hiking Mt Yufu, Japan

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Mount Yufu (由布岳 Yufudake) is a 1,583.3 m (5,195 ft) volcano, located on the border of Yufu and Beppu, Ōita, Japan.


Yufu is one of the hikes recommended in Lonely Planet Hiking in Japan.

I chose it as access is easy by public transport. In fact, when you get off the train in Yufuin, you know exactly where you’re going.

Or not. I spent perhaps 90min from that point before finding the actual trailhead. This is typically the end of the Yufu-dake hike, not the start.

Once on the trail, it’s a fun and easy ascent … for a volcano. This far south, there are still some Autumn colours.

all signage is in Japanese

This far south, too, there are still plenty of hikers in November. Most were headed the opposite direction.

Decision time. Which of the twin peaks should I climb?

I took the one closest to Yufuin, Nishi-mine (1548m). It’s slightly higher and harder.

In fact, it turned out to be quite a scramble. This point of exposure in particular convinced a couple of men to turn back and try the other.

Finally, I saw a hiker atop Nishi-mine.

He cleared out when I arrived. As did the clouds.

Fairly late in the day by this point, I left a Summit Stone, and hustled down to the nearer Yufu-tozan-guchi trailhead where I could catch a bus in either direction.

It was 45min before one arrived. A gentleman was tenting there, well prepared to do the hike next morning. We were both reeking of shōchū by the time the bus pulled up.

The Yufuin railway station has a hotsprings foot bath for waiting passengers. I couldn’t resist.

Yufuin is a hotsprings resort town, in fact, quite famous. I recommend it. I stayed at a great hostel in Beppu, though, another hot springs resort.

If you love hot springs, southern Japan is the place to go.

more photos from my day hike

4 Replies to “hiking Mt Yufu, Japan”

  1. Idyllic terrain. Almost like a painting. Congrats on another summit it is unlikely I will have the opportunity to achieve. Great photos. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Just went up there yesterday and thanks to your blog I was aware of the chain in advance. Not that I have any prior experience but I saw couple of Japanese elderlies got up there and I felt I should be able to emulate. It was fun and I saw quite a number of guys walked the whole crater but I didn’t feel quite up to it. Splendid view from the top though because there was no clouds at all and I could see all the city of Yufuin which I had been to 5 times already.

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