Hello! It’s Tomocchi ☆
Today I’m introducing the “Kyushu Olle” which is an offshoot of “Jeju Olle,” a popular trekking course that originated in the Jeju Islands of South Korea.
In November of last year, the Minamishimabara Course was created and became the 17th course in Kyushu and the 2nd course in Nagasaki prefecture after the Hirado Course!
“Olle” in the Jeju dialect is “the narrow path between a road and a home.”
The charm of these courses is to feel the coasts and mountains with each of your five senses, and to enjoy trekking at your own paceヾ (o´∀｀o)ﾉ
Entry is free and no reservation is required.
Just follow the PDF course guide at the end of this blog and enjoy this unfettered trekking experience ☆
“Warm port town” is the motif of the Minamishimabara Course.
This 10.5km nature course starts at Kuchinotsu Port, passes Mt. Noroshi, Sezumesaki Lighthouse, a famous community of Japanese sea fig trees, and finishes at the Kuchinotsu Museum of History and Folklore.
How to do Olle – Follow the path markers set along the course.
◆ Top photo – Red and blue ribbons are tied in the branches of trees to mark the course.
◆Bottom right photo – This sign post takes the motif of a Jeju horse, called a “kanse”. The course proceeds in the direction it’s facing.
When we head out, the first thing we get to do is enjoy layout of Kuchinotsu which once thrived as a port town.
In front of the Torii gate at Yakumo Shrine we spotted a unique pair of upside-down Komainu (guardian lion-dogs) on top of the stone lanterns ヾ(●ﾟⅴﾟ)ﾉ
These narrow paths befitting a port town were simply delightful.
The town was dotted with Hokora, which are small Shinto shrines and are very important to the people of the area.
And now the woods have come into view.
We’ve finally plunged into nature!
When we popped over the hill, a lettuce patch appeared!
The luscious pea-green leaves are so pretty!
The dry leaves on the dirt path make a crunching sound as we advance through the woods.
As we head toward Mt. Noroshi our lungs are getting charged with negative ions.
On our right we could see the ocean.
Over this hill is the Matsuo Shrine.
With a very old, very large pine tree nearby, it’s said that this has been a power spot for people for a long time ☆
Just as you start getting a little tired…
At the 3.9km mark on the course is the Family Shop Kodama, a little store that sells breads and drinks.
It’ll give you the recharge you need ☆
We’ve approached the Sezumesaki Lighthouse.
Being on the southern tip of the Shimabara Peninsula, from this lighthouse you can see Amakusa Shimoshima 5km away on the other side of the Hayasaki Strait.
The Hayasaki Strait is famous for its fast-moving tides and from March to June you can see majestic whirlpools with 20m diameters in the spring tides.
It’s also famous for having a beautiful view of the sunset!
I definitely recommend taking a break on the breezy rock area near the Sezumesaki Lighthouse.
Are we in the jungle?!
We found a sea fig tree with a hole big enough for a person to crawl through!
The area around the Hayasaki fishing port has many huge Sea fig trees.
They’re so big that you can’t get the whole tree in a picture ～ヾ(ﾟдﾟ)ﾉ゛
We took the thrilling route of walking along the rocky area on the coast!
Be careful not to slip ～ヾ(ﾟдﾟ)ﾉ゛
I felt renewed sense of appreciation for the volcano on Minamishimabara after walking on those rugged lava rocks.
※ You can only pass through here when the tide is low. At full tide there is a detour that you can take so please confirm your route on the sign posts.
A bright red bridge has come into view! It’s Nanban Bridge!
We’re almost to our goal!
We did it!!
We have arrived at the Kuchinotsu Museum of History and Folklore ヾ(o´∀｀o)ﾉ
Articles from when Kuchinotsu Port was thriving in trade are displayed in this museum, which was built in the Meiji Era in a Western style.
Kyushu Olle “Minamishimabara Course”
Wouldn’t you like to feel the breeze of the tide in the Ariake Sea and use each of your five senses to experience the cityscape of the once bustling trade area of Kuchinotsu and the surrounding peaceful countryside? ☆
Kyushu Olle – Minamishimabara Course
Required Time: 3-4 hours
◆Here is the Kyushu Olle homepage!