Kirishima’s majestic mountain range was designated as Japan’s first national park. The bases of those mountains are blessed with dynamic hot springs.
Let’s look back at the Age of the Gods, when deities ruled the world. Looking down from heaven, they saw “an island floating in a foggy sea,” which is said to be where Kirishima (“fog island”) derives its name. On orders from Amaterasu-Omikami, nine deities descended down to earth and took their first steps on what is claimed to be Takachiho-No-Mine Peak. Kirishima has many shrines connected to mythology, such as Kirishima-Jingu Shrine with its enshrined god Ninigi-No-Mikoto (main character of the legend of Japan’s founding mentioned above), or Kagoshima-Jingu Shrine with its story of Umisachihiko and Yamasachihiko.
The famous peaks of the Kirishima mountain range (connected to colorful myths and legends) serve as an up-close reminder of volcanic forces. These peaks and the dynamic clear waters that flow between them transform with each of the four seasons, revealing a marvelous scenic beauty that is nothing short of moving.
As can be discerned from its entrance into the Japanese Geoparks Network in 2010, Kirishima was and still is in the in a central position in the interaction between man and nature. It has received an abundance of blessings from nature, including some of Japan’s most popular hot springs, Fukuyama kurozu black vinegar (prepared and matured in the traditional way), the aromatic and deep, deliciously-flavored Kirishima tea, and shochu liquor (made from sweet potatoes grown on the Shirasu-Daichi Plateau, whose constituent shirasu is a famous volcanic product).
Be sure to come and see Kirishima at least once, where you can feel the blessings of nature and the never-ending passage of time.