めちゃくちゃMechakucha Rotating Header Image

Typhoon #13 means Yatsugadake not Kitadake

Typhoon #13 came through Tokyo on Friday night and Saturday morning, and stole our trip to Kita-dake.  The original plan was to take the bikes on the train to Kofu, ride up to the base of the mountain, then hike to the top at around 3,100 metres.  It was to be a 4 day trip, but the heavy rain on Friday night made cancelling a sensible idea.  I’ve had a bad run recently of trips being cancelled on account of the weather.

But before the typhoon had even come through, a plan was hatched to see an alternative trip on Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday was a public holiday, and I’d already arranged Monday off work.

[nggallery id=42]

Yatsugadake is a range with 8 peaks, north of the Chuo Line, just near Kobuchizawa.  Akadake is a 2,899 metre high peak, the highest of the Yatsugadake range, on the border of Yamanashi and Nagano Prefectures, and easily accessible by train from Tokyo.  Steve had been up there before, and wanted to go back to show the guy in the hut his Mont Blanc photos.  Phil and I quickly fell in, and off we went.

It was raining quite hard on the walk up through the forest, but as we got higher and higher up the mountain, the weather cleared.  At 2,400 metres high, we were still in the tree line at the top of Ushikubi-san (Cow Neck Mountain), and stopped for a break.  Some guys coming down the mountain warned us of animals higher up.  Thinking bears, we proceeded with an eye out, but only saw tame-looking mountain goat through the foliage.

Here I am towards the bottom, through the forest in the rain.

When the weather cleared in late afternoon, some views across to Fuji-san opened up.

Steve & Phil decided to celebrate sunset.

Once we arrived at the top, we saw the sunset, and arrived at the summit hut just as it was getting dark.  From outside, the hut looked like a shambolic structure on the side of the cliff, but inside it was like a hotel.  No need to bring food, bedding or a tent.  There were three dorm rooms, each sleeping at least 50.  The guy in the hut remembered Steve and gave us a small room, with a window looking out towards Mt Fuji.  There was beer and souvenirs for sale, and although we had missed dinner by arriving late, we still had a big plate of curry rice.

The Milky Way from the top of the mountain was quite spectacular.  Steve, being a northern hemispherian, taught Phil and I about the northern constellations.  I had never seen the Milky Way this clear in Japan before.  The lights of Tokyo were on the horizon, but the lights of the towns in the valley were a little closer and brighter.

Sunrise was at 5:45am.  It was amazing.  Fuji-san in particular was across a sea of clouds – 雲海 – with a pastel orange glow.

After breakfast, we descended the mountain over the other side to which we came up.  We saw some helicopters resupplying the hut just below the one we stayed at – which let us see how these mountain huts manage to stay so well stocked.  The helicopter pilots were efficient, but didn’t throw the chopper around as much as the NZ pilots I saw at Tongariro earlier this year.

In the photo below, the hut at the top is at the summit of Akadake (where we stayed).

There were some early autumn colours at the top of the mountain.


Here’s the helicopter doing its work bringing in supplies and taking out rubbish from Akadake Tenbou Hut.

Akadake

Leave a Reply