A Blog about Hokkaido, Photography and other interesting things out there.

Tag: National Park (page 1 of 2)

Climbing Fukushima’s Mount Bandai

In the beginning of May 2019, I climbed Mount Bandai with a friend from the Photography Club of Tohoku University (東北大学学友会写真部). We rented a car in the morning and drove to the foot of Mount Bandai from Sendai, which took about 2h using the high way.

The weather was beautiful and no other cars were parked at the trail head – probably because the hiking season was only just about to start in Japan.

This time around, I only took a film camera along.

The beginning of the climb was through a ski area which was hardly exciting atall, however we quickly reached the Red Swamp (赤沼), now a lake infront of Mount Bandai.

The trail was well built out although still wet from the melting snow.

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Yaridaira over Mt Okumaru to Shinhotaka Onsen: Hiking the Kita Alps part 3

This post is the 3rd out of 3 about traversing the Japanese Northern Alps (北アルプス). Henceforth, I will describe the trek from Yaridaira (槍平小屋) over Mt Okumaru (奥丸山) to Shinhotaka Onsen (新穂高温泉). For part 1 from Kamikochi (上高地) to Yarigatake (槍ヶ岳) klick here, for part 2 from Yarigatake (槍ヶ岳) to Yaridaira Hut (槍平小屋) klick here.


Starting off at Yaridaira Camping Ground (槍平キャンプ場), the sunrise was kind of a letdown because by the time the sun came up, it had already been bright daylight for at least 1.5 hours. Nevertheless, after some coffe it was time to pack up and go. The tent was decidedly wet because the camp ground is located right next to a river.


The plan was to hike up to Mt Okumaru which is on the chain of mountains right opposite (west) of Yarigatake (槍ヶ岳) – Hotakadake (穂高岳). Then, walk along the ridge to get one last good view of Mt Hotaka and then descend into the western valley where Wasabi Hut (ワサビ平小屋) is located. From there, walk the road down all the way to Shinhotaka Onsen (新穂高温泉) from where a bus would take us back to our car at the parking lot.

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Kamikochi to Yarigatake – Hiking in the Kita Alps Part 1

This post is part one of three (two, three) on a four day trip across the Kita Alps in Japan from Kamikochi (上高地) to Shinhotaka Onsen (穂高温泉). We did the trip in September of 2017. The main objective was to climb Mt Yarigatake (槍ヶ岳) with the possibility of doing the Yari-Hotaka traverse, should the conditions permit. We packed food for four days, however as there were several huts on the way if needed be that could’ve been streched to a longer period of time.

The plan was initially to arrive around midday in Hirayu Onsen (平湯温泉) by car, prepare our backpacks, park the car, and then take the public bus (Nohi Bus) into the Kamikochi National Park (上高地国立公園). That is because you’re not allowed to drive your own car into the National Park. However, after several delays we arrived significantly later than planned at Hirayu Onsen (平湯温泉) and were a little bit stressed out packing our backpacks. We barely caught the last bus which left at 4:50 p.m. from the Akandana Parking Lot (あかんだな駐車場) where we left our car. Immediately, we realised that we forgot some important items, namely our hiking poles and the tripod for the camera. Some non-essential but nice to have items were also still in the car, so on a whim we decided to exit the bus at the next stop down in the city centre of Hirayu Onsen (平湯温泉). Unfortunately, the car park is quite a bit away from the city centre so we had to walk all the way back up on the road which took around 20 minutes. After arriving, we once again packed our backpacks up and called a taxi to drive us into Kamikochi (上高地). While we had a to pay an extra late-evening fee, the taxi was not that expensive at all compared to the bus fare (7000 JPY for two people). As we wanted to leave towards Yarigatake (槍ヶ岳) early the next morning, taking the taxi was the only viable option. Important to note is (what we didn’t know until the taxi driver told us), that the gates to the Kamikochi National Park (上高地国立公園) close every day at 7 p.m., after which even taxis can’t get in any more.

Kappabashi in Kamikochi

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Eastern Hokkaido Part 1: From Sapporo to Shiretoko

From the 22th to 24th of February, I went on a trip through Eastern Hokkaido with my friend Park. The landscape of eastern Hokkaido is stunningly beautiful and we were really lucky with the weather. We travelled by bus and JR Trains on a 3 day Rail Pass. In hindsight a rental car would probably have been the more sensible choice as there are only very few buses in remote areas (like three per day) and the JR Trains are not cheap at all – even on a 3 day student pass (20000jpy).

After around five hours on the train from Sapporo, we stopped at Engaru Station. There are only few dead-end stations in Japan, from what I have experienced – in contrast to Europe. However, Japanese trains are of course equipped to deal with that, so it is possible to rotate all seats on the train by 180 degrees! That is also incredibly useful when travelling in groups, as you can just turn the seats and then easily talk with four people!

Engaru

At Abashiri, we changed trains and hopped onto the Ryuhyo (Japanese for drift ice) Norokko Train, a special, old train that runs along the coast so you can see the drift ice from the train.

Abashiri

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The Daisetsuzan National Park – Part 3: From Nakadake Onsen to Asahidake Ropeway

Read: Part 1 and Part 2 beforehand if you like to.

Nakadake Onsen

We arrived at Nakadake Onsen and decided to have lunch there. A couple people were there already and some even brought a cooking stove and boiled their eggs in the hot spring. The actual hole of the hot spring was quite small but the water was incredibly hot, probably somewhere around 50-60°C. Therefore the hot spring water was fused with water running down from a snowfield above before it led into the onsen.

Nakadake Onsen

Hot water on the left and cold water on the right: the amount of water being mixed was precisely controlled, to make for the best temperature!

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