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Newer Page 21 of 966 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Hiking Omoshiroyama Yamadera

11 November 2019

Repeat visit

Omoshiroyamakogen canyon to Yamadera shrine

I have been here before and done exactly this journey before. Top tip for using my site, click the search thing and click the tag for the name of any place or activity, and you will get just the articles related to that tag. Right now there are 3 articles tagged 'Omoshiroyama'. I have employed the latest in color shading technology to heat map those tags. No one appreciates that at all, ever.

Before I get to the photos, let me recount the train dramas. I boarded the little train to Omoshiroyamakogen (longest station name in Japan), and placed my little running backpack on the seat next to me. The train carriage was less than half full. This is a very small backpack, its designed to have a bladder with water inside it, I ripped that out and usually put 2 x 600ml bottles of water, which just fit. It was currently empty. It is smaller than most handbags.
Now, there were at least 10 other people with bags on the seats, including suitcases, shopping, backpacks. All Japanese people. The guard comes down, I take out my ticket to show him, but no, he yells at me, BAG OFF SEAT! I look around at everyone else with bags on seat. He repeats, BAG OFF SEAT OR GET OFF TRAIN!!! So I put my bag on my lap as the next train was in an hour. He then wandered off and I am sure he said GAIJIN! during his rant to himself and any Japanese person in earshot.

That was train drama #1, now for ongoing drama #2. The JR travel agent office, from where you buy or exchange reservations for train passes, is closed on Sunday and Monday! The only option is to go to Sendai. I never heard of this before, very annoying. I need to buy a JR East Tohoku all areas pass to go to Koriyama tomorrow, then Tokyo 3 days later, than use the remaining 3 days on it for day trips out of Tokyo. This saves me at least $100 compared to buying individual tickets, and is only available to foreign passport holders.
The travel agent office is open tomorrow from 10AM, so I will go there then and hope to get a reservation for a bullet train that leaves soon after. If however I had needed to travel yesterday or today, even if I had pre purchased a Japan Rail pass before leaving Australia, there is nowhere to exchange the reservation for the actual pass in Yamagata on Sunday or Monday.

OK, I took a record amount of photos today, so no more text. A lot of the photos are portrait orientation, so get your scrolling finger ready, you're about to wear out your mouse / touchpad, or more likely phone / tablet screen (80% of my web traffic these days is mobile devices).

I know I said no more text, but I just want to add, this is one of the best easy day trips I know of anywhere in Japan, accessible to all ages of all fitness levels. It can be reached easily from either Yamagata or Sendai, its only about 10km of walking, and approximately 500 stairs to the top of Yamadera.

Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - The light and leaves were not as good as the last time I visited on the 5th of November 2016. Last time was all day blazing sunshine and a week earlie

The light and leaves were not as good as the last time I visited on the 5th of November 2016. Last time was all day blazing sunshine and a week earlier in the season. Despite that, I still think the scenery was fantastic. As you can see, it was sunny when I started.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Beautiful blue sky to get me started.

Beautiful blue sky to get me started.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - I took note of the monkey warning, a nice difference from the usual bear warning.

I took note of the monkey warning, a nice difference from the usual bear warning.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Time to descend into the ravine and get going.

Time to descend into the ravine and get going.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - One of many waterfalls.

One of many waterfalls.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Quite colorful, but not as colorful as 3 years ago.

Quite colorful, but not as colorful as 3 years ago.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Rocks, water, leaves.

Rocks, water, leaves.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - More rocks, water, leaves, I am going to run out of new things to type.

More rocks, water, leaves, I am going to run out of new things to type.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - You can see the path on the right. It is narrow in places but never what I would call dangerous. I am however standing on a badly worn swaying wire an

You can see the path on the right. It is narrow in places but never what I would call dangerous. I am however standing on a badly worn swaying wire and wood plank bridge to take this photo.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Thats a different bridge. Cloud is starting to set in.

Thats a different bridge. Cloud is starting to set in.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Sometimes the water is a bit deeper and blue.

Sometimes the water is a bit deeper and blue.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Another waterfall. This description is useful in case you had no concept of what a waterfall was before I told you.

Another waterfall. This description is useful in case you had no concept of what a waterfall was before I told you.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Same same.

Same same.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Rock with tree growing out of it. I think the best rock of my trip so far was the very green huge one I saw back on a hike near Tokyo a couple of week

Rock with tree growing out of it. I think the best rock of my trip so far was the very green huge one I saw back on a hike near Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. I will keep you updated on my rock of the trip award.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Example of a bridge. The planks on this one look a bit newer.

Example of a bridge. The planks on this one look a bit newer.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - A bit more of the path.

A bit more of the path.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Getting darker. There were a few drops of rain, but somehow I escaped the rain all day, and right now outside hours later, blue sky again.

Getting darker. There were a few drops of rain, but somehow I escaped the rain all day, and right now outside hours later, blue sky again.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Nice path.

Nice path.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - I wonder if a sudden down pour would cause me to drown?

I wonder if a sudden down pour would cause me to drown?


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Sometimes it was fun to stand in the water to take photos.

Sometimes it was fun to stand in the water to take photos.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Nice.

Nice.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Are there many more?

Are there many more?


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Time for me to say the word you read here more than you read anywhere else in your life, this one is SUPERFLUOUS.

Time for me to say the word you read here more than you read anywhere else in your life, this one is SUPERFLUOUS.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - I swear these are not all the same photo repeated.

I swear these are not all the same photo repeated.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Some more big rocks. Now last time I was here there were numerous people with tripods taking serious photos. Today, not a single other person. No one

Some more big rocks. Now last time I was here there were numerous people with tripods taking serious photos. Today, not a single other person. No one else got off at the Omoshiroyamakogen station with me.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Getting near the end now. But they should make it longer, I see no reason why it stops where it does. Probably to stop me from oversharing too many ph

Getting near the end now. But they should make it longer, I see no reason why it stops where it does. Probably to stop me from oversharing too many photos.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Pine trees mark the end.

Pine trees mark the end.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - You cross the stream / river about 10 times, sometimes bridges, sometimes rocks.

You cross the stream / river about 10 times, sometimes bridges, sometimes rocks.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Exit, through the tunnel. The tunnel is very low, you cannot stand up straight.

Exit, through the tunnel. The tunnel is very low, you cannot stand up straight.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - OK, after exiting the canyon, its about a 5km walk to Yamadera, along a very picturesque, very quiet road. The only cars that came were Japan Rail min

OK, after exiting the canyon, its about a 5km walk to Yamadera, along a very picturesque, very quiet road. The only cars that came were Japan Rail mini vans. I was concerned the train was broken down? But occasionally a train did go past on the elevated bridges down in the ravine.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - While sauntering along, I occasionally passed a red tree to gawk at.

While sauntering along, I occasionally passed a red tree to gawk at.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Squint here and you can see a train going past. The timing of the train was not good, minutes later I had a good view of a rail bridge that would have

Squint here and you can see a train going past. The timing of the train was not good, minutes later I had a good view of a rail bridge that would have been a much better photo.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Getting close to Yamadera, also getting very cloudy.

Getting close to Yamadera, also getting very cloudy.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - The little town of Yamadera is all for tourists. Lots of little restaurants, even a flash looking gelati cafe, which had a line of people.

The little town of Yamadera is all for tourists. Lots of little restaurants, even a flash looking gelati cafe, which had a line of people.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - I think this is the main shrine at Yamadera, its at the bottom of the cliff.

I think this is the main shrine at Yamadera, its at the bottom of the cliff.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - I knocked one over and they all tumbled like dominoes. I casually strolled off pretending not to be involved.

I knocked one over and they all tumbled like dominoes. I casually strolled off pretending not to be involved.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - The bell tower marks the start of the staircase up the cliff.

The bell tower marks the start of the staircase up the cliff.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - About half way up the 500 or so steps you start to hit various buildings, and red leaves.

About half way up the 500 or so steps you start to hit various buildings, and red leaves.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - There is a bit of construction or more likely reconstruction going on. I recall this was also the case last time.

There is a bit of construction or more likely reconstruction going on. I recall this was also the case last time.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Here is the view we all came for. Note that old people with walking sticks can make it up the steps.

Here is the view we all came for. Note that old people with walking sticks can make it up the steps.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - The view. Certainly not as good as last time, but different to last time due to the cloud. Still great.

The view. Certainly not as good as last time, but different to last time due to the cloud. Still great.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Looking back towards the cliff face with all the little buildings clinging to it.

Looking back towards the cliff face with all the little buildings clinging to it.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Windowed view.

Windowed view.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Beyond the view spot you can go further up the cliff to the top shrine, but there is not much of a view from the top.

Beyond the view spot you can go further up the cliff to the top shrine, but there is not much of a view from the top.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Local nazi party building.

Local nazi party building.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - I climbed up to where the priests and gift shop owners live. The power lines are unsightly, and all over the place. Everyone tries to take photos with

I climbed up to where the priests and gift shop owners live. The power lines are unsightly, and all over the place. Everyone tries to take photos without them.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - I had to run back down the stairs and get to the station. Trains are not frequent. By the way, buy a paper ticket to go to Omoshiroyamakogen, suica/ic

I had to run back down the stairs and get to the station. Trains are not frequent. By the way, buy a paper ticket to go to Omoshiroyamakogen, suica/icoca will not work, but it will work from Yamadera station. The maps in the stations at Sendai or Yamagata will show you which stations the electronic cards will and will not work at.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Once I got back down, I had time to fight this cat for this leaf. The cat won.

Once I got back down, I had time to fight this cat for this leaf. The cat won.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - The walk to the station is also picturesque.

The walk to the station is also picturesque.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - Last time I was here, I took a great photo from this bridge in the late afternoon sun, with lots of people playing in the blue water below. It is not

Last time I was here, I took a great photo from this bridge in the late afternoon sun, with lots of people playing in the blue water below. It is not as nice under cloudy skies.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - The area around the station is also quite nice.

The area around the station is also quite nice.


Japan-Hiking-Omoshiroyama-Yamadera - And finally, I was on the elevated platform, looking back up the cliff face at all the little buildings in Yamadera. If you made it to the end of all

And finally, I was on the elevated platform, looking back up the cliff face at all the little buildings in Yamadera. If you made it to the end of all these photos, give yourself a pat on the back, or alternatively punch yourself in the face.


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