of hototogisu (toad lily) which is only found here in Miyazaki prefecture. Some visitors come just to glimpse this yellow bloom from mid September to mid October. Of course, come November, the autumn foliage on the mountain is also a site to behold.