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Newer Page 37 of 966 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Hiking Mount Akagi

3 November 2019

A walk in the volcano park

Mount Akagi daytrip from Takasaki

Its the second day of a three day weekend here in Japan, and people are daytripping all over the place. So I decided to go to a very popular spot. The weather was not clear blue sky, so the photos are very muted, but it was warm, and no rain.
Mount Akagi is easily accessible, you can drive to the crater lake. Then you can ride around in little paddle boats which will one day provide one of the more amazing ways people die in a natural disaster.
As always, I took public transport. I lined up for the bus 45 minutes early, and was surprised to see a fellow white guy at the head of the line. He was explaining things to people in fluent Japanese. I chatted with him. I normally avoid this at all costs, but I wanted to know when the bus was going! He was British, but lived in Japan since 1980. He goes hiking all the time and has only ever once seen a bear (that was the other question I wanted answered!). He told me his name and when I googled it later it turns out hes written a few books on hiking in Japan and worked as a freelance journalist mainly reporting on soccer (football), including for BBC Asia. So that was unexpected. I wont speak that much again until I get back to Australia, I strung at least 10 words together in a row. My face muscles feel strained.

Once I got to nearly the top of the mountain on the bus it was time to set off up over the two peaks, Kurobi and Komagatake. I would not be alone today. Not by a long shot.

The trail was well marked and there were hundreds of people. This was at times very frustrating, finally I experienced what most people go on about, waiting your turn to climb, and waiting a really long time to descend. What I could have done in 2 hours took more than 4.

On the way down a small girl followed right behind me. When I got a bit of clear air in front of me and was able to go faster, she kept up. I tried to let her past, she would not pass. I have no idea who she belonged to, maybe she was on a daytrip on her own, but she looked no older than 10 years old. The path down was very steep and rocky, big steps, I had to lower myself with my hands. She had a technique of sliding down the rocks on her bum and a few times it looked to me like she hurt herself, but she never complained. I dont think her pants will be worth much after the day though.

The descent seemed to take forever, but I still managed to make the early bus back, the bus after was not due to leave for another 2 hours (I think?).
I wont try and explain the bus timetable, the bus companies website was wrong, the summer timetable had been extended extra days due to the long weekend, except for today, but they had put on an extra bus that was not on the schedule to bridge the gap between Saturday and Monday, but only if enough people lined up. Yeah, thats how buses work in Japan, hopeless.

Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Here is the bus I was on. As it turns out they put on enough buses for everyone to get a seat, but all leaving at the same time. You can see the guy I

Here is the bus I was on. As it turns out they put on enough buses for everyone to get a seat, but all leaving at the same time. You can see the guy I mentioned above sitting at the very front left. I predict my mother will do some kind of forensic analysis of this photo to see if she can find out more about him. Maybe you can see his reflection in the windscreen. Enhance.... enhance....


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Here is the village area by the crater lake. Very gloomy skies.

Here is the village area by the crater lake. Very gloomy skies.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Behold, the lake itself. I got a shot without any of the swan shaped paddle boats ruining the view.

Behold, the lake itself. I got a shot without any of the swan shaped paddle boats ruining the view.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Time to start my climb. Up here, around 2000m in altitude, the leaves already fell off the trees. But fear not, what I call low bamboo is abundant, an

Time to start my climb. Up here, around 2000m in altitude, the leaves already fell off the trees. But fear not, what I call low bamboo is abundant, and I like the low bamboo.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - There are quite a few different peaks, but the main path which I stuck to, goes over the two highest. You can do a multi day hike up and over here and

There are quite a few different peaks, but the main path which I stuck to, goes over the two highest. You can do a multi day hike up and over here and connect to another mountain, apparently not possible to complete in one day.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Its a shame all the farmers decided to set fire to their crops. On the way back to the city later in the day the smoke was very thick, and people were

Its a shame all the farmers decided to set fire to their crops. On the way back to the city later in the day the smoke was very thick, and people were all coughing on the bus, it actually smelt of smoke.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - I have taken this photo and one very similar higher up a bit further down. I think I like this version more due to th yellow contrasting foreground.

I have taken this photo and one very similar higher up a bit further down. I think I like this version more due to th yellow contrasting foreground.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - The lake as seen from above, and so many mountains, and so much smoke.

The lake as seen from above, and so many mountains, and so much smoke.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Summit area #1, Kurobi. Most Japanese people bring a gas stove and make omurice and ramen. Really a guy was whipping up omelets.

Summit area #1, Kurobi. Most Japanese people bring a gas stove and make omurice and ramen. Really a guy was whipping up omelets.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Nice view down the valley, would be nicer if the sky was clear.

Nice view down the valley, would be nicer if the sky was clear.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Time to head down and up to the next peak, via more low bamboo.

Time to head down and up to the next peak, via more low bamboo.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - The second peak, it looks small but if you load the full size pic, you can see people very close to the centre of the pic to indicate scale. I could d

The second peak, it looks small but if you load the full size pic, you can see people very close to the centre of the pic to indicate scale. I could draw a scale marker on the pic but I would be making it up and it would be wrong. From here to the median point of the protuberance is 0.0000721 parsecs.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Summit #2, Komagatake, with shrine. This is not where you get a good view from though, walk another 100 metres past here to the scenic panorama spot.

Summit #2, Komagatake, with shrine. This is not where you get a good view from though, walk another 100 metres past here to the scenic panorama spot.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Here it is, scenic panorama view spot. The photo does not show it but there were more than 100 people here having lunch. One girl opened a big bag of

Here it is, scenic panorama view spot. The photo does not show it but there were more than 100 people here having lunch. One girl opened a big bag of mandarins and they all fell out and rolled off the cliff. Everyone laughed. Then they all offered her food. I didnt offer her any of my muesli bar.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - My big unshaven sweaty head, in all its glory. So much glory.

My big unshaven sweaty head, in all its glory. So much glory.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - View without the people in the way. So brown, so grey.

View without the people in the way. So brown, so grey.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Time to descend. Time to be held up by slow people with smaller legs than me trying to negotiate huge rocks.

Time to descend. Time to be held up by slow people with smaller legs than me trying to negotiate huge rocks.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - A bit more low bamboo, it reflects the light a lot.

A bit more low bamboo, it reflects the light a lot.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - It does not look that steep, but it was really very steep.

It does not look that steep, but it was really very steep.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Look at that long line of people snaking up the path. GET OUT OF MY WAY. Actually a helmet might be a good idea, a lot of rocks were being kicked down

Look at that long line of people snaking up the path. GET OUT OF MY WAY. Actually a helmet might be a good idea, a lot of rocks were being kicked down the path, and some went a very long way before they crashed to a halt. This shot with people for scale and reference gives a better idea of how steep it was.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Lake from lower down, with a bit of color, and a red bridge if you squint.

Lake from lower down, with a bit of color, and a red bridge if you squint.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - There were a few spots to stop and get a bit of a better view from.

There were a few spots to stop and get a bit of a better view from.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Almost there! People were racing motorbikes on the road around the crater lake. The noise was amazing. No serenity to be found here.

Almost there! People were racing motorbikes on the road around the crater lake. The noise was amazing. No serenity to be found here.


Japan-Hiking-Mount Akagi - Once at the bottom, predictable temple. The bus ride back took forever and got stuck in traffic near Maebashi. Probably due to low visibility from all

Once at the bottom, predictable temple. The bus ride back took forever and got stuck in traffic near Maebashi. Probably due to low visibility from all the smoke!


NewerPage 37 of 966OlderFull Trip Report