Superb but hard experience on Mount Iide, July 28-30, 2017 (飯豊の集い に参加して 2017年7月28-30日)

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I participated in Iide-no-tsudoi or Mount Iide climbing tour promoted by Yamatomachi, Kitakata City, where the summit was located. It was a 3-day tour with two overnight stays at a mountain hut. Mount Iide (2105m) was known as a sacred mountain which was best suited for experienced climbers, as well as an attractive mountain where beautiful alpine flowers start blooming right after the thaw. It was designated as one of the best 100 mountains in Japan. Although I was still a beginner hiker, I challenged the mountain this time by joining the Iide-no-tsudoi party in order to experience the superb mountain. The excellent party took best care of every climber’s security with experienced leaders, local fire and police officials attended. I was grateful to all of those who supported for the safe trail tour. Photo above was a beautiful Chinguruma plant blooming in clusters at a little walk from Kiriawase mountain hut toward the summit on the second day.

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Talking from the beginning, on the night before the tour I stayed at a private house or “minshuku” as shown above, at a small village of Kawairi which was the nearest village to the starting point (Osawa camp ground) of the tour.

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On the first day, the party started climbing with all the 43 participants and 11 leaders and security support staffs, from Osawa camp site at Kawairi. We headed for Kiriawase mountain hut (1769m) in the middle. It was a hard climbing for me (but not for everyone) with steep rocky trail of Kengamine and Akaiwa. There was no photo for this day because I was busy keeping pace with the party and also because it was a rainy day. We all reached the goal of Kiriawase hut in the late afternoon, which looked like as shown above on the right end early next morning. The mountain in the center was Mount Iide.

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In the next morning we started toward the summit of Mount Iide. First, we met with a stone image called “Ubagongen” as shown above.

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Then we came to another risky rock climbing place called “Ohisho” as shown above. The photo was taken after passing the site.

Climbing toward the summit, we found some of alpine flowers as shown below.

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Photo shows pretty violet flowers of Hakusanfuro or Geranium yesoemse var. nipponicum.

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Photo shows a cluster of Takanetsumekusa or Minuartia with pretty white flowers.

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Photo above shows violet flowers of Yotsubashiogama or Pedicularis japonica.

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Photo above shows indigenous species of gentian called Iide-rindo which grows only on this mountain.

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Finally we made it to the summit of Mount Iide (2105m) as shown above. This was a first order triangulation point.

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On the return trail we could see Nikko-kisuge flower field on the right slope as shown above. We spent another night at Kiriawasegoya hut tonight.

In the neighborhood of the hut I could see some other flowers as shown below. There were many of them around.

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Photo shows orange flowers of Kurumayuri or Lilium medeoloides.

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Photo above shows blue flowers of Takane-matsumushiso or Scabiosa japonica var. alpine.

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On the third day, we left the hut and headed toward the starting point at Kawairi. On the way we were lucky to find pretty pink Himesayuri or Lilium rubellum flowers along the trail as shown above.

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The party finally arrived at the goal or the starting point with all members safe. I was the last member to goal. I really appreciate the full support by leaders and security staff members otherwise I might not have made the goal safe. Finally we had a nice Yamato-soba lunch which was a great local specialty at Iidenoyu rest house which looked as shown above.

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All of us were given a certificate of the accomplishment as shown above. I believe this Iide-no-tsudoi tour promoted by Kitakata City is an excellent occasion for those who want to experience climbing to Mount Iide for the first time.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20170728飯豊の集い_1 (560x421)

20170729飯豊の集い_2 (560x421)

You can play back the route and altitude on the map below. But this time the GPS trace was not complete or accurate maybe due to device problem.

Bike climb on Mount Yamizo, July 6, 2017 (八溝山頂 へ チャリ で 2017年7月6日)

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Mount Yamizo (1022m) is located on the border of Fukushima, Ibaraki, and Tochigi Prefectures. On Fukushima side which is within Tanagura Town, there is a prefectural road called Mount Yamizo Line to the very summit. This is a rare public road that can take us to the summit of a 1000m class mountain. I pedaled my bike to the summit from JR Iwakitanagura Sta. Photo above shows a view of the summit with its Yamizomine Shrine. This view was taken from 3-story observatory platform right next to it.

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Photo above shows the summit point with its sign pole and the triangulation point. They stand within the precinct of Yamizomine Shrine.

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Photo above is a close-up view of the first order triangulation point.

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Although there was a prefectural road to the summit, the road was not paved all the way. Between 15 and 18km points from the town center of Tanagura, the road suddenly turned into gravel road as shown above. I rode my bike on and off during this period.

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The rest of the road was paved such as shown above, but some parts were damaged from wear and tear.

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The end of Fukushima road looked as shown above. Then the road changed to Tochigi road, and then to Ibaraki road.

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And finally I arrived at Yamizomine Shrine Torii gate as shown above. The summit was several steps away from the gate.

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Mount Yamizo Line road runs mostly along the upper stream of the Kuji River. A photo above shows a source stream of the Kuji River, which flows through Yamatsuri Town and then to Ibaraki Prefecture.

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At last, a photo of the observatory I mentioned in the beginning is shown above. Also, a northwest view (toward Nasu) from the observatory as of today is shown in the bottom.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20170706八溝山 (560x420)

You can play back the route and altitude on the map below.

Bunasaka Spring and Dakikaeri Falls at Oze, June 20, 2017 (尾瀬 の ブナ坂の清水 抱返の滝 2017年6月20日)

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Today was the last day of 3-day Oze tour. I visited three waterfalls today, where Bunasaka Spring Falls or Bunasaka-no-shimizu was one of them, which looked as shown above. The waterfall was located along National Road 352 between Ozemiike and Nanairi. It was really a refreshing view with plenty of fresh spring water falling down the roadside natural slope.

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About 5-minute walk down the road, there was an observatory for another waterfall called Mokake Falls as shown above.

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A description board above said that it was named after women’s clothes which date back to Heian Period.

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After I left Lake Ozenuma this morning, I first visited Sanpeishita, where Mount Hiuchigatake, a symbol of Oze, Looked as shown above, reflected upside down on the lake.

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Then I changed direction toward Numayama Pass (1784m) and after passing it I farther descended toward a waterfall called Dakikaeri-no-taki or Dakikaeri Falls. All these mountain trails were part of an old Numata Highway. In old days, people of Hinoemata used to travel by foot all the way to Numata, Gunma Pref. passing mountains of Oze. Dakikaeri Falls was located some 30-minute descent from Numayama rest point and it looked as shown above. (Although the photo is not good, it can give an image of the falls.) The water fell along a large rock creating a unique water pattern on the surface. The only human being I met along the trail down to the falls was a woman climbing up from Nanairi.

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I happened to find white or pink small flowers I did not know. I checked on a picture book and found they were Komiyama-katabami or Oxalis acetosella as shown above.

This is the end of 3-day Oze tour report. I uploaded my blog for the three days all at once because Oze area was out of internet coverage.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20170620ブナ坂清水 (560x419)

You can play back the route and altitude on the map below.

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A man who loves Fukushima (福島大好きおじさん)

Author:A man who loves Fukushima (福島大好きおじさん)
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