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Introducing the Miyamikirishima of Mt. Tsurumi in Oita Beppu

This video, titled "JG☆☆☆8K HDR Oita, Beppu Mt. Tsurumi Miyamakirishima Flower Season" (JG☆☆☆8K HDR 大分 別府 鶴見岳のミヤマキリシ Oita, Beppu Mt. Tsurumi Miyamakirishima Flower Season), was uploaded by "JAPAN GEOGRAPHIC."
The video introduces the ride up the Beppu Ropeway on Mt. Tsurumi, along with the beautiful flowers blooming atop the mountain and the breathtaking views that await you!

The Flowers Blooming on Mt. Tsurumi

Image of Kyushu Azaleas of Mt. Tsurumi
Photo:Kyushu Azaleas of Mt. Tsurumi

The flowers blooming atop Mt. Tsurumi are Kyushu azaleas. They are a semi-deciduous shrub of the azalea family and stand 0.3 to 1 meters tall. They produce purple-red flowers as well as peach-red and light-red flowers, and are at their best from late May to mid-June in Japan.
A unique plant found only in the high mountains of Japan's Kyushu Region, it's distributed on Mt. Kirishima, Mt. Aso, Mt. Kokonoe, Mt. Unzen, etc.

On Mt. Tsurumi in Beppu, Oita, in Japan's Kyushu region, approximately 5,000 Kyushu azaleas bloom all at once every spring.
[Video] 0:45 - Kyushu Azaleas

The contrast between the pink carpet of azaleas, the mountains in the distance, and the blue skies makes this a truly photogenic spot! You can see the birds chirping and butterflies fluttering about in the video as well.
[Video] 10:49 - Azaleas and the Mountains of Kyushu

The Seasonal Views of Mt. Tsurumi: Autumn Leaves, Rime, and More

Image of frost-covered plants on Mt. Tsurumi
Photo:Frost-covered plants on Mt. Tsurumi

Mt. Tsurumi is 1,375 meters above sea level, located in the east of Aso-Kuju National Park, and is designated as one of the Top 300 Mountains of Japan. In early summer, the azaleas are at their best, as shown in the video, but autumn is also a popular time of year as visitors can enjoy the lovely autumn foliage. From the top of the mountain, you can see Mt. Yufudake and Mt. Kuju. The best time to view the autumn leaves is from late October to mid-November.

Furthermore, Mt. Tsurumi is famous for its rime in winter. Rime is a phenomenon that occurs when the temperature drops below freezing, covering the trees and other flora with frost. When this happens, the entire mountain is transformed into a silvery white world. Mt. Tsurumi is a mountain rich in nature where you can enjoy completely different views in each season.

Mt. Tsurumi, a Popular Mountain for Climbing and Hiking

Image of Mt. Tsurumi and the Beppu Ropeway, Beppu, Oita
Photo:Mt. Tsurumi and the Beppu Ropeway, Beppu, Oita

Mt. Tsurumi is a popular mountain amongst hikers and climbers. It's said to be a relatively easy mountain to climb, even for beginners, due to its gentle gradient. Since it is a popular mountain, it's likely that there are many other climbers on the mountain. For safety reasons, beginners should always climb with another person.

The summit of Mt. Tsurumi can also be reached via the Beppu Ropeway. The ropeway runs from Beppu Kogen Station, located halfway up the mountain at an elevation of 500 meters, to Tsurumi Sanjo Station at an elevation of 1,300 meters.
[Video] 0:10 - Ascending Mt. Tsurumi via the Beppu Ropeway

If you take the Beppu ropeway up to the summit station, it takes only 10 minutes to reach the top of the mountain. Some people ascend and descend the mountain without using the ropeway, but you can also hike up and take the ropeway down on the way back.

Temples, Souvenirs, and Other Things to Do on Mt. Tsurumi

Image of a shrine on Mt. Tsurumi, Beppu, Oita
Photo:A shrine on Mt. Tsurumi, Beppu, Oita

Not far from Tsurumi Sanjo Station, there is an observatory from which you can enjoy a spectacular view of Beppu Bay. There are also walking paths that lead to several observation points.
In addition to the scenery, Tsurumi Sanjo Gongen Shrine is located in front of the station, and you can see the shrine's red torii gate in the video. Furthermore, there are many attractions on Mt. Tsurumi, such as the Pilgrimage of the Seven Lucky Gods and other places of worship.
[Video] 0:42 - Tsurumi Sanjo Gongen Shrine

The summit of Mt. Tsurumi also has a variety of souvenir shops. In addition to the station store, there is also the Kyushu Shochu-kan (州焼酎館) in front of the main parking lot, which sells a variety of souvenirs, from wine and other alcoholic beverages to handicrafts.

Staying Safe on Mt. Tsurumi

Mt. Tsurumi is a popular mountain for hiking and climbing, but it is also an active volcano. In the case of an eruption, there are disaster prevention maps and a disaster prevention guidebook for climbers which are available online. It's recommended that you download them in advance to ensure safe climbing.
Disaster prevention maps and guidebooks can be downloaded in PDF format from the Oita Prefecture official website.

You can also view live disaster prevention cameras installed by the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Things to Do Near the Beppu Ropeway

Mt. Tsurumi and the Beppu Ropeway are located a ways from the city, but if you head back to Beppu, there are a number of things to see and do. Below is a short list of things to check out when visiting the area:

Jigoku Meguri - A Tour of the Hells of Beppu
The Jigoku Meguri tour takes you on a tour of eight of the most famous hot springs in Beppu. It's a tradition that is said to date back to the Edo Period, and takes about 2 hours to complete. All of the hot springs have something about them that is unique, so it makes for an exciting tour.

Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Admission Fee: Adults (High school students and older): 2,200 yen, Children: 1,000 yen. ※Discounts available for groups of 30 or more

Beppu Park
Located in the center of Beppu, Beppu Park is a large park with many flower gardens. The park also has a variety of athletic facilities, and during the spring, cherry blossoms bloom beautifully throughout the park.

Hours: Open 24 hours. (Parking available from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm)
Admission Fee: Free (Parking is 100 yen/hr.)

Rakutenchi is an amusement park for children with a number of rides. Additionally, there are a variety of animals inside the park and even petting zoos where children can interact with them. It's a great place to check out if you're traveling with kids.

Hours: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Closures: Closed on most Tuesdays. Please check the official website for more information
Admission Fee: Adults (Middle school students and older): 1,300 yen, Children (Ages 3 to elementary school): 600 yen, Infants (Ages 2 and under): Free

Weather on Mt. Tsurumi and What to Wear

During May and June, when the azaleas on Mt. Tsurumi are at their best, the weather is quite warm. As Japan is nearing the end of spring and transitioning to summer at this point, the average temperatures for May and June are 19° C (66° F) and 23° C (73° F) respectively.
Because of this, it's recommended that you dress light, with t-shirts and shorts. If you're planning on hiking up the mountains, we also recommend wearing hiking shoes or at the very least, some good walking shoes.

Summary of Mt. Tsurumi in Beppu, Oita

Image of Beppu Onsen, Oita
Photo:Beppu Onsen, Oita

That concludes our introduction to azaleas on Mt. Tsurumi. At the foot of the eastern side of Mt. Tsurumi is Beppu Onsen, one of the most famous hot spring resorts in Japan. You can relax after a hike up Mt. Tsurumi at Beppu Onsen and enjoy a delicious meal there as well!
You can also enjoy a lovely view of the city of Beppu, so don't forget to bring a camera!

◆Beppu Ropeway◆
Address: 10-7 Aza-Kanbara, Oaza-Minami-Tateishi, Beppu-city, Oita, Japan 874-0000
Hours: Summer (March 15 - November 14): 9:00 am - 5:30 pm (Last ascent 5:00 pm, last descent 5:30 pm), Winter (November 15 - March 14): 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Last ascent 4:30 pm, last descent 5:00 pm). ※For nighttime hours please contact the Beppu Ropeway directly.
Telephone: 0977-22-2278
Ropeway fees (round trip): Adults: 1,800 yen, Children (Ages 4 to elementary school): 900 yen. ※Discounts available for groups.
・By train (bus): Take a bus from the West Exit of JR Beppu Station and get off at Beppu Ropeway
・By car: A 5-minute drive on Prefectural Road 11 from the Beppu IC of the Higashi-Kyushu Expressway toward Yufuin (parking available)

【Official Website】Beppu Ropeway

【TripAdvisor】Beppu Ropeway

Written By
Last Updated : May. 8, 2023
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
A writer born and raised in Asakusa, Tokyo who loves traveling and novels
A Sea of Azaleas on Mt. Tsurumi in Beppu, Oita! From the Summit of the Mountain to the Pilgrimage of the Seven Lucky Gods, There's Plenty to See and Do Here!
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