Ebino kogen is located at japan’s first national park.
Let’s walk Ebino kogen with a superb view
1. Let’s headed to [byakushi ike] first!
2. Enjoy a superb view from Shiratori mountain
3. A little break at Rokukanonmiike
4. Fudouike with a mysterious impression
Learn about Ebino kogen at Ebino eco museum

Kirishima mountain range that extends from Miyazaki to Kagoshima in southern Kyushu. Ebino Kogen is located at the bottom of the Karakunidake. This is a famous spot in Miyagi Prefecture and At Ebino Kogen,You could feel natural scenery.
This time, while walking the trekking course that goes around the three crater lakes at Ebino kogen, we will find the reason why so many people love this place.

Ebino kogen is located at Japan’s first national park.

Ebino kogen is located at the southern part of  [ Ebino city] in Miyazaki prefecture.The entire area is part of “Kirishima Yaku National Park” (currently “Kirishima Kinkowan National Park”), the first national park in Japan, and close to 700,000 people visit this place in a year. It is a popular tourist spot in Miyazaki.

Right next to Ebino City is Hitoyoshi City in Kumamoto Prefecture and Kirishima City in Kagoshima Prefecture. Since the surrounding roads are maintained as the “Kirishima Bird Line” and “Ebino Skyline”, many people visit Kumamoto and Kagoshima by driving across the prefectural borders. One of the reasons that this place is so popular, is that it is easy to access from multiple prefectures.
Ebino kogen’s parking lot

There are so many cars from other prefectures.

A superb view created by Volcanic activity

The feature of Ebino kogen is a superb view

You should visit the three ponds, “Bakushiike”, “Rokkannonmiike”, and “Fudoike”. These ponds have a round shape, recall that each was a former crater.
Of course, you can also enjoy the spectacular view from the top of a mountain. From the top of Shiratori mountain at an altitude of 1,363m, right beside the byakushiike, you can see Kagoshima's symbol “Sakurajima” in addition to Kirishima Mountains ’highest peak“ Karakuni .

Terrain with crater lake

Dynamic terrain with crater lakes

The volcanic activity of the Kirishima Mountains carrying the Ebino Kogen is still active. These mountains that straddle Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures have volcanic eruptions such as “Shinmoedake” and “Ohachi”.
You can see the water vapor that rises near the “Ioyama” near the Fudo Pond in Ebino Kogen, and right next to the prefectural road to Ebino Kogen, you can smell the sulfur. Of course, as long as you enter the volcanic area, safety considerations such as collecting information are always necessary. Ebino Kogen is a very attractive place that you can feel the “living earth” with your skin.

Ebino kogen is surrounded by volcanic area

Ebino kogen is surrounded by volcanic area that still active

From trekking to authentic climbing

In Ebino Kogen, there are trekking courses and mountain trails starting from the Ebino Eco Museum Center, and the “pond tour”, which takes you around the three crater lakes, is very popular for couples and families. It takes about 2 hours but it does not have much ups and downs.
If you want to climb, you can also go up the mountain at 1,700m. You can enjoy an authentic mountain hike, in about 3-4 hours, so you can complete this course during a day trip. * As of October 2019, the “pond tour” has been turned back from the Fudo Pond due to the increased volcanic activity. Also, since the mountain trail from the Fudoike area is closed, please be careful not to enter the restricted area.

Mountaineering mail box

Mountaineering mailbox for people who loves authentic climbing

Let’s walk Ebino kogen with a superb view

If you are willing to enjoy Ebino kogen but not willing to climb the mountain, you might want to try a course called [pond tour course]. This time, I am going to walk through the course and introduce the highlights and points that you need to beware of. * As of October 2019, the “pond tour course” is a turnaround at the Fudoike Pond (the time for the restoration of the entire line is undecided).

Writer’s map

The route that the writer walked

1. Let’s headed to [byakushi ike] first!

The starting point of the “pond tour” is “Ebino Eco Museum Center”. When you park your car in the parking lot, follow the directions and go to the entrance of the course. There is no bathroom in the middle of the course, so use the bathroom first near the parking lot before you start.

The sign board of Ebino eco museum

Ebino eco museum is the starting point

Walk for a few minutes on the small asphalt path and you will reach the entrance of the course. At the beginning of the course is a staircase maintained with natural rocks and gravel. Although it is easy to walk, climbing will continue for a while so make sure to pace yourself.

Easy staircase

The beginning of course is an easy staircase

As you climb up the grove for about 5 minutes, the view suddenly opens. This place is called “Ebino Kogen Observatory”, and it is a view spot where you can see the mountains around Ebino Kogen. There are benches and tables, so it's perfect for a break.

Ebino Kogen Observatory

Ebino Kogen Observatory with a superb view

Most of the climb is up to the first destination, “Byakushiike”. Although the passage is basically maintained, there are some uphills with irregular rocks along the way, so please watch your step.

A course with rocks

There are big and small rocks on the corse

Walk for about 30 minutes from the Ebino Kogen Observatory and you will arrive at byakushiike. The coexistence of a concrete revetment and a metal fence is a little strange, but this seems to be a remnant when the Byakushiike was used as a natural skating rink.

Byakushiike’s lakeside

Byakushiike’s lakeside

If you look through the revetment, you will see a spacious pond that reaches the bottom of the water. The depth of the water is shallow, about 1m, and the lake surface seems to freeze in the cold winter. It was operating as a skating rink from the early Showa era to the 1980s, but the thickness of the ice is getting thinner year by year, and unfortunately you can't enjoy skating anymore.

A shallow pond Byakushiike

It used to be a skating rink

2. Enjoy a superb view from Shiratori mountain

By looking at the view from “Shirotoriyama”, which has a shallow crater next to it, you can figure that Byakushiike is the crater lake. To reach Shiratori Mountain, there are separating points to “Shirotori mountain/ Niko panorama observatory” along the route from Ebino Eco Museum Center to Byakushiike.

Signs to go to the Shiratori mountain

The entrance of The Shiratori mountain

If you climb for about 5 minutes from the separating points, you will see the “Niko panorama observatory”. This is a superb view spot where you can see both Byakushiike and Rokukanon Oike at the same time. By the way, the observation deck and Higashiya have been newly constructed in October 2019.

Niko panorama observatory

Niko panorama observatory that you can see two ponds at the same time

From the Niko panorama observatory, there is a narrow trail path that is wide enough for one person to pass.

A narrow trail

A narrow trail follows

As you get close to the top of Shiratori mountain, you can see that the view has changed. The slope has big and small rocks all over, so it is difficult to walk, be careful not to fall.

白鳥山のガレ場Shiratori mountain’s slope

The slope close to the top of the mountain

You will arrive at the top of Shiratori mountain in about 15 minutes from Niko panorama observatory. The altitude with Ebino Eco Museum Center is about 160m, and there is almost nothing to shut the view, so you can clearly see the whole area and the surrounding mountains.

The top of Shiratori mountain

The top of  the shiratori mountain

The most spectacular view looking down from here is the Byakushiike. The round shape surrounded by steep slopes shows that it is a splendid crater lake even though it is a shallow pond with a depth of 1m. 

Byakushiike from the top

Byakushiike from the shiratori mountain top

About 10 minutes from the top of Shiratori mountain, you can see the second crater lake, “RokkanonMiike”. If you go down the steep slope and stairs for about 5 minutes, you will merge to the original “pond tour”.

Shiratoriyama north observatory

Shiratoriyama north observatory overlooking Rokukanonmiike

3. A little break at Rokukannonmiike

A gentle downhill from Byakushiike to Rokukanonmiike. The wide steps are made of logs and soil, and there is not much burden on the feet.

Ebino kougen’s path

Going down with trees

A huge cedar tree that is about a 15 minutes walk from the Byakushiike. The tree seems to be about 500 years old, and its presence is overwhelming. It is similar to Yakusugi in Yakushima, but it is actually the same kind of cedar tree in Kirishima Jingu. I feel like I received spiritual power when I got close to the trunk.

A huge cedar tree

A huge cedar tree in the middle of the trail

If you walk a little beyond the cedar tree, you will see the Rokukannonmiike from between the trees. The area is the largest lake among the three ponds (lakes) in the Ebino kougen, and the depth is 14m. 
It is a magnificent view that is a little different from the Byakushiike.
The water is acidic due to the influence of the volcano, the lake surface is cobalt blue. This lake shows a beautiful faces that varies from season to season.


Rokannomiike is the largest pond among the three ponds

About 5 minutes from the cedar tree, you will arrive at the wood deck located really close to the Rokukanonmiike. This is a great place to sit and take a break or eat a bento box. 

Rokannonmiike’s lakeside

Take a nice break at the bench by the lake

Behind the deck is a small shrine called Toyouke shrine. It is also called “Rokukannon dou” because it was a Buddhist temple that enshrined the statue of Rokukanon. Even after being renamed “Hoju Shrine” in the Meiji era, the “batou kannon festival” is held in May every year, and is a still a popular place. Also the torii gate has a mysterious impression.

Rokannon dou

Rokannon dou on the lakeside

4. Fudouike with a  mysterious impression

There is no big difference in elevation from Rokukanonmiike to Fudoike. The gentle road will continue, so let's enjoy the surrounding nature.

A gentle road of Ebino kogen

The gentle road will continue for a while

About a 35minute walk from Rokukanonmiike, there is a group of Japanese pampas grass. Actually, the place name of “Ebino” in the Ebino kogen was named after pinkish color Susuki (pampas grass), due to the effect of the volcanic gas.

えびの高原のススキ野原Ebino kogen’s susuki field

The susuki field is repsents of Ebino kogen

Walk about 5 minutes from Susukinohara and you will arrive at Fudoike. The water quality is also strongly acidic because of the volcano, and the color of the lake surface changes depending on the time of day because of the diffuse reflection of light. According to Mr. Suda of Ebino Eco Museum Center, “My recommendation is come around the afternoon  because it looks cobalt blue when the weather is nice.”

If you keep walking about 20 minutes from here, you will arrive at the goal (Ebino Eco Museum Center). As of October 2019, the trekking took more than 3 hours due to restrictions. If you're worried about the long walk, you can use a wooden cane (500 yen). You can buy one at the Ebino Ecomuseum Center.

Fudo lake

Fudo lake has a deep color

Right beside Fudo lake, there is Iou mountain, and the entrance of Karakuni dake. if you would like to try authentic climbing, this is a great spot. (As of October 2019, closed due to volcanic activity)

Iou mountain’s entrance

Iou mountain’s entrance is closed now

Learn about Ebino kogen at Ebino eco museum

The Ebino Eco Museum Center is actually managed by the Ministry of the Environment. Through exhibitions, the formation of Ebino Kogen, the topography, and the nature around the Ebino Kogen are explained.
There is staff that experts of Ebino Kogen, also this is a base for active rangers that assists the Nature conservation center of the Ministry of the Environment. 
You can learn the latest information of the Kirishima mountain range, where active volcanic activity continues. This is a facility that should visit first, not only for those who were just driving around here, but also for those who want to go trekking on the “Ike Meguri Course” or climbing mountains.

Apperrance of Ebino eco museum

Ebino eco museum center

The museum is spacious with a high ceiling. the most interesting exhibits is the terrain model around the Ebino kogen. Let's use it for pre-learning and review of the “pond tour”. In the center of the building, there is a section of introduce the nature of Kirishima, so you can learn about the history of Ebino Kogen and Kirishima Mountains.

Inside of the museum center

The exhibitions are lined up in a specious area

In the wildlife exhibition on the Ebino kogen, you can observe specimens that you can't usually see. By the way, it seems that you often meet deer in the forest during the day in the “pond tour”, but this time I was unable to meet any deer.

At the Ebino Eco Museum Center, there are occasional events such as bird watching and walking events. The latest information on events, etc. can be found on the [official homepage] (http://www.ebino-ecomuseum.go.jp).

Exhibits about wildlife

Introducing wildlife living in Ebino Kogen

Trekking where you can feel the power of the volcano

Ebino Kogen is a superb view spot for those who want to enjoy nature by trekking, and those who want to try mountaineering. Because it shows different faces from season to season, it is also a great attraction to enjoy two and three times. If you are exploring southern Kyushu, you definitely want to check this out.