Yarigadake - part 1

27 August 2007

July is very rainy in Japan and August is really hot and still humid. It's bad weather for being outside and especially for physical activity... Its best to stay inside with the airconditioner on, especially in Tokyo. Naruoka, one of the other PhD students in my lab and I were talking about going to the nice and cool high mountains regularly, so finally we went!

This is the mountain we were about to climb, Yari-ga-Dake. It is 3180m high (starting our 3 day hike at about 1500m) and the 5th or 6th highest in Japan. However, it is said to be the second most famous, because of its characteristic shape (the most famous is Mt. Fuji obviously).

We took a night bus from Shinjuku (tokyo) to Kamikouchi (north alps, relatively close to Matsumoto). See also the file with google earth locations.
We din't sleep much in the bus, so when we arrived around 6am we were still pretty awake (but tired). It is a prety famous place for walking and a resort as well, so we were definately not the only ones.

The first day we would have to walk about 9 hours (EXCLUDING rests), of which the first 4 hours were relatively flat along the river in the valley, and the last hours were used to climb about 1200m up the mountain

Nice views over the river

a pond

the valley

Every time we checked the schedule it was a big surprise to us that we were still a little ahead, as we had the big (70L) and heavy (20kg?) backpacks, started to feel legs and feet, and really had the idea we were quite slow when climbing.

seeing a lot of forrest and alpine flowers

and having a pace actually slightly faster than the expected times on the map, we were getting close to our hut neatly in time.

I took some pictures, but the clouds started to come so the ones of the valley below (really deep) were not that nice...