A mountain with a view.
Soaring 1375 metres into the sky, Mount Tsurumi is a breathtaking mountain overlooking Beppu City that offers some decent hiking, rare flora and outstanding vistas.
Visitors can take a ropeway 800 metres up and revel in being surrounded by acres of rolling greenery or, if they’re feeling particularly adventurous, can opt to hike up the mountain, reaching the summit in two hours from the lower ropeway station. From the upper ropeway station, multiple paths lead to the summit in about 15 minutes.
On clear days, you can see as far as the Kuju Mountains, a famous mountain range that runs between Oita and Kumamoto prefectures. You might even catch a glimpse of Shikoku, one of Japan’s four main islands.
While the panoramic views are pretty distracting, be sure to keep an eye out for the flowers blooming along the walking paths. Most notable are the 5000 rhododendron kiusianum flowers, a species indigenous to southern Japan at elevations of 1800 to 2400 feet. During spring the lower ropeway station is also the blooming spot of over 2000 sakura trees – it’s a perfect place to celebrate hanami or cherry blossom viewing.
The fall colours are also remarkable, this time drawing the leaf-viewing crowds during October. Mount Tsurumi is just as scenic in winter when it’s covered in a sheen of hoarfrost, particularly between mid-December and mid-March.
Into mountain climbing? There is an annual Tsurumi Ikki Mountain Climbing competition hosted by Oita prefecture in which contestants must scale the mountain from ground level to the summit in a steep 12 kilometer ascent.