九州 JR Pass 其中一個賣點是不同路線的觀光列車，雖然我們比較喜歡更快的新幹線，但從長崎到山中溫泉區的由布院沒有新幹線，我們決定坐上特快觀光列車「由布院之森」。列車主要來回行駛博多和由布院，每日六班，其中兩班更駛往別府，所有列車都是指定席，必須預先訂座。
After a couple of days exploring the city of Nagasaki it was time to head into the countryside for more hiking and hot springs. The next stop on our Kyushu trip was Yufuin, a small tourist town in the Oita Prefecture. Although Yufuin is a small town in the country, it was packed with many tour buses and people just stopping over for the afternoon.
Luckily our hotel was away from the main drag in a much quieter part of town. To get there we had to walk along a small stream past a few farms which gave us the feeling of being far from the busyness of the tourist-run town. The walk to the hotel gave us a preview of the next day’s adventure; towering over the town and the farms at 1,583 meters was Mount Yufu.
After settling in at the hotel we decided to check out the town. Before entering the busy streets, we stopped at a quiet lake to look at the fish and feed the ducks. It was nice to find serene areas in such a busy little place.
We started early the next morning with a beautiful Japanese-style breakfast before heading to the bus station. A fifteen minute bus ride brought us to the foot of the mountain and the beginning of the trail. After a few minutes on the trail, we were alone in the gorgeous forest where the leaves were just starting to change colors.
Being in a forest or hiking any mountain is always fun for me, but after our previous hikes around Kyushu, finding something unique about this hike was starting to prove troublesome. We went from the cover of trees to grassy switchbacks gaining height quickly. It was tiring, the sun was hot and although the views were great, our motivation was slipping.
This hike turned out to be one of my favorite hikes in Kyushu all due to the last leg; the summit. When we reached the top of the mountain we were faced with a decision; do we summit the east peak or the west peak? From where we stood both peaks looked about the same height and difficulty, so we flipped a coin and chose the west peak to summit.
I have always been afraid of heights, but I haven’t let that stop me from adventures like mountain climbing and repelling, jumping out of planes or hang gliding and zip lining in remote areas. Climbing this summit, I wasn’t prepared to have my fear challenged, but it certainly was.
Clinging to a rock face and a chain, I gave the small group of Japanese hikers below a lesson in offensive English words as I worked through my fear and carefully navigated my way up the challenging peak. Being on top of that mountain felt like more of an accomplishment than any other hike because of the inner strength needed to conquer it, plus looking over at the east peak we saw an easy winding trail that led right to the top and we knew we chose the right peak for us.