Hike – Mt Hiwada 日和田山

22 10 2010

Quick Overview

Spider Lilies

Spider Lilies

The trail to Mt Hiwada 日和田山 is very versatile, and can be used as a starting point to hike further into Chichibu 秩父, or as an easy walk back to Hanno Station 飯能駅 as described here.  If you are able to do the hike in late September, Kinchakuda 巾着田 has spectacular Spider Lilies before you head towards Koma Pass 高麗峠.  With plenty of shops and bathrooms in the area, and only a 300m high peak, this hike is perfect for families, or people wanting to have a stroll through nature.

Distance: 11km
Duration:  3 and a half hours
Difficulty: easy (very very!)
Season:  Suitable all year, maybe a little snow in winter months
Starting point:  Koma Station 高麗駅
Finishing point:  Hanno Station 飯能駅

Maps

A full map of the hike  can also be viewed at GPSies

There are a lot of different and interesting hikes in the Chichibu 秩父 area, so I recommend you buy a map, particularly if you are just using Mt Hiwada 日和田山 as a starting point.  The Mapple 山と高原地図 series number 22 map is of the Oku-Musahino 奥武蔵 and Chichibu 秩父 region, and is available on Amazon.co.jp.  Note, this map is in Japanese, but does include some English and furigana.

The Hike

Trail Marker for Mt Hiwada

Trail Marker for Mt Hiwada

From Koma Station 高麗駅 exit, turn right and follow the road under the train lines to the intersection.  Cross the road and keep going in approximately the same direction from the station down a small residential street. You will cross another road before the street turns to the left.  Keep following this road until you reach a main road, and turn right.  Cross the river and take the street up to the left at the next set of traffic lights.  If you need to pick up some supplies there is a 7-11 a little further down the main road.

Follow the road up to the left until you see the trail marker for Mt Hiwada 日和田山 (the 3rd street on the left).  Head up this street and where the street curves to the right you’ll see the trail heads for Mt Hiwada 日和田山.  There is also a rest area and bath rooms here.  It should only take about 15 minutes to reach this point.

While there are a few different trails you can start on, the main trail is on the right, and its the widest and most well-defined path.  Follow the trail up for about 10 minutes until you reach a stone Torii gate.  Here the path splits into two trails,  with the trail on the left being rocky and difficult (take caution if you use this trail), and the trail on the right being easy.

Continue up on the easy path for about 15 minutes and you will reach Kotahira Shrine 金刀比羅神社.  The Shrine is a good view-point, from which you can see views of Oku Chichibu 奥秩父, Oku Tama 奥多摩, and even Mt Fuji 富士山 on a good day.  To reach the summit, follow the trail on the right of the shrine, it should only take about 5 minutes to reach the top.

Looking at the view from Kotahira Shrine

From the summit you can continue on towards Mt Takasasu 高指山, Mt Monomi 物見山 and Musashi Yokote Station 武蔵横手駅, if you want to do more hiking in the mountains. Although in Japanese, this Seibu Website has more information about the hike to Mt Takasasu 高指山, and a map.  Otherwise, retrace your steps back down Mt Hiwada 日和田山 to the main road.  It should only take about 30 minutes to return.  

Once you reach the road, take the first road to the left (before crossing the bridge) and follow the river around to reach Kinchakuda 巾着田, a flower garden within a circular part of Koma River 高麗川.  During late September and early October the Spider Lilies should be in bloom, and there will be plenty of people about.

Aiai Bridge

Aiai Bridge

Entrance to Kinchakuda 巾着田 is 200 yen, and it will take about 40 minutes to walk from the entrance to the wooden Aiai Bridge あいあい橋 on the other side of the circle and then back to the concrete Do-Re-Me-Fa Bridge ドレミファ橋 in the middle of the circle.  Once you have strolled amongst the flowers, cross the Do-Re-Me-Fa Bridge ドレミファ橋 to exit Kinchakuda 巾着田 and start on the trail to Koma Pass 高麗峠 and Hanno station 飯能駅.

Follow the path up to the left until you reach a road.  Here there’s a marker pointing out the Musashino Nature Walking trail 武蔵野自然遊歩道 to Koma Pass 高麗峠.  Turn right, and the road will soon become trail again.  It should only take about 20 minutes to reach Koma Pass 高麗峠, where the trail splits.  If you head to the left the trail will take you round past Miyazawa Lake 宮沢湖 before going back to the Nakayama Nishi 中山西 Intersection, while the trail to the right heads straight to the same intersection.  It will only take about 20 minutes to come to the road if you use the direct trail.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa Bridge

Do-Re-Mi-Fa Bridge

One you leave the forest, cross the road at the Nakayama Nishi 中山西 intersection, and follow the road straight ahead.  As it curves to the left, there is another trail on the right, up a hill there towards Mt Tenran 天覧山 and Nonin Temple 能仁寺.  If you want to skip the temple keep to the road, and turn left at the second traffic lights.  Just follow the road sign pointing to Higashi Hanno Station 飯能駅.  Three traffic lights later turn right to go to Hanno Station 飯能駅 (again, there is a road sign pointing the way to the station).  At the end of the road you’ll come to Hanno Station 飯能駅.  It should take about 30 minutes from the turn off to Mt Tenran 天覧山 and Nonin Temple 能仁寺.

To and From

As always, the following routes are just recommendations.  Please use Hyperdia or Jorudan’s Train Route Finder to find the most suitable route for you!

From Seibu Ikebukuro Station 西武池袋駅 take the Seibu Ikebukuro line 西武池袋線 Rapid Express 快急 or Express 急行 bound for either Hanno 飯能 or Seibu Chichibu 西武秩父, if you catch a train bound for Hanno 飯能, you will need to transfer to a local train bound for Seibu Chichibu 西武秩父 at Hanno 飯能.  Get off the train at Koma Station 高麗駅, which is approximately 60 minutes and 510 yen from Ikebukuro 池袋.  The Seibu line also runs a Limited Express 特急 which will take you to Hanno station 飯能駅 in approximately 50 minutes, for an extra 410 yen.  If you catch the catch the Limited Express 特急 remember to change to a local train bound for Seibu Chichibu 西武秩父 at Hanno Station 飯能駅.

The return fare from Hanno Station 飯能駅 to Ikebukuro 池袋 is 450 yen, and takes 50 minutes on the Express 急行.

Links

Kinchakuda (Japanese) http://www.kinchakuda.com/

An alternate course to Musashi Yokote Station (in Japanese) http://www.hikingmap.jp/course/hiwadasan01.html and map http://www.hikingmap.jp/pdf/course_hiw.pdf

My Flickr photo set from Mt Hiwada http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelelisa/sets/72157624974213737/with/5053114941/

Map of hike on GPSies http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=huvzccgduxzseifd

Useful Kanji

Aiai Bridge あいあい橋
Chichibu 秩父
Do-Re-Me-Fa Bridge ドレミファ橋
Express 急行
Hanno Station 飯能駅
Kinchakuda 巾着田
Koma Pass 高麗峠
Koma River 高麗川
Koma Station 高麗駅
Kotahira Shrine 金刀比羅神社
Ikebukuro 池袋
Miyazawa Lake 宮沢湖
Mt Fuji 富士山
Mt Hiwada 日和田山
Mt Monomi 物見山
Mt Takasasu 高指山
Mt Tenran 天覧山
Musashino Shizen Walking trail 武蔵野自然遊歩道
Musashi Yokote Station 武蔵横手駅
Nakayama Nishi 中山西
Nonin Temple 能仁寺
Oku Chichibu 奥秩父
Oku-Musahino 奥武蔵
Oku Tama 奥多摩
Rapid Express 快急
Seibu Ikebukuro line 西武池袋線
Seibu Ikebukuro Station 西武池袋駅
Seibu Chichibu 西武秩父
Limited Express 特急





Golden Oze

15 10 2010

Well, even though I have no way of uploading this at the moment of typing, I feel I just have to write down my feelings.
See, right now, at 4:43pm Thursday, I’m sitting in my own room in a mountain hut at the northern end of Oze marsh.
And I am starving, despite having a late lunch at 1. Luckily dinner is at 5:30. And then lights out at 8:30. It feels kinda novel in a way to have no phone reception and plans to go to bed so early, but I’m in a beautiful part of japan, and it also kinda fits.
Oze is just beautiful. I love autumn colors to start with, so that doesn’t hurt, but when I look at the hills around me it’s like a glorious natural patchwork quilt.
And the marsh itself was literally glowing golden in the afternoon sun. Even the boardwalk seemed to complement the setting.
It’s been surprisingly easy to get here and get around. I had worked myself up a bit about the whole having to catch a bus and not having a reservation at this mountain hut. But it all worked out perfectly. I had no reason at all to worry. I just hope tomorrow goes as smoothly.
But I’m sure, just being around this glorious natural beauty will be enough to take away my stresses.
Not looking forward to going back to Tokyo tomorrow night *sigh*





Hike – Mt Nyukasa (Fujimi Panorama) 入笠山 (富士見パノラマ)

22 09 2010

Quick Overview

Nyukasa Marsh

Nyukasa Marsh

Although a bit of a trek from Tokyo 東京, Fujimi Panorama 富士見パノラマ and Mt Nyukasa 入笠山 is a great trip for flower lovers during spring, in particular it is famous for its Lily of the Valley, or Suzuran すずらん.  During winter it becomes a ski resort, but it is still possible to climb to the summit of Mt Nyukasa 入笠山 to see the 360 degree panorama, which includes views of Mt Fuji 富士山, Yatsugatake 八ヶ岳, and the Japanese Northern, Central and Southern Alps 北, 中央, 南アルプス.  The climb is really easy, with only 30 minutes up hill to the highest peak, and the rest of the trail is fairly flat with forests and marshlands.

Duration:  3 hours, 15 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Season:  Suitable all year (becomes a ski slope in winter, with snowshoeing to the summit)
Starting point:  Fujimi Panorama Resort 富士見パノラマリゾート
Finishing point:  Fujimi Panorama Resort 富士見パノラマリゾート

Maps

This map of the hike  can also be viewed at GPSies

The Hike

From Fujimi Station 富士見駅, take the exit and in the small car park there should be signs for the Fujimi Panorama Free Shuttle Bus 富士見パノラマ無料送迎バス.  Just catch the bus to the lower Fujimi Panorama 富士見パノラマ carpark, about 10 minutes, buy your return gondola ticket (1,600 yen) and then walk up between the shops and then right along the bottom of the ski slopes to reach the gondola station.

Nyukasa Suzuran Garden

Nyukasa Suzuran Garden

The gondola will take you up a fair way, and when you reach the top (Sancho Station ゴンドラ山頂駅) just follow the signs to the right towards the Nyukasa Suzuran garden 入笠すずらん公園.  The garden itself isn’t very large, but it contains a number of different varieties of wild flowers.  The season for Lilly of the Valley (Suzuran すずらん) is throughout June , but there are other flowers blooming all through spring and into summer.Once you are finished in the Nyukasa Suzuran garden 入笠すずらん公園, head up hill, but before starting to climb up the stairs, take the path to the right around the hill.  Be careful to take the correct path, as there are actually two, one for walkers, and the other for mountain bikers who will race past, but don’t worry, its pretty obvious which is which.

Follow the path around the hill for about 10 minutes, before crossing a road, and entering a gated area.  This is the start of Nyukasa Marsh 入笠湿原.  Within the marsh make sure to keep to the board walks, but despite them, it’s still a very pretty area, also with a number of different flowers like irises.

Nyukasa Marsh

Nyukasa Marsh

When you are finished there, take the exit on the opposite side to where you entered.  There will be a mountain hut here where you can buy lunch and the only bathroom on the track.  Continuing on, take the road to the left, and shortly there will be a path on the left through a forested area.  Follow this path for about 10 minutes.

Once you leave the forested area, you will be able to see Mt Nyukasa 入笠山 directly ahead.  Half of the mountain is grassland again.  Keep following the path until you reach another road, and follow that up.  You will come to another building that has an observatory, but keep heading up hill to the left of it.  From this point it will take about 30 minutes to the summit of Mt Nyukasa 入笠山, with only one alternative trail headed left.  Just keep to the right and shortly before the summit the trees will give way to the barren peak.

Mt Nyukasa Panorama

Mt Nyukasa Panorama

From Mt Nyukasa 入笠山 there is a 360 degree view.  On a clear day you can see Yatsugatake 八ヶ岳, the Japanese Northern, Central and Southern Alps 北, 中央, 南アルプス, and even Mt Fuji 富士山.  When you are ready to continue, head down the path opposite to the one you climbed up on.  Walking down hill will mainly be through a bamboo area, and after 15 minutes you should reach the road.  Head right, and about 5 minutes later you will see Kubikiri spring 首切清水 on the right.

Kubikiri Spring

Kubikiri Spring

Kibukiri 首切 actually means decapitation, and this spring was named that because couriers travelling to and from the gold mines in the area in past days would stop for a drink and have their heads cut off by bandits.  Nowadays the water isn’t safe to drink, not because of bandits, but because cattle is grazed in the area.

Keep heading on the road and after about 20 minutes you’ll reach Oahara Marsh 大阿原湿原.  Again, stick to the board walks here.  Unfortunately you can only walk around the marsh, but it’s still very scenic, especially during the fall season.  To walk around the marsh only takes about 40 minutes, and will return you to the road you were on previously.  Now just follow the road back to the Nyukasa marsh 入笠湿原, taking approximately 50 minutes.

Oahara Marsh

Oahara Marsh

From here, just backtrack through the wooded area around the hill for 15 minutes to return to Gondola Sancho Station ゴンドラ山頂駅.

To and From

As always, the following routes are just recommendations.  Please use Hyperdia or Jorudan’s Train Route Finder to find the most suitable route for you!

From Shinjuku Station 新宿駅 you can either catch the Azusa あずさ or the Chuo Line 中央線, headed towards Nagano 長野 and Tachikawa 立川 respectively.  The Azusa あずさ does the trip to Fujimi Station 富士見駅 in about 140 minutes, Unreserved seats are 5,360 yen, or Reserved seats are 5,870 yen.  The Chuo line 中央線 takes approximately 230 minutes and costs 3,260 yen.  On the Chuo line you will probably have to change trains 3 times to reach Fujimi Station 富士見駅, at Tachikawa 立川, Hachioji 八王子 and Kofu 甲府.

Unfortunately Fujimi 富士見 is outside of the area included in the JR Holiday pass.

On weekends and public holidays from the end of April to the start of November, and during the ski season, the Fujimi Panorama Resort 富士見パノラマレゾート runs a free shuttle bus from Fujimi Station 富士見駅 to the lower Suzuran Gondola station すずらんゴンドラ駅.

From the lower gondola station, ride it up to Gondola Sancho Station ゴンドラ山頂駅.  A return ticket on the gondola costs 1,600 yen.  The gondola starts running at 9:30am, and stops at 4:30pm.

Links

Fujimi Panorama Resort (Japanese) http://www.fujimipanorama.com/summer/index.php

Fujimi Kougen Tourist Information (Japanese) http://www.fujimikougen.info/

Hiking course map (Japanese) http://www.fujimikougen.info/hiking/img/02.pdf

Map of hike on GPSies http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=rqkqvzhbbypoklzm

My Flickr photo set from Mt Nyukasa http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelelisa/sets/72157624475871102/

Useful Kanji

Azusa あずさ
Chuo Line 中央線
Central Alps 中央アルプス
Fujimi 富士見
Fujimi Panorama 富士見パノラマ
Fujimi Panorama Resort 富士見パノラマリゾート
Fujimi Panorama Free Shuttle Bus 富士見パノラマ無料送迎バス
Fujimi Station 富士見駅
Gondola Sancho Station ゴンドラ山頂駅
Hachioji 八王子
Kibukiri 首切
Kubikiri spring 首切清水
Kofu 甲府
Lily of the Valley (Suzuran) すずらん
Mt Fuji 富士山
Mt Nyukasa 入笠山
Nagano 長野
Northern Alps 北アルプス
Nyukasa Marsh入笠湿原
Nyukasa Suzuran garden 入笠すずらん公園
Oahara Marsh 大阿原湿原
Shinjuku Station 新宿駅
Southern Alps 南アルプス
Suzuran Gondola station すずらんゴンドラ駅
Tachikawa 立川
Tokyo 東京
Yatsugatake 八ヶ岳





Fuji Foto Spam!

28 08 2010

Okay, this isn’t a ‘real’ hiking post, but since it’s all about Mt Fuji I figure I can cut myself some slack.

If you’ve ever considered climbing Mt Fuji, someone has probably told you the saying “You’re a fool if you never climb Mt Fuji, and a fool if you climb it twice” (富士山にのぼらないバカ、2度のぼるバカ).  Well, I am now officially back in the ‘fool’ category, with my second climb of Mt Fuji occurring last Friday/Saturday.

Although I will do a write-up sometime in the near future, I wanted to share my photos (because hiking up that mountain with my DSLR was heavy but worth it!), so without further ado ~ Mt Fuji!

The first thing about Mt Fuji is that you can’t escape the crowds.  Here at the 5th station they all assemble to be herded up the mountain by tour operators.

The sign at the start of the Yoshida Trail -

Not far past the 6th station you leave the trees behind and the trail begins to get steeper -

At the 7th stations you start to pass mountain huts -

And you can get your hiking stick branded with a stamp at the huts -

Looking back at the 7th station huts -

After hiking up to the 8th station we had a bit of grub and tried to sleep in the Fujisan Hotel.  Then, at 2am, we set out for the summit.  Unfortunately we didn’t quite make it before sunrise, but the view from where we stopped was spectacular anyway -

And finally, a few minutes after 5, the sun appeared!

After watching the sunrise, we started on the last 30 minute hike to the summit -

Around 6am we reached the summit, where we bought some postcards, and had some breakfast at the peak huts -

And took some photos at the crater -

Before finally, starting downhill  -

It’s a hard, long hike, but very rewarding and something I would do again if I was given the chance.  If you want to see some more photos, please check out my flickr set!





Hike – Mt Hinokiboramaru (Tanzawa) 檜洞丸 (丹沢)

20 06 2010

Quick Overview

Hinokiboramaru

Hinokiboramaru

A well signed (albeit mainly in Japanese) hike through the Tanzawa 丹沢 mountain range. Quite steep and slippery in places, and also quite long, this hike is worth it for the beautiful azaleas near the peak of Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸 (mid-May to June), waterfalls and beech tree forests.  Just make sure you start early in the day to make the last bus, or there are many places to camp and mountain huts nearby, so staying overnight and doing more exploring in the area is an option.  During the winter and spring there are also views of Mt Fuji 富士山.

Distance: 11km
Duration:  7 to 8 hours
Difficulty: medium (slippery and steep in places, also quite long)
Season:  Suitable all year, maybe a little snow in winter months
Starting point:  Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu Bus Stop 西丹沢自然教室バス停
Finishing point:  Houkizawakoenbashi Bus Stop 箒沢公園橋バス停

Maps

A full map of the hike  can also be viewed at GPSies

There are many different and interesting hikes in this area, so I recommend you buy a map.  The Mapple 山と高原地図 series number 28 map is of the Tanzawa 丹沢 region, and is available on Amazon.co.jp.  Note, this map is in Japanese, but does include some English and furigana.

The Hike

Start of the trail

Start of the trail

You’ll start this hike from the final bus stop on the line, Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu Bus Stop 西丹沢自然教室バス停.  At the bus stop there is the Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu 西丹沢自然教室 (Nature Classroom), where you should leave your name, contact details and blood type, for emergencies whist on the trail.  They also display up to date trail information, and the last bathroom before Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸 is here.

Once you have finished at the Shizen Kyoshitsu 自然教室, continue walking up the road from the bus stop.  You will soon cross a bridge over a river, and see signs pointing to a camp site.  After about 10 minutes you will see a small creek on the right, and a sign pointing to Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸.  Walk up the creek for 50 meters, and on your left will be some stairs.  These stairs lead to the start of the trail.  The first 20 minutes or so will be uphill, but after that the trail will level out until you reach Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合.  It should take 60 minutes from the trail head to Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合.

Gorazawadeai

Gorazawadeai

Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合 is a river crossing, but the river is small, and not deep.  It’s mostly a rocky riverbed, with some man-made waterfalls nearby.  Cross the river and follow on its right hand side until you reach some stairs.  Once again climb the stairs to return to the trail.  Shortly after Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合 there is a bench if you want to stop and rest.  From Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合 you have entered the ‘New Azalea Road’ つつじ新道, and the trail will become steep.

After another 60 minutes you will reach another bench and a viewpoint at Tenboenchi 展望園地.  From here it’s another hour until the next intersection, and the trail becomes steeper still.  However, you will start to see more mountain azaleas along the way.  At the intersection take the path to the left up, signed Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸.

This section of the trail is boarded (see the picture next to ‘Quick Overview’), and is a nice easy climb that should only take 10 to 20 minutes.  It is also quite pretty, with some old gnarled and mossy trees.  Not far before the summit you will pass some solar panels on the right.

Mountain Azalea

Mountain Azalea

At the summit of Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸 there is a marker, small stone shrine, and a couple of benches.  You can also head down the trail on the opposite side of the summit if you want to use the toilet at the mountain hut.  It’s only 5 minutes, and they ask you pay a tip of 50 yen to use the facilities (don’t forget tissues either!).  The mountain hut also sells a very small selection of food and drink, but it’s a little expensive.

To start down, return along the boarded walk to the intersection, and take the other trail marked for Hokisawa 箒沢.  There are a couple of intersections along this trail, but if you take the trail to the right each time you will be headed to Hokisawakoen 箒沢公園.

The first part of the decent is fairly easy, and goes through a nice beech tree forest.  You will pass another trail to Dougakuyama 同角山 after 10 minutes, and then shortly a bench, before climbing a little to the peak of Teshironoatama テシロノ頭.  Continuing down hill you will pass another bench before seeing a very large old moss-covered tree (see below).  Not long after this is the second alternative trail, but again keep to the right towards Hokisawa 箒沢.  It should have taken about 60 minutes to this intersection from the one before.

Beech Tree forest

Beech Tree forest

From now the trail becomes much steeper, despite climbing another couple of peaks, Yabusawanoatama ヤブ沢ノ頭 followed by Itagoyasawanoatama 板小屋沢ノ頭.  There will be sections with ropes to help you down, and some slippery sections without.

From the last intersection it should take about 90 minutes to reach another river, which you will follow on the right hand side for most of the rest of the hike.  The final 20 minutes along side the river is much easier than the last few hours, but still there are some slippery places and stairs to climb up and down.  Just keep the river on your left for about 15 minutes, until you reach a river crossing.  Cross the river, and following it until you can cross back over again.  Only a little further along the trail you will find the Oishi Camping ground 大石キャンプ場, which has a number of cabins as well.

Cross the bridge in front of the camping ground to reach the main road, turn right and the Houkizawakoenbashi Bus Stop 箒沢公園橋バス停 is only a few meters up the road.

To and From

As always, the following routes are just recommendations.  Please use Hyperdia or Jorudan’s Train Route Finder to find the most suitable route for you!

From Shinjuku Station 新宿駅 take the Odakyu Line 小田急線 express 急行 headed to Odawara and jump off at Shin Matsuda 新松田, 84 minutes and 750 yen.  A line map of the Odakyu lines 小田急線 can be found here (in English).  Take the North exit 北口, and then catch the Fujikyu bus 富士急バス from Stop 1 to Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu 西丹沢自然教室, 1150 yen and 70 minutes.  A timetable of the Fujikyu Bus 富士急バス can be found here for Saturday, and here for Sunday (only Japanese).

On the return, catch the bus back to Shin Matsuda 新松田 from Houkizawakoenbashi Bus Stop 箒沢公園橋バス停, 60 minutes and 1050yen.  Then catch the express back to Shinjuku 新宿 on the Odakyu line 小田急線, 84 minutes and 750 yen.

Links

Fujikyu Bus Schedule for Saturdays http://www.fujikyu.co.jp/syonan/rosen_time/time01_s.html

Fujikyu Bus Schedule for Sunday http://www.fujikyu.co.jp/syonan/rosen_time/time01_h.html

Odakyu Rail Map http://www.odakyu.jp/english/route/railmap/index.html

My Flickr photo set from Mt Hinokiboramaru http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelelisa/sets/72157624111661525/

Photos from another member of the group I hiked with http://www.m-miyata.jp/yama/Hinokiboramaru1006.html

Map of hike on GPSies http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=kmnhlwuwyoyogyxp

Useful Kanji

Tanzawa 丹沢
Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸
Mt Fuji 富士山
Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu 西丹沢自然教室
Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu Bus Stop 西丹沢自然教室バス停
Hokisawa 箒沢
Hokisawakoen 箒沢公園
Houkizawakoenbashi Bus Stop 箒沢公園橋バス停
Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合
‘New Azalea Road’ つつじ新道
Tenboenchi 展望園地
Dougakuyama 同角山
Teshironoatama テシロノ頭
Yabusawanoatama ヤブ沢ノ頭
Itagoyasawanoatama 板小屋沢ノ頭
Oishi Camping ground 大石キャンプ場
Shinjuku Station 新宿駅
Odakyu Line 小田急線
Express 急行
Shin Matsuda 新松田
North exit 北口
Fujikyu bus 富士急バス





Hike – Mt Takazasu, Mt Syakushi and Mt Shishidome 高座山、杓子山、鹿留山

2 06 2010

Quick Overview

Mt Fuji

Mt Fuji

Slightly out-of-the-way, this trail is a little difficult to get to, but worth the effort.  Affords great views of Mt Fuji 富士山 and Lake Yamanaka 山中湖 from October to May, and also well-known for its mountain azaleas during late May.  The trail is a little challenging, with some very steep (there are ropes) and slippery sections.  Proper hiking boots are recommended.  There are also no facilities or shops along the track, so bring water and food.  However, at the summit of Mt Syakushi 杓子山 is a nice picnic area.  Due to the cost of the taxi to the trail head, it’s recommended that you do this hike with a friend or in a group.

Distance: not including taxi and bus -11km
Duration: 4.5-5 hours
Difficulty: medium (slippery and steep in places)
Season:  Suitable all year, but snowy in the winter months
Starting point:  Toriiji Pass 鳥居地峠
Finishing point:  Uchino Bus Stop 内野バス停

Maps

A map of the hike  can also be viewed at GPSies

There are many different and interesting hikes in this area, so I recommend you buy a map.  The Mapple 山と高原地図 series number 31 map is of the Mt Fuji 富士山 region, and is available on Amazon.co.jp.  Note, this map is in Japanese, but does include some English and furigana.

The Hike

Trail Head

Trail Head

Firstly, there is no English signage on this hike, so take a map or a memo of the Kanji!  However, the trail is well-defined, and doesn’t have many variations, so it’s fairly easy to follow.

From Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅, take the exit to the left and catch a taxi to Toriijidouge 鳥居地峠.  The taxi will drop you off next to a forestry track on the right, signed Mt Takazasu 高座山 and Mt Syakushi 杓子山.  Shortly along the track is the hiking trail on the left.  Just keep following this trail up through a lightly forested area, and after about a kilometre you will enter a cleared area and be able to see the peak of Mt Takazasu 高座山 in front.  From here, until Mt Takazasu 高座山, you will have great views of Mt Fuji 富士山.

Mt Takazasu

Mt Takazasu

You can access a road to the right, but just keep on forward to climb the very steep trail to the peak of Mt Takazasu 高座山.  This section of the hike is quite slippery, and there is a rope if you need it.  It should take about 50 minutes to reach Mt Takazasu 高座山 from Toriijidouge 鳥居地峠.

From the peak of Mt Takazasu 高座山 take the trail down the other side (north-east) signed Mt Syakushi 杓子山, and then up and down through another forested area until you reach Ozasudouge 大権道峠.  Here at the pass is a Hang Glider  Platform, and you should also have another view of Mt Fuji 富士山.  It should take about 40 minutes to reach this point.  Keep following the trail to the left of the Hang Glider Platform.  From here the path will become steep again with ropes, but it should only take about 40 minutes to reach the peak of Mt Syakushi 杓子山.

Mt Syakushi

Mt Syakushi and Mt Fuji in cloud

Once again, from Mt Syakushi 杓子山 you have good views of Mt Fuji 富士山.  There is also a bell and a couple of picnic tables to take a break.  Once you have finished resting, take the path on the right (east).  It’s a fairly flat walk to Mt Shishidome 鹿留山, and should take about 45 minutes.  Before reaching the peak of Mt Shishidome 鹿留山, there is a Y intersection, and a sign pointing to Mt Shishidome 鹿留山 and Nijuumadouge 二十曲峠.  To go to the peak of Mt Shishidome 鹿留山 take the path to the left.  On Mt Shishidome 鹿留山 you can see some old Beech and Oak trees.  It will only take 5 minutes from the intersection.

Once you are finished on Mt Shishidome 鹿留山, head back to the Y intersection and take the other trail towards Nijuumadouge 二十曲峠 down.  The trail is quite steep and slippery going down in sections and there are ropes again.  Head downhill for about 50 minutes, before you reach a small stone Buddha at Tachinzukadouge 立ノ塚峠.  Now turn to the right and follow another forestry road, signed Uchino 内野.  Eventually this road will become paved and have a few turn offs, but just keep headed on the main trail downhill.

Stone Buddha

Stone Buddha

After about 40 minutes you will enter into a farm area, which will soon give way to houses.  When you reach the first main crossroad, take a right, and then a left and keep heading down towards town.  At the 3rd intersection (and after crossing two rivers) take a right, and about 200 or 300 meters down the road will be the Uchino bus stop 内野バス停 on the left.  This should take about 20 minutes from the farm area.

Mt Takazasu, Mt Syakushi, and Mt Shishidome

Mt Takazasu, Mt Syakushi, and Mt Shishidome

To and From

As always, the following routes are just recommendations.  Please use Hyperdia or Jorudan’s Train Route Finder to find the most suitable route for you!

From Tokyo Station 東京駅, or Shinjuku Station 新宿駅, catch the JR Chuo line 中央線 to Otsuki 大月.  You may need to change trains at Takao 高尾 to continue further out to Otsuki 大月.  From Tokyo 東京, it should take approximately 1hour 40min and 1450 yen to Otsuki 大月.  At Otsuki station 大月駅, change trains to the Fujikyuko line 富士急行線.  Note, on the Fujikyuko line 富士急行線 you can not use a Suica or Pasmo, and you will have to buy a ticket quickly as sometimes the transfer time is short.  Travel on the Fujikyoko line 富士急行線 for 46min until you reach Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅.  This leg of the train journey costs 990 yen.  For an English timetable of the Fujikyuko line 富士急行線 click here.

From Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅 catch a taxi to Toriijidouge 鳥居地峠, which take about 15min and costs between 2000 and 3000 yen.

From Uchino Bus Stop 内野バス停, catch the bus back to Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅.  Cost is 450 yen, and it takes 23min.  The timetable (in Japanese) can be found here.  Pasmo and Suica cards can be used on the bus.

From Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅, make your way back to Tokyo 東京, opposite the directions above.

Alternatively, you may wish to buy a combination JR Holiday Pass ホリデー・パス and Otsuki Ofuku ticket 大月往復きっぷ if you are going on a Saturday or a holiday (Including Sundays and national holidays).  The combination ticket will save you 840 yen if you are travelling from Shinjuku 新宿.  The JR Holiday pass ホリデー・パス will cover all JR local train travel within the pass area, for one day, for 2,300 yen.  See the JR website for details on the Holiday pass ホリデー・パス.  The Otsuki Ofuku ticket 大月往復きっぷ will cover return travel to Fuji Yoshida station 富士吉田駅, over 2 days, for 1,400 yen.  See the Fujikyu Railway 富士急行 website for details on the Otsuki Ofuku ticket 大月往復きっぷ and the combination ticket 大月往復きっぷ+ホリデー・パス (only in Japanese).  Both tickets can be bought from JR Midori no Madoguchi JRみどりの窓口 or travel agents, from one month in advance.

Links

Fujikyuko Line timetable http://www.fujikyu-railway.jp/forms/info/info.aspx?info_id=4031

Fujikyu Bus line timetable from Uchino Bus Stop to Fuji Yoshida Station (Japanese) http://bus.fujikyu.co.jp/line/jikokuhyo/07.html

JR Holiday Pass information http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/holiday_pass.html

Otsuki Ofuku Ticket information (Japanese) http://www.fujikyu-railway.jp/forms/info/info.aspx?info_id=4223

Holiday Pass + Otsuki Ofuku Ticket information (Japanese) http://www.fujikyu-railway.jp/forms/info/info.aspx?info_id=8611

My Flickr photo set from Mt Takazasu, Mt Syakushi and Mt Shishidome http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelelisa/sets/72157624187603334/

A slideshow of photos from another member of the group I hiked with http://www.m-miyata.jp/yama/Syakusiyama1005.html

Map of hike on GPSies http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=jvqgzcenfiyrbcmt

Useful Kanji

Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅
Toriiji Pass (Toriijidouge) 鳥居地峠
Mt Takazasu 高座山
Mt Syakushi 杓子山
Ozasudouge 大権道峠
Mt Shishidome 鹿留山
Nijuumadouge 二十曲峠
Tachinzukadouge 立ノ塚峠
Uchino Bus Stop (Uchino basu tei) 内野バス停
Mt Fuji 富士山
Lake Yamanaka 山中湖
Tokyo Station 東京駅
Shinjuku Station 新宿駅
Otsuki 大月
Takao 高尾
JR Chuo line 中央線
Fujikyuko line 富士急行線
JR Holiday Pass ホリデー・パス
Otsuki Ofuku ticket 大月往復きっぷ
JR Midori no Madoguchi JRみどりの窓口





Hike – Mt Myojyogatake (Hakone) 明星が岳 (箱根)

24 02 2010

Quick Overview

Mt Myojyogatake

Mt Myojyogatake

A long and somewhat difficult hike that’s quite steep to begin with and can be rocky and slippery in wet conditions.  There isn’t much traffic on this route, so it’s good if you want to get away from the tourists, however it doesn’t afford much of a view apart from Gora 強羅 (unless you hike to the top of neighbouring Mt Myojingataka 明神が岳), and when I hiked there was evidence of animals using the tracks.  There are also no facilities (food or restrooms) on this trail.  Other highlights of the trail are passing the clearing of the Daimon-ji 大文字 (a large 大 symbol) on Mt Myojyogatake 明星が岳, a few pampas grass and bamboo groves, and Amida-ji Temple 阿弥陀時.

Distance: 12.6km
Duration:  5 to 6 hours
Difficulty: Medium to difficult
Season:  April to December
Starting point:  Gora 強羅
Finishing point: Hakone Yumoto 箱根湯本

Maps

A map of the hike  can also be viewed at GPSies

The Mapple 山と高原地図 map series number 29, which includes Hakone 箱根 and it’s surrounds, can be bought on Amazon.co.jp. Note, these maps are in Japanese, but have some English and furigana.

The Hike

From Gora Station 強羅駅 cross over the railway line to the right and head down hill on the residential street.  At the end of the street take a right and then a left and you will be on a steep winding road down to the river.  When you reach the river turn left and follow the road over the Miyagino Bridge 宮城野橋.  Here you can take two routes.  The road directly right on the other side of the bridge will take you to a trail that will lead you directly to the summit of Mt Myojyogatake 明星が岳.  Or if you continue along the road that crossed the bridge you will join a trail that leads you to a mid-point on the ridge between Mt Myojingatake 明神が岳 and Mt Myojyogatake 明星が岳.

Trail head

If you choose the trail direct to the summit of Mt Myojyogatake 明星が岳, follow the signs leading there.  I chose the second path to the midway point.  For this path, at the first traffic lights after the bridge, and across from the Miyagino Shishomae 宮城野支所前 bus stop take the street to the right.  Walk up the streets following the signs pointing to Mt Myojingatake 明神が岳 or Mt Myojyogatake 明星が岳.  From the trail head you will walk up stairs past a few backyards until you enter the real forest.  The walk up to the ridge is mostly stairs and can be slippery when wet.  It should take about 70 minutes to reach the ridge.  From the ridge, if you take the trail to the left you will climb Mt Myojingatake 明神が岳.  It is also a steep climb, and should take about 45 minutes, but I have read the view is quite nice on a fine day.  If you take the trail to the right you will head towards Mt Myojyogatake 明星が岳, passing through some wild pampas grasses, and the bottom of the Daimon-ji 大文字.  It takes about 50 minutes to reach the highest point of Myojyogatake 明星が岳, where there is a tiny shrine.

Cleared forest

Keep heading to the right down hill, and after an hour or so you will exit the trail onto a road.  Keep following the road straight ahead towards Tonomine 塔ノ峰 for about 900m, and you will again see a trail heading up hill on the right.  Take this trail and follow it for about 30 minutes.  You will pass a few areas of forest that have been cleared before seeing a sign to the right for Amida-ji Temple 阿弥陀時.  Take this path down hill.  There are a few stairs here, and it can also be slippery in wet weather.  In about 25 minutes you will come to a sign pointing to the left downhill for Amida-ji Temple 阿弥陀時.  If you go ahead here for a few minutes you will come to some caves.  After checking them out you can continue on to Amida-ji Temple 阿弥陀時.

From Amida-ji Temple 阿弥陀時 just follow the road down and to the left to reach Hakone Yumoto Station 箱根湯本駅 in about 15 minutes.

To and From

As always, the following routes are just recommendations.  Please use Hyperdia or Jorudan’s Train Route Finder to find the most suitable route for you!

From Tokyo 東京, you can either catch the JR line or the Odakyu 小田急 line.  The JR Tokaido line 東海道線 leaves from Tokyo Station 東京駅, and takes 86 minutes and 1,450 yen.  Or you can catch the Kodama Shinkansen to Odawara 小田原 from Tokyo Station 東京駅, costing 3,640 yen and taking 36 minutes.  The Odakyu 小田急 line leaves from Shinjuku Station 新宿駅 and goes to Hakone Yumoto Station 箱根湯本駅.  You may have to change at Odawara 小田原 to continue further on.  The Odakyu 小田急 line either costs 1,150 yen and takes approximately 110 minutes, or if you catch the Romance Car (reserved seating) takes 89 minutes and 2,020 yen.

From Hakone Yumoto 箱根湯本 catch the Odakyu 小田急 Hakone Tozan Tetsudo line 箱根登山鉄道線 to Gora 強羅.  It takes 37 minutes and 390 yen.

There is also a bus to Miyagino Bridge 宮城野橋 from Gora 強羅, but it is irregular and probably quicker to walk the distance.

If you are staying in the Hakone 箱根 area for a few days Odakyu 小田急 has a Hakone Freepass, which covers return trip from Shinjuku 新宿, and many of the other forms of transport around the area.  The 2 day pass is 5,000 yen, and the 3 day pass is 5,500 yen.  Details can be found here.

Links

Odakyu Hakone Freepass – http://www.odakyu.jp/english/freepass/hakone_01.html

Hakone Zenzan, some other hikes in the Hakone area and weather reports- http://www.hakone.or.jp/english/osusume/hike_list.html

HakoneNavi, tourist information site for Hakone – http://www.hakonenavi.jp/english/

My Flickr set of the hike – http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelelisa/sets/72157622650744760/

The map of the hike on GPSies – http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=aczcuerkubjxtjxm


Useful Kanji

Amida-ji Temple 阿弥陀時
Daimon-ji 大文字
Gora 強羅
Gora Station 強羅駅
Hakone 箱根
Hakone Tozan Tetsudo line 箱根登山鉄道線
Hakone Yumoto 箱根湯本
Hakone Yumoto Station 箱根湯本駅
Miyagino Bridge 宮城野橋
Miyagino Shishomae 宮城野支所前
Mt Myojingataka 明神が岳
Mt Myojyogatake 明星が岳
Odakyu 小田急
Odawara 小田原
Shinjuku Station 新宿駅
Tokaido line 東海道線
Tokyo 東京
Tokyo Station 東京駅
Tonomine 塔ノ峰








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