Mt. Sobo Video Introduction
This video, titled "Kobara Gorge [Gorge Walking Video] Sobo, Katamuki and Okue Biosphere Reserve" (神原渓谷【渓谷散策動画】祖母・傾・大崩ユネスコエコパーク), was uploaded by "Sobo, Katamuki and Okue Biosphere Reserve" (祖母・傾・大崩ユネスコエコパーク). Mt. Sobo, one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains, is the source of Kobara Gorge. Designated as Sobo-Katamuki Quasi-National Park, visitors can enjoy the beauty of the fresh greenery in summer and colorful autumn leaves in fall while enjoying a relaxing hiking experience.
The Sobo, Katamuki and Okue Biosphere Reserve – Tons of Popular Tourist Attractions
Straddling Oita and Miyazaki prefectures, the area surrounding Mt. Sobo, Mt. Katamuki, and Mt. Okue is home to lush virgin forests, numerous valleys, and rare flora and fauna. The area is known as the "Sobo, Katamuki and Okue Biosphere Reserve." The Oka Castle Ruins, the motif of Kojo no Tsuki, a famous Japanese song, as well as Harajiri Falls, selected as one of the top 100 waterfalls in Japan, and Takachiho Gorge, a place of scenic beauty and natural monument, are also located in the area. In addition, popular sightseeing spots such as Seiun Bridge, which is the largest bridge on a national highway in Japan, are scattered throughout the area.
In order to protect the area's rich natural environment, the municipalities in the vicinity of the Mt. Sobo, Mt. Katamuki, and Mt. Okue mountain ranges have launched efforts to have the area registered as a UNESCO Eco-Park (Biosphere Reserve). Having been recognized as a registered site in 2017, the area is expected to conserve biodiversity, revitalize the local community, and serve as a center for environmental education and research.
Mt. Sobo - Virgin Forests and Beautiful Valleys, Popular Among Mountaineers
Mt. Sobo has an elevation of 1,756 meters and is located on the borders of Oita and Miyazaki Prefectures, and has been selected as one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains.
It is also known for its rich natural forests, numerous valleys suitable for exploring waterfalls, and is a treasure trove of rare wildlife, with animals like the Japanese serow, which is a protected species. While there are well-maintained climbing routes and walking trails, the trail near the summit is a steep mountain path that involves rocky climbing.
Mt. Sobo - Enjoy Extensive Hiking Trails
The Kobara Gorge Trekking Course, which climbs from the first to the fifth station of Mt. Sobo, is a course that's great for shorter mountaineering trips, with well-maintained trails and promenades. The video introduces the highlights of this trekking course.
Gyouran Falls, located just outside the entrance of the first station, is one of the 100 Views of Oita.
[Video] 0:38 - Gyouran Falls
Ahead you'll find Oyashiro Falls, where it's said that Shugendo monks once purified themselves to reach the summit of Mt. Sobo.
[Video] 1:07 - and 1:53 - Oyashiro Falls
Other highlights include the fifth station hut, which is the turnaround point of the course, "Seirei no Ki" (精霊の木, lit. 'Spirit Tree'), a mysterious-looking tree with several intertwining trunks, and "Nezame Falls" (寝覚の滝), which has a drop of about 10 meters.
[Video] 1:21 - The Fifth Station Hut
[Video] 1:34 - Seirei no Ki
[Video] 2:00 - Nezame Falls
On the downhill route, stone walls that are believed to be the remains of a lumber trail, which was used to transport lumber, can still be seen, and precious remains of various industries can also be seen.
An Easy Hike Up Mt. Sobo - Enjoy a Gorge Walk Recommended for Beginners
The "Fujikawachi Gorge Walking Course" is recommended for a short mountain climbing, hiking, or waterfall touring trip on Mt. Sobo. The valley is dotted with unique spots that are great for taking Instagram photos, such as "Senmaidaira" (千枚平) where you can play in the water, "Hyotanbuchi" another place surrounded by nature, and "Odoiko Doi," an interesting rock formation that looks like an irrigation canal.
Visitors can also use campgrounds with bungalows and camp sites, and "Fujikawachi Yu-topia," a day-trip hot spring facility.
Summary of Hiking Information for Mt. Sobo
Photo：A woman enjoying mountain climbing
The popular Mt. Sobo/Kobara Gorge offers a relaxing experience for both body and soul, with waterfall tours and light hiking. The Kobara Valley Trekking Course and the Fujikawachi Valley Walking Course are great for beginners to try. However, climbing Mt. Sobo is not completely free from danger of accidents and other hazards. Please be sure to double check climbing routes and gather information on the day's weather and climbing conditions before setting out on the trail.
A direct bus service runs from Bungo Taketa Station to the Mt. Sobo trailhead (Kobara), and a parking lot is also available. In the video, you can enjoy the rich nature and beautiful scenery of Mt. Sobo, the trekking course in the Kobara Valley and its attractions with vivid footage. In addition, spots where you can take awesome Instagram photos are introduced with still images as examples. be sure to check it out so you can get some photo ideas of your own!
【Official Website】Sobo, Katamuki and Okue Biosphere Reserve