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Japan Sendai Omoshiroyama Hiking Yamadera

5 November 2016

White flag

Today I had to wave the white flag and retreat back down a mountain I did not even intend to climb.
The plan was to go to a remote station with a train once every 3 hours and hike along a very popular tourist friendly ravine then along a road to the next station where there is a series of temples up a 1000 step path up a different mountain.
It is Saturday, the weather is amazing, my train was packed full of everyone else doing the same thing.
I got off with everyone else at Omoshiroyamakogen, and we all wondered why the train only makes 3 stops here a day, especially on weekends. Lots of other trains go past but they do not stop, more on that later because that situation is idiotic.
So I am standing looking at the map of the ravine, thinking to myself its really not very far, and an overly excited and happy American who is there with his 3 young friends charges over to me, and without asking any other question, proceeds to excitedly yell, 'WHAT CHURCH DO YOU BELONG TO?!?!???!!!'
My answer, none, get lost. The way his face went from a huge smile to sadness was perfect. Not another word was spoken between us.

I now decided to alter my plans, and climb the mountain, instead of walking along the ravine with a thousand other people. If time permitted, I would come back down the mountain, then walk along the ravine (assuming enough remaining light), then jog along the road in the dark to the next station where the trains are more frequent.
Big day! Luckily I had water and calorie mate.
The sign suggested the mountain would take 4 or 5 hours up and back.

So off I set, excited. The I slipped and removed skin from one knee, then I did the other, I had gone only a few hundred metres, it was so slippery going up the creek which I assumed, pay attention now... I assumed was the path.
Then I broke the thing on my camera that holds the strap on, its metal but still it snapped, and so my camera went flying. After I slid down to get it, still holding the strap and case in my hand, surprisingly the camera was still fine. I have been thinking for years I will smash the camera soon. It buzzes and does weird stuff sometimes but still works.
I kept trying to get up this steep rock waterfall / creek, which was moss, icy water and billions of leaves. After slipping and sliding a few more times, I decided to give up, a few hundred metres in well over an hour!
Now to get down, that was fast, I slid down and got very wet, and used my bum to slow my descent. I am not sure how I didnt wear through my Chinese army pants.
I was now within site of being back at the road where the sign pointed to the start of the path, and I saw two other people start the climb (presumably they came by car as no train had come), and thats when I saw it, no more than 10 steps from the road, the path went hard right, it did not follow the icy slippery dangerous creek I had battled for hours. Why do I keep missing obvious paths at the very start of each journey?

So I was defeated! I lost the battle with the mountain, there was now no time, instead I enjoyed the ravine almost to myself, then ran along the road to the next station, then climbed the 1000 steps, and took way too many photos in the excellent weather.
Since returning I have transferred the strap from the right side of my camera to the left side, so its good to go again!

Now what will I be doing tomorrow then? I will be returning to this station, and climbing the mountain I never originally intended to climb, ensuring I turn right 10 steps from the road!
I may have lost the battle but I will not lose the, yeah you know how that goes.

I did my best to cut as many photos as possible from below!

Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - What a great day, no cloud, very blue sky, to the ravine, or mountain, or actually the ravine!

What a great day, no cloud, very blue sky, to the ravine, or mountain, or actually the ravine!


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - The train leaves later than I would like, so I had to wander around the huge very busy station looking at stain glass windows.

The train leaves later than I would like, so I had to wander around the huge very busy station looking at stain glass windows.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - It is a small unattended station in between two long tunnels. The express train back took way longer than the local train there as it kept stopping in

It is a small unattended station in between two long tunnels. The express train back took way longer than the local train there as it kept stopping in random spots where theres 2 tracks to let trains going the other way pass. Stopping for 10 minutes at a time, instead they should just stop at the stations and pass at stations and go to the station that everyone wants to go to more often. Station.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - There will be colors today. And views, lots of views.

There will be colors today. And views, lots of views.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Just some of the tourists enjoying the colors. I think at least 300 people got off at the station, most are descending below this bridge into the ravi

Just some of the tourists enjoying the colors. I think at least 300 people got off at the station, most are descending below this bridge into the ravine to enjoy the views. (Color / Station / View).


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - So I decided instead to go up the mountain first, or instead, depending on time. Missing the path was silly, I do it a lot, and dangerous, sliding dow

So I decided instead to go up the mountain first, or instead, depending on time. Missing the path was silly, I do it a lot, and dangerous, sliding down was kind of uncontrollable, but fun!


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - This is near the point I decided to turn around. White flag waived. Nice colors.

This is near the point I decided to turn around. White flag waived. Nice colors.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - More colors from a place on a mountain nowhere near any path.

More colors from a place on a mountain nowhere near any path.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Last one of these, perhaps no human has been here before!

Last one of these, perhaps no human has been here before!


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - And back by the road is the actual path, with people going up, and steps and ropes. I was annoyed at myself. I blame the leaves, I was obviously dazzl

And back by the road is the actual path, with people going up, and steps and ropes. I was annoyed at myself. I blame the leaves, I was obviously dazzled by their amazing colors and suffered from temporary sign eclipsia.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Oh well, into the ravine we go, no chance of getting lost here.

Oh well, into the ravine we go, no chance of getting lost here.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - There are 4 waterfalls to admire, with leaf colors.

There are 4 waterfalls to admire, with leaf colors.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - It is rocky and a little slippery, but they have cut a very good path into the rocks.

It is rocky and a little slippery, but they have cut a very good path into the rocks.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - A rare sighting of another human. You cross the river at least 10 times on bridges of various construction. This guy was just hanging around all day w

A rare sighting of another human. You cross the river at least 10 times on bridges of various construction. This guy was just hanging around all day with his tripod waiting for his favourite leaf to be illuminated just how he wants it.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - More bridges.

More bridges.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - And a fun bouncy suspension bridge, with some of the rotten wood replaced, but not all of it. How do they decide when its rotten enough to replace? Wh

And a fun bouncy suspension bridge, with some of the rotten wood replaced, but not all of it. How do they decide when its rotten enough to replace? When someone falls through presumably.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - More colors and path. Not much else to say.

More colors and path. Not much else to say.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Cameras still do not do bright sky and dark ravine anywhere near as well as the human eye.

Cameras still do not do bright sky and dark ravine anywhere near as well as the human eye.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Nice path.

Nice path.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Another waterfall. The internet is full of photos using light filters or ND filters I think they are called to make the water look like milk, cause th

Another waterfall. The internet is full of photos using light filters or ND filters I think they are called to make the water look like milk, cause thats the only use for the filters they bought.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Looking back.

Looking back.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Bright sun now, making photos even trickier. Good view though. I wish my camera had a viewfinder to look at the view though.

Bright sun now, making photos even trickier. Good view though. I wish my camera had a viewfinder to look at the view though.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Another one looking back.

Another one looking back.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - This one is here because you can see the train track at the top. I stood hoping a train would come past, none did.

This one is here because you can see the train track at the top. I stood hoping a train would come past, none did.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Last one from in the ravine.

Last one from in the ravine.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - One last bridge and then steps to get out.

One last bridge and then steps to get out.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Last part is a small tunnel, too low to stand up straight in.

Last part is a small tunnel, too low to stand up straight in.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - From up here I could see tomorrows mountain which defeated me today.

From up here I could see tomorrows mountain which defeated me today.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Now a 5km run down this nice road through a forest. Very refreshing. My damp bum provided a cooling influence behind me.

Now a 5km run down this nice road through a forest. Very refreshing. My damp bum provided a cooling influence behind me.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Sometimes the forest got out of the way of an excellent view.

Sometimes the forest got out of the way of an excellent view.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Another awkward selfie.

Another awkward selfie.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Getting close to the town of Yamadera now, such great views.

Getting close to the town of Yamadera now, such great views.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - The temple and tourists, thousands of them. The stairs up the mountain side were slow going as lots of old people are making the ascent.

The temple and tourists, thousands of them. The stairs up the mountain side were slow going as lots of old people are making the ascent.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - You have to keep Japanese Jesus happy with paper windmills and little dolls.

You have to keep Japanese Jesus happy with paper windmills and little dolls.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - I studied the map, it did not look far. I had read about how this is a soul destroying climb. Pffft. You can even buy a stick and have it stamped at e

I studied the map, it did not look far. I had read about how this is a soul destroying climb. Pffft. You can even buy a stick and have it stamped at each temple on the way up.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - I pushed to the front of the queue of people taking photos of this tree with tripods, ladders and huge cameras.

I pushed to the front of the queue of people taking photos of this tree with tripods, ladders and huge cameras.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - One of the temples.

One of the temples.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Another one, and the one with the best view, but not the top one, which did not have such a great view, hence I return to this one later, dont worry y

Another one, and the one with the best view, but not the top one, which did not have such a great view, hence I return to this one later, dont worry you will understand.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Great view.

Great view.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - The top temple photo didnt even make it onto the page, instead, heres the viewing deck and lots of people in the temple with a view.

The top temple photo didnt even make it onto the page, instead, heres the viewing deck and lots of people in the temple with a view.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - The view away from the preferred side for view, viewing the view towards the city of Yamagata.

The view away from the preferred side for view, viewing the view towards the city of Yamagata.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - Todays best view, word of the day is view, it trumped ravine which I thought would be word of the day.

Todays best view, word of the day is view, it trumped ravine which I thought would be word of the day.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - The temple town of Yamadera is nice, you can go and splash in the open sewer.

The temple town of Yamadera is nice, you can go and splash in the open sewer.


Japan-Sendai-Omoshiroyama-Hiking-Yamadera - And whilst waiting for the train, tomorrows mountain stares at me, mocking my failure. I typed todays update really fast because the train back took s

And whilst waiting for the train, tomorrows mountain stares at me, mocking my failure.
I typed todays update really fast because the train back took so damn long and I am starving, hope it makes sense! Maybe I will even re read it and update it later to include more uses of the word view.


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