Yarigadake - part 2 (& Matsumoto castle)

28/29 August 2007

The second day it was all rainy and misty, so we climbed wrapped in rainwear and taking pictures got difficult...

From our hut (Hutte Ooyari) we climbed to the last hut before the top, with heavy winds from time to time, and a lot of rain and fog. We dropped our bags at the last hut (as there is only one route up the last part, we had to go back there anyway), which I would also recommend in good weather situations...

There are a lot of chains to hold on, laddes to climb and you have to be carefull where to put your feet and where to hold and find your balance all the time for the last 100m or so. It's really an interesting climb, even in the fog. On the top of these ladders (left for people going up, right for people comming down) is the mountain top. (P.S. note the raindrop on the lens :-s )

We made it! And Japan wouldn't be Japan if there would not be a shrine on the top! Although it is a really tiny one... On the other hand, as the whole area is national park, there were no other shrines or temples on the way, something that is really remakable here. It was a pleasantly quiet experience somehow, not to have stairs and shrines every now and then like on all other hikes here.

When climbing down, the weather was very unstable. Sometimes it cleared up, other times we were walking in the clouds and rain... As there was also some thunder, we decided to take a different path that didnt go over a high mountain ridge, because it might get dangerous, this also shortened our second day walking effort, which was not bad concidering the wetness.

yeah.. nice views because of the clouds.

This is the hut where we stayed the second night.

we hung our clothes (rainwear, jacket, packpack cover) to dry like many others, from bars attached to the ceiling for exactly that purpose. The other clothes could be hung in another special "drying" shed where they would burn a wood-furnace later. Next day my shirt was more or less dry (my shoes weren't) and smelled nicely of camp-fire-smoke.

Because our change of route the day before, the last day was really easy now. Only three hours, of which almost half along a paved road.

COWS! You don't se those often here... Actually I cannot remember having seen any real life cow the last 1.5 year...

In the last hut we met a japanese man who was walking alone and offered us a ride back to Matsumoto (where we would take the bus) instead of taking a local bus. Together we went to a spa resort (onsen) and had lunch.

As we had still time left over, we also visited the Matsumoto Castle, which is not that big, but famous for its authenticity and the good view you can get on it (especially in spring with cherry blossoms I heard). (P.S. the bigger Himeji Castle, conveniently located between Kyoto and Hiroshima is authentic as well)