Saturday, July 20, 2013

日向山 Mt. Hinatayama in Nirasaki

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That’s the start of the ‘easy’ trail up… We started somewhere else down the road…

After recovering from the body battering hike up Mt. Kagayatake, I was ready for an even more challenging hike up Mt. Hinatayama in Nirasaki. The trail head isn’t that hard to find but it is a bit of a windy, one way, narrow road up. If you don’t have a car or something bigger than a kei, you may find yourself in a bit of a hard ride/walk up the road especially if you meet another person coming down. There’s some parking at the trail head and as long as no knuckleheads park funky, you should be able to find a spot.

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This is where we started our hike. A much more challenging place to start!

We started our hike around 7:30 in the morning on a very hot July day. Instead of taking the easy, more traveled and marked trail up that starts right at the parking lot, we took the longer way up as we don’t like to backtrack if possible.The standard trail will get you up to the peak in about half the time we took and it is very accessible to less experienced hikers. We saw plenty of kids on this particular hike.

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The hike up starts a bit rough as you’ll be pulling yourself up some steep hillsides at first. There’s plenty of places to hold on as well as some spots where rusty iron stairs have been provided. The trail is easier than it looks.

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The walk to the summit only took a couple of hours with minimal breaks and for the most part it was shaded by plenty of tall trees which helped kept the heat bearable. For lack of a better description, the summit was awesome. Easily one of the better places I’ve hiked in Yamanashi. There is a ton of sand stone that has been whittled down over the years by erosion which makes it look like a sandy berm or a snowy hill. The sand its self feels a lot like beach sand in some areas. It’s really unusual finding such a unique landscape so high up in the mountains.

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The peak stands at roughly 1600 or so meters. Sometimes the altimeter on my watch is wonky by 60 or so meters. It’s a beautiful spot and it was a great opportunity to take panoramic shots with my Samsung Galaxy S3 camera app. All the pictures and video shared today is provided by my phone camera. Not too shabby!

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Now that my hikes are getting a bit more technical, I need to invest in some better supporting hiking boots. Cross training shoes aren’t cutting it anymore. I bruised my toenail pretty bad on the decent. Time to break in some new shoes! Ick!

I don’t like the sound of my own voice…
Awesome view!

Here’s a couple spiffy panoramic shots. Amazing!

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I did it in high-tops… I still didn’t have proper boots at this point. Working on it!

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