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Newer Page 27 of 966 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Niigata Hiking Mount Yahiko

8 November 2019

Full range

Yahiko station to Mount Yahiko to Maki station

Today I walked almost a full mountain range. The smallest mountain range in Japan!
The people of Niigata are very proud to have the smallest mountain range in Japan, and they should be, its great. It is situated along the coast a bit south of Niigata city, pretty easy to get to but you do have to change trains once. I was expecting the station to be very basic and have just a vending machine, but actually Yahiko station is a very touristy spot, with shrines and lots of shops. It reminded me of a mini Kamakura.
I was a bit early for things to be open but I had a good look around before starting my climb. They seemed to be setting up for some kind of festival, probably flower related.

The actual hike today, to the top of Mount Yahiko and beyond was quite short. I also did not need to run unlike the previous couple of hikes, so I got a bit snap happy and took too many photos of trees and leaves and what not.

I probably should have studied the map a bit more, because when I came down from the mountains it was about an 8km walk to Maki station. A lonely walk through fields of rice. There was a bit of traffic to contend with and a couple of Lawson convenience stores to rehydrate at. All up it was just over 35k steps station to station. About 15k more steps than I was expecting.

Now onto the pics.

Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Here is Yahiko, and the small mountain range in the background. The train went through a smaller town with a ridiculously huge Torii gate on the way,

Here is Yahiko, and the small mountain range in the background. The train went through a smaller town with a ridiculously huge Torii gate on the way, Yahagi. I think this area has something to do with a deer and a rabbit. Probably an anime.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - You know you are in a tourist area when the station is painted red.

You know you are in a tourist area when the station is painted red.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Steam was coming out of various little shops to herald my arrival.

Steam was coming out of various little shops to herald my arrival.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - The little streets of Yahiko are lined with shops. Most were only just putting up their flags as I got there.

The little streets of Yahiko are lined with shops. Most were only just putting up their flags as I got there.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - People have made a real effort with their gardens. It is now illegal in Japan to take a photo like this. People recently got arrested for doing this i

People have made a real effort with their gardens. It is now illegal in Japan to take a photo like this. People recently got arrested for doing this in Kyoto! True story.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - There is a gate at the end of the street.

There is a gate at the end of the street.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Behold the gate, and flowers.

Behold the gate, and flowers.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - So many flowers.

So many flowers.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Ridiculous amounts of flowers.

Ridiculous amounts of flowers.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - There is no end to the flowers.

There is no end to the flowers.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Finally after hiking through displays of flowers for about 2 weeks I got to the shrine. I would walk along all those mountains behind it.

Finally after hiking through displays of flowers for about 2 weeks I got to the shrine. I would walk along all those mountains behind it.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - It was a really nice area. Old people would love to visit here. Also just out of the picture was a huge public toilet made out of enormous intricately

It was a really nice area. Old people would love to visit here. Also just out of the picture was a huge public toilet made out of enormous intricately carved old growth forest, with heating and a seating area to admire the toilets.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - MORE SIGNS LIKE THIS PLEASE! Very helpful.

MORE SIGNS LIKE THIS PLEASE! Very helpful.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - The first half of todays path, which roughly follows the cable car, was all steps with signs everywhere, and lots of people.

The first half of todays path, which roughly follows the cable car, was all steps with signs everywhere, and lots of people.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - About half way up a view appeared. This mountain is only 640m high, but you start at 20m, so its still sweat inducing. It is located very near the coa

About half way up a view appeared. This mountain is only 640m high, but you start at 20m, so its still sweat inducing. It is located very near the coast and as you can see the farm land is dead flat.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - It was quite colorful, but the very grey sky prevented me from having a retina explosion.

It was quite colorful, but the very grey sky prevented me from having a retina explosion.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Behold the Ocean, the East China Sea, and Sado Island.

Behold the Ocean, the East China Sea, and Sado Island.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Here is the view down the coast. It never rained once all day despite threatening to for most of it.

Here is the view down the coast. It never rained once all day despite threatening to for most of it.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - I have done well to hide the communication towers. This spot is a little bit away from the top cable car station, but theres a concrete path up to her

I have done well to hide the communication towers. This spot is a little bit away from the top cable car station, but theres a concrete path up to here, so quite a few people hanging about hacking up phlegm and chortling snot while eating cup noodles, and a mini shrine with a priest inside selling blessings.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Now I will walk all the way along all the ridges of the entire range. Whats that strange pole on the left?

Now I will walk all the way along all the ridges of the entire range. Whats that strange pole on the left?


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Before we go look at the mystery pole, here is my head. Also a mystery as to how a head so large stays on my shoulders. That vein in my forehead still

Before we go look at the mystery pole, here is my head. Also a mystery as to how a head so large stays on my shoulders. That vein in my forehead still hasnt reappeared!


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - So flat.

So flat.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - OK, this pole has a cylinder full of people that goes up it very slowly, its near the top here. It rotates as it goes up. I dont really understand how

OK, this pole has a cylinder full of people that goes up it very slowly, its near the top here. It rotates as it goes up. I dont really understand how its a better view than where I am standing, except that you get to go inside a strange contraption that looks like it was made 50 years ago. The cylinder thing is large, it has 2 levels of stadium seating. There were quite a few people trapped inside of it. To get down to the base of it you take a little step train thing. It seems like a lot of effort to go to so that you can enjoy the same view.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Theres also a lot of restaurants as you shall see. Here is the view from the roof of the restaurant complex.

Theres also a lot of restaurants as you shall see. Here is the view from the roof of the restaurant complex.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - All the standard Japanese fare. Very reasonable prices too. They dont serve dog meat according to the sign. Disappointing.

All the standard Japanese fare. Very reasonable prices too. They dont serve dog meat according to the sign. Disappointing.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - There are 3 levels of restaurants. Each with roughly the same menu.

There are 3 levels of restaurants. Each with roughly the same menu.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Here I have walked a bit along the ridge away from the popular area. It is a semi manicured garden for a while. There is also a road up here, a Skylin

Here I have walked a bit along the ridge away from the popular area. It is a semi manicured garden for a while. There is also a road up here, a Skyline as they call it. Skyline is not just a type of Japanese car, its a type of Japanese road. Generally it means theres a high toll to pay to drive on it. Look at all the communication towers!


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Soon after, the path became excellent. There were only a handful of people for the next few hours.

Soon after, the path became excellent. There were only a handful of people for the next few hours.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Summit #2, which is only about 1 metre lower than the main summit, has almost no view. Theres a large weather station thing with the golf balls attach

Summit #2, which is only about 1 metre lower than the main summit, has almost no view. Theres a large weather station thing with the golf balls attached blocking the view.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Then it became my favourite kind of path. Colorful, silvery trees, gently sloping downwards. I love steep uphill, but prefer gentle down hill.

Then it became my favourite kind of path. Colorful, silvery trees, gently sloping downwards. I love steep uphill, but prefer gentle down hill.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Every time the sun poked out, I was too late to capture the color before it disappeared again. The sun was teasing me.

Every time the sun poked out, I was too late to capture the color before it disappeared again. The sun was teasing me.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - I passed a number of mini shrines and graves on my way down. Heres a low down view looking back towards Niigata. A good spot to urinate I decided.

I passed a number of mini shrines and graves on my way down. Heres a low down view looking back towards Niigata. A good spot to urinate I decided.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - Once down from my small mountain range, I had a long walk back to the station. There were a few abandoned looking hotels, and this colorful place on i

Once down from my small mountain range, I had a long walk back to the station. There were a few abandoned looking hotels, and this colorful place on its own that looks like Pachinko Parlour. I suspect it too is abandoned.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - That is a smaller bit of the range I did not climb. I think I should of. I came down too soon and walked too far along the road.

That is a smaller bit of the range I did not climb. I think I should of. I came down too soon and walked too far along the road.


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - As you can see, I had to walk a long way away from the mountain to get to the station. I walked all the way along all of those ridges. The angry geese

As you can see, I had to walk a long way away from the mountain to get to the station. I walked all the way along all of those ridges. The angry geese in this photo chased me, but I am fast. I only had to kick one of them (in self defence of course).


Japan-Niigata-Hiking-Mount Yahiko - After an unexpectedly long walk I arrived back at Maki station. During my 20 minute wait for the train the guard came and checked my pass 3 times. I s

After an unexpectedly long walk I arrived back at Maki station. During my 20 minute wait for the train the guard came and checked my pass 3 times. I suspect he had not seen one before? Today was a much longer and much more interesting day than I thought it would be! I used too many exclamation points!!


NewerPage 27 of 966OlderFull Trip Report