Mt. Tachibana (立花山) is a great hike not far from Fukuoka city. It has 3 things going for it – a nice city view, beautiful old camphor trees, and castle ruins. It’s also one of Kyushu’s 100 Famous Mountains.
The 367.1 meter mountain lies in Shingu-machi (home to Kyushu’s only IKEA!). It’s a short hike to the top where you are rewarded with a nice view of Fukuoka city, the Genkai sea, and Hakata Bay. On a clear day you can also see the World Heritage Okinoshima island.
But for me this hike is more about the climb to the top. The mountain is famous for a beautiful evergreen forest covering, especially it’s camphor trees. In 2000 the National Forestry Agency selected the Tachibana camphor tree in its “The 100 Forest Giants Japan” list. The trunk measures around 8m in circumference, 30m high, and is at least 300 years old. The trees here really are impressive.
Tachibanayama (立花山城) castle was built on top of the highest peak here in 1330. With branch castles on the peaks either side, it was a large scale fortress. With it’s view of Hakata bay it was in a favorable position and was the stage for many battles during the Sengoku period. In 1601 it was abandoned for Fukuoka castle. Fukuoka castle was built using stones taken from Tachibanayama castle. There is not much left to see of the castle now. There is part of a stone wall and the remains of a well.
I’ve hiked here twice (2018/08/06 and 2019/04/08), both times starting from the Tachibanayama trail head (Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/zcH8MuiXw837Cf9o8). There is ample parking.
If you’re using public transport, it’s about a 20-25 minute walk from Tachibanaguchi bus stop to the trail head.
The climb is nice and easy. Great for beginners. Follow the 立花山大クス signs to enjoy the beautiful giant camphors on the way and reach the summit all in about 45 minutes. You can also spend more time checking out other trails finding the castle ruins. Check my YAMAP report for my activity data and trail map (incl. my GPS track). https://yamap.com/activities/3396767
And also check out my video of my hike below! (If you find it interesting, hit the thumbs up! It really helps my channel!)
It’s popular to traverse to Mt. Mikazuki. I’d like to do that next time I go. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you in the next hike!