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Japan Nagoya Mount Gozaisho Hiking

10 November 2015

Long day at altitude

Today was an excellent, long day. So long in fact that I was gone almost 12 hours.
I opened google maps and scrolled around until I saw mountains. Then I checked proximity of a train station. Then I googled it to make sure it was possible to walk to the top.
This process lead me to Mount Gozaisho on the Kintetsu line, just an hour away on 3 trains, or so was the plan.
Everything was going perfectly until I got off at the last change, to get on the single carriage line that goes to the base of the mountain. There were so many school kids charging around inside the station area blocking my path that me and a few others missed the train.
Oh well, 30 minutes until the next one, time to hang out in the station Family Mart and eat a sandwich.

The last little bit of train went through some nice rural areas, each township it stopped at had a Suzuki dealership, a multi storey pachinko parlour and a vast sea of parking area.
Between stations there was a pedestrian or bike path along the train track, which had thousands of kindergarten aged children in groups on it, feverishly waving. By now there was hardly anyone else on the train, and when I waved back, the crowd went wild.

I had a look at the map when I got off, and the distance to the start of the mountain trail seemed small, it wasnt. But since I had no idea when the bus was coming, I decided to walk it. The bus passed me about 2 minutes later, and then an hour after that, I made it to the start of the gondola to the ski resort.
Surely this would be the start of the trail to the peak? I couldnt find it, and there was no way I was taking the gondola. So I walked on up a great valley for about another hour, wondering why there was no one else around at all.
There were lots of hotels that looked like plastic castles, but I guess they are only used in ski season.

Eventually, I decided to cross the river and head up the only path I saw, this soon paid dividends as I was deep in the mountain somewhere, and I saw the cable car.
I wanted to go up though, not around, but with the ground hard to see due to leaf matter all I could do was follow the ribbons tied to trees and the occasional circle spray painted on a rock.

After about another hour in which I crossed the river a few times on wooden ladders, I came to a fork of sorts, this seemed to head upwards, so I followed it.
And up it went, not a lot of markings to follow and certainly no other people. Soon after I rejoined the main trail, and realised I was absolutely nowhere near the top still.

I pushed on for a few more hours for one of the most rewarding hikes ever, the last ascent was in cloud, with water running down the rocks, swinging from chains.
And then, once you get to the top where the gondola goes, you realise theres a road up the back of the mountain to the very small and run down ski resort. There is however a restaurant, and a thousand people stuck on the top because the gondola service is suspended due to high wind!
This did not bother me at all, but old folks were absolutely furious in the line snaking around the buildings and restaurant, I suspect they are still there now! Some where 120 years old and theres no way they were making the 3 hour walk down.
I took a different less treacherous way down and was glad of it. Once at the bottom, I still had no idea when the bus might come so I jogged down the road for an hour to the train station and repeated the multi stage journey home.

A great day out!

Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - This is the view from the last station change, where I had to wait 30 minutes. Not sure of the name of this town, but its quite near Suzuka, where the

This is the view from the last station change, where I had to wait 30 minutes. Not sure of the name of this town, but its quite near Suzuka, where they have the grand prix.
The mountain today is apparently the highest in the Suzuka range, and I started from very near sea level.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - The river was very nice to make the boring walk up the road interesting.

The river was very nice to make the boring walk up the road interesting.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - That would be my destination. It looked a long way off and steep, I had some doubts!

That would be my destination. It looked a long way off and steep, I had some doubts!


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - Things started to get more orange. On my way back when I passed this point there were a heap of people with tripods enjoying the late afternoon twilig

Things started to get more orange. On my way back when I passed this point there were a heap of people with tripods enjoying the late afternoon twilight.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - Yes, more.

Yes, more.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - And now probably redundant, but this was the path as best I could tell.

And now probably redundant, but this was the path as best I could tell.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - The path called for me to cross over something like this on 3 occasions.

The path called for me to cross over something like this on 3 occasions.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - Now I was back on the right track, with the gondolas going overhead. I must be somewhere near the top cause the view down seems to be from quite high.

Now I was back on the right track, with the gondolas going overhead. I must be somewhere near the top cause the view down seems to be from quite high. I re read that twice, it kind of makes sense, I know what I mean.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - No, I still have ages to go!

No, I still have ages to go!


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - Soon after this I was in cloud, so this might be the 'highest' clear shot.

Soon after this I was in cloud, so this might be the 'highest' clear shot.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - I had to scramble over some impressive rock formations.

I had to scramble over some impressive rock formations.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - There was less cloud in the other directions away from the city.

There was less cloud in the other directions away from the city.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - Plenty more peaks to climb.

Plenty more peaks to climb.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - The cloud was moving at a terrific speed. Hence the gondola had to stop service. I was only exposed to the wind on a couple of ridges, at which point

The cloud was moving at a terrific speed. Hence the gondola had to stop service. I was only exposed to the wind on a couple of ridges, at which point I thought I might get blown off, but other than that I couldnt even tell it was windy.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - The final ascent was in site, water was running down the rock even though it wasnt raining.

The final ascent was in site, water was running down the rock even though it wasnt raining.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - I wish this was an animated gif of the clouds going past at what seems like 100kmph.

I wish this was an animated gif of the clouds going past at what seems like 100kmph.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - And then once at the top, predictably, a weather station.

And then once at the top, predictably, a weather station.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - Less predictably, a snow man. I briefly saw the ski field, but generally it was completely obscured by cloud.

Less predictably, a snow man. I briefly saw the ski field, but generally it was completely obscured by cloud.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - It took me more than 3 hours due to walking from the train, and the detour I took across unofficial trails.

It took me more than 3 hours due to walking from the train, and the detour I took across unofficial trails.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - These people were stuck in this line for hours. Japanese politeness was out the window. I walked past laughing at them.

These people were stuck in this line for hours. Japanese politeness was out the window. I walked past laughing at them.


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - Some hours later, and I am back at the bottom, looking up the gondola course. Theres no one in them still!

Some hours later, and I am back at the bottom, looking up the gondola course. Theres no one in them still!


Japan-Nagoya-Mount Gozaisho-Hiking - And finally, back at my hotel room, this is what I look like after many hours of swinging off the side of a mountain.

And finally, back at my hotel room, this is what I look like after many hours of swinging off the side of a mountain.


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