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  • View of Mt. Ariake from the sea
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  • Overlooking the Izuhara city area from the Ariake-yama (Mt. Ariake) Recreation Forest
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  • Ruins of the Shimizuyama Castle
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  • Mt. Ariake covered in fresh, early-summer verdure
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  • Mt. Ariake summit
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  • Bansho-in Temple
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Ariake-yama (Mt. Ariake) Recreation Forest


Elevation Lowest : 120m / Average : 200–400m / Highest : 558m (Mt. Ariake summit)

Mt. Ariake on the island of Tsushima ― Feel the nature and long history of a border island

Mt. Ariake on the island of Tsushima ― Feel the nature and long history of a border island

Newest information
Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Flower-viewing (species: Genkaitsutsuji (Rhododendron mucronulatum ciliatum (Rhododendron mucronulatum Turcz. var. ciliatum Nakai))) (Includes surrounding area) Autumn leaf viewing (Includes surrounding area) Birdwatching (Includes surrounding area) Picnics (lawn area/park) Mountain climbing (Includes surrounding area) Bicycle rental (Outside the forest) Guided tours (Includes surrounding area) (Payment required in some cases) Shrine / Temple visit (Outside the forest) (Payment required for use of facilities and participation in activities) : Bansho-in Temple
Geographical/topographical features
The Recreation Forest is located in a hilly area of Ariake Mountains in the southern part of the island of Tsushima. Small peaks form a row with Mt. Ariake at the center, and the topography is relatively steep except for the summit part. Mt. Ariake is the largest mountain you can see in front of you when you are bound for Izuhara Port by ferry. The summit part is a flat grassland where you can relax and eat lunch or take a break. It overlooks the ruins of the Shimizuyama Castle and the town of Izuhara, and the summit commands a view of Mt. Yatate (648 m), Mt. Shiratake (515 m), and the scenic Aso Bay with the complicated coastline of the ria coast.
Historical/cultural features
Poem No. 3,516 in Manyoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) Vol. 14 is a poem read by a Sakimori guard (Sakimori guards are soldiers who were gathered from distant areas to guard northern Kyushu (Tsushima, Iki, and Fukushima) after the Battle of Baekgang with the Korean Peninsula in 633), which says as follows: the peak in Tsushima is low, so there are no clouds under it; so I will look at the clouds trailing over a god-dwelling peak and think of you. This poem describes the scene where Sakimori guards who have left their hometown think about their families and loved ones they have left behind. The "peak in Tsushima" read in the poem is not necessarily Mt. Ariake, but as it is the mountain that looks the largest when seen from the Izuhara Port, it can well be referring to Mt. Ariake.
Since those times, Tsushima had had important relationships with neighboring countries as a "border island" at the forefront of the battle lines, but after diplomatic relations were restored, it served as an island of friendship.
The Recreation Forest overlooks the ruins of the Shimizuyama Castle, which is said to have been built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi when dispatching troops to Korea in 1591. It was a nationally unique mountain castle structured in steps, and its ruins have been designated a national monument. Many remains that remind us of old-day Tsushima are found in the vicinity, including Bansho-in Temple―the family temple of the So Clan, the Shugodai (deputy military governor) of the Tsushima Domain, with a 100,000 koku stipend―which is counted as one of Japan's three largest cemeteries along with the Maeda Clan Cemetery in Ishikawa Prefecture and the Mori Clan Cemetery in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The turbulent border island Tsushima, which has changed over time, draws attention as a historically and culturally valuable place.
Climate, flora and fauna
From late March to April, on sunny ridges and near the summit, Genkaitsutsuji (Rhododendron mucronulatum ciliatum (Rhododendron mucronulatum Turcz. var. ciliatum Nakai)) gives bloom to a couple of vivid rose-pink flowers at the tip of each branch before the leaves come out, and add breath-taking colors to the lonely scenery that has withered in winter. Around that time, pretty flowers such as Fuderindo (Gentiana zollingeri Fawc.) and Shihaisumire (Viola violacea Makino var. violacea) bloom near the ground, and herald the spring in Tsushima. During the early-summer rainy season, the white flowers of Yamaboshi (Japanese dogwood (Cornus kousa Buerger ex Hance subsp. kousa)) are at their best.
The mountain trail runs through a planted forest of Hinoki (Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtuse)) at some places, but a laurel forest consisting of Sudajii (Castanopsis sieboldii (Makino) Hatus. ex T.Yamaz. et Mashiba), Yabutsubaki (Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica)), and Akagashi (Japanese evergreen oak (Quercus acuta)) also remains, and Aridoshi (Damnacanthus indicus Gaertn. f.) can be frequently seen on the forest floor. The planted Japanese cypress has a distinctively characteristic color and scent and is sold under a brand called "Taishu Hinoki."
The trailhead is at a walking distance from the central part of the Izuhara Town where the Izuhara Port and restaurants are concentrated. Mt. Ariake is easy to hike even for beginners, as it only takes about two hours to the summit and the trail has few hazardous spots.
The summit area is an open grassland where hikers can eat their lunch in a pleasant breeze in spring and autumn, and if the weather conditions are good, they can view the silhouettes of the Korean Peninsula and the island of Iki.
As one of the routes goes through the ruins of Shimizuyama Castle, which Toyotomi Hideyoshi built when dispatching troops to Korea, hikers can feel the nature and the history of the border island Tsushima as they hike. Why don't you enjoy trekking while thinking about people in the long history of Mt. Ariake, which lies unchanged since the times far beyond the Sengoku period (the period of warring states) ?
Latest Information
Regular events
The Tsushima Sightseeing & Product Association holds trekking events several times a year, such as the Joyama Dangiku Trekking in September and Mt. Ariake Cleaning Trekking in October.
Warnings (Flora and fauna)
Ticks: Please note that ticks are present in bamboo grass areas. Wearing long sleeves and long trousers is essential.
Warnings (Dangerous areas)
The final straight line on the trekking route to the summit is rocky and slippery, so caution is required.
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
Free of charge
Opening seasons and hours
Safe hours such as during the daytime
Accommodation options
Guest houses and hotels in Izuhara Town
Toilets and drinking fountains (Outside the forest) Toilet (accessible) (Outside the forest) Parking lot (Outside the forest) (Payment required in some cases) Vending machine (Outside the forest) Shop (Outside the forest) Restaurant (Outside the forest) Free public wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) (Outside the forest) Specimen forest / Botanic garden (Outside the forest) : Taishu Hinoki World Heritage Site / Cultural asset (nationally designated) (Outside the forest) (Foreign language signs/pamphlets available): Ruins of the Shimizuyama Castle Accommodation facilities (Hotels/Japanese inns) (Outside the forest)
Kamikoshi, Kamikawa Town, Kamikawa Country, Hokkaido Prefecture
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
By public transport
<Access from nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • Izuhara Port Ferry Terminal → (Tsushima Bus: 5 minutes) → Tsushima-shi Koryusenta-mae bus stop (Tsushima City Exchange Center-mae) → (on foot: 5 minutes) → Mt. Ariake trailhead (the Bansho-in Temple side)
  • Izuhara Port Ferry Terminal → (on foot: 20 minutes) → Mt. Ariake trailhead (the Bansho-in Temple side)
  • Tsushima Airport → (Tsushima Bus: 30 minutes) → Tsushima-shi Koryusenta-mae bus stop (on foot: 5 minutes) → Mt. Ariake trailhead
<Access from major transport hubs to nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • Hakata Station → (Nishitetsu Bus: 17 minutes) → Hakata Port → (Kyushu Yusen Jet Foil: 135 minutes) → Izuhara Port
By car
  • Tsushima Airport → (public road: about 25 minutes) → Tsushima Sightseeing & Product Association (please park here) → (on foot: 10 minutes) → Mt. Ariake trailhead (the Bansho-in Temple side)
  • Tsushima Airport → (public road: about 25 minutes) → Mt. Ariake (Kamizaka side)
<Car parking capacity / parking charges>

Please use nearby parking lots.

Nearby tourist facilities
  • Bansho-in Temple, Hachimangu Shrine, ruins of the Shimizuyama Castle, remains of Ofunae, Mt. Shiratake
Management office contact details
Staff in charge of forest activities, Operation Group, Nagasaki District Forest Office
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Tsushima Sightseeing & Product Association [External link]
Official Tourist Information
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Ariake-yama (Mt. Ariake) Recreation Forest Management Committee
Tourism and Commerce Division, Tsushima Municipal Office

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