Hike to Mount Nyoho in Nikko

In May, I went back once more to Nikko. This time, I climbed Mount Nyoho (女峰山), the sister peak to the better-known (and barely higher) Mount Nantai (男体山). At 2483m, it was the highest point during my year in Japan.

In the morning, I had to wake up very early in order to catch the first JR train to Nikko. Tobu trains are faster but they also start later. In Nikko, I took the bus to the start of the trail: It is located near Futarasan Shrine, in the World Heritage area. It was a hard and long climb (1900m of elevation gain) through forests and fields of stones and I crossed path with surprisingly few people for a Saturday. The view at the summit was awesome. For the way down, I first walked on the ridge until Mount Taishaku (帝釈山) then I headed down in the general direction of Mount Nantai. There was still a lot of snow left on that trail so I had to go very slowly. I then followed a road for a bit then turned left on a trail towards Nikko. I walked until I reached a shrine and the Jakko-no-taki waterfall (寂光滝). I then hitchhiked my way back to the World Heritage area in order to catch a bus to the train station.

Above, Nikko JR station.

Above, at the Nishi-Sando (西参道) bus stop.

Above, torii of Futarasan shrine. The path is on the left of the torii.

Above, at the beginning, the path goes along Futarasan Shrine.

Above, shrine at the start of the forest trail.

Above, there was an area with many azalea trees.

Above, Mount Nantai.

Above, looking back towards Nikko.

Above, Mount Nantai (left) and Mount Omanago (right).

Above, statue of Fudo near the hut on the way up.

Above, shrine near the summit.

Above, view from the summit of Mount Nyoho: Mount Komanago, Mount Omanago and Mount Nantai, now covered with some clouds.

Above, ridge towards Mount Taishaku.

Above, Mount Oku-Shirane (奥白根山).

Above, on the way to Mount Taishaku.

Above, looking back at the summit of Mount Nyohou.

Above, view from the summit of Mount Taishaku.

Above, snow on the way down.

Above, this road also leads to the start of a trail to Mount Nantai.

Above, Mount Nyoho and Mount Taishaku.

Above, on the trail back to Nikko.

Above, more azalea.

Above, Jakko waterfall at the end of the trail.


Hike to Mount Oyama, Mount Sannoto & Mount Tonodake in the Tanzawa Mountains (part 2): From Yabitsu Pass to Okura

Continuing the spring hike to the Tanzawa Mountains.

Above, start of the trail to Mount San-no-to.

Above, Mount Oyama from the summit of Mount Sannoto.

Above, view of Mount To in the distance, from the summit of Mount Sannoto.

Above, on the way to Mount Tonodake.

Above, view of Mount Sannoto.

Above, summit of Mount To.

Above, hazy Mount Fuji.

Above, on the way to Okura bus terminal.

Above, Mount Sannoto and Mount Oyama.

Above, Okura bus station.

Hike to Mount Oyama, Mount Sannoto & Mount Tonodake in the Tanzawa Mountains (part 1): From Hinata Yakushi To Yabitsu Pass

In May, I went back to the Tanzawa Mountains, in Kanagawa. This time, I started at Hinata Yakushi (日向薬師), in Atsugi, east of the mountains. I took the bus from Isehara station and got off at the last stop then started walking. I went through Mount Oyama (大山), Mount Sannoto (三ノ塔) and Mount Tonodake (塔ノ岳). From there, I walked down the mountain to take the bus at the Okura (大倉) bus terminal. It was a great day, although it was foggy at first. Mount Fuji was even visible from Mount To.

Above, at Hinata Yakushi.

Above, pagoda at Johotsugan-ji Temple.

Above, Sekiun-ji Temple.

Above, start of the trail to Mount Oyama.

Above, view of Oyama Afuri shrine.

Above. Mount Oyama lost in the fog, seen from Miharashidai.

Above, Oyama Afuri shrine.

Above, start of the trail to the summit of Mount Oyama.

Above, fog at the summit.

Above, the fog lifted while I was at the summit.

Above, on the way down to Yabitsu Pass (ヤビツ峠).

Above, in better weather, Mount Fuji can be seen from here.

Above, at Yabitsu Pass.

Above, to get to the start of the trail to Mount Sannoto, I took an alternate trail in  the forest (at the back of the parking lot) instead of the paved road.

Above, the trail did not arrive exactly where I needed to go so I had to double back using the paved road.

Hike around Lake Onuma at Mount Akagi

In May, I went to Maebashi City in Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, in order to visit Mount Akagi (赤城山). There is no actual peak named “Mount Akagi”: It refers to the whole mountain range in the area. Its best-known attractions are Akagi Shrine, Lake Onuma (大沼) and Mount Kurobi (黒檜山). While I was there, I took a series of trails going through some of the peaks surrounding the lake. This page can serve as a reference (although it differs a bit from what I did).

I started at Kakumanbuchi marsh (覚満淵), south of Lake Onuma. I then went up Torii Pass (鳥居峠) before taking an alternate trail to Mount Komagatake (駒ヶ岳) and then on to Mount Kurobi, the highest point in the area. I then went down to the lake and visited Akagi shrine. Next, I walked on the lakeside path northwards to reach the trailhead to Mount Jingasa (陣笠山), near the campgrounds. I then followed the ridgeline until Mount Debari (出張山), after which I headed back to the lake and followed the paved road until the start of the trail to the viewpoint at Mount Miharashi (見晴山), which I visited next. I then made my way to the summit of Mount Jizohdake (地蔵岳) and went down on the other side to reach Lake Konuma (小沼). My last mountains of the day were Mount Choshichiro (長七郎山) and Mount Kojizohdake (小地蔵岳). I finally went back to Torii Pass and then on to the Visitor Center to catch the bus back to Maebashi City.

Above, at Oku station in Kita City (Tokyo), catching the first train of the Takasaki JR line. I then transferred at Takasaki for Maebashi.

Above, waiting for the bus in front of Maebashi station.

Above, Lake Onuma, looking at the red bridge of Akagi shrine.

Above, Kakumanfuchi Marsh, with Mount Kojizoh in the background.

Above, view from Torii Pass.

Above, start of the trail (unmarked at the beginning) to Mount Komagatake.

Above, view from the summit of Mount Komagatake.

Above, torii and shrine near the summit of Mount Kurobi.

Above, rest area north of the summit of Mount Kurobi.

Above, on the way down to Lake Onuma.

Above, Akagi shrine seen from the trail.

Above, Akagi shrine.

Above, on the lakeside path.

Above, on the way to Mount Jingasa.

Above, view from the summit of Mount Debari.

Above, back at Lake Onuma.

Above, on the way to Mount Miharashi.

Above, access road seen from the summit of Mount Miharashi.

Above, on the way to Mount Jizodake.

Above, antennas at the summit of Mount Jizodake.

Above, Lake Konuma.

Above, Chi-no-Ike (血の池), literally Blood Pond. I thought it would have more red and be a pond…

Above, at Lake Konuma.

Above, on the trail to Mount Choshichiro.

Above, summit of Kojizohdake. I saw a deer there but it fled before I could take a picture.

Above, back at Torii Pass.

Hike from Hinohara Village to Lake Okutama (Part 2): Tokyo Citizens’ Forest & Mount Tsukiyomi

Continuing the hike from Hinohara Village to Lake Okutama. After Mount Mito, I stayed in the Tokyo Citizens’ Forest and went down towards Mito Waterfall.

Above, there were a lot of steps…

Above, suspension bridge in front of the waterfall.

Above, Mito Waterfall.

Above, Therapy Road.

Above, Visitor Center.

Above, on the way to Mount Toishi.

Above, on Road 206, on the way to Mount Tsukiyomi.

Above, summit of Mount Tsukiyomi.

Above, on the way to the Parking Area #1 of Mount Tsukiyomi (月夜見第1駐車場).

Above, Lake Okutama from the Parking Area #1.

Above, on the way down, I took the road, which had barely any car on it at that late hour.

Above, on the way down to the Yama-no-Furusato Mura.

Above, at the Village.

Above, the Floating Bridge.

Above, Mount Tsukiyomi viewed from the bridge.

Above, red bridge on the other side of the tunnel.