8th Oct 2014 ( 2nd day )
Enzanso ( 2704m 6:30 AM ) - Otensho Hutte ( 2766m 9:30 AM ) - Nishidake ( 2758m 14:30 PM ) This is very very slow speed.
I waked up 5:30 AM and waiting for sun rise. ( Sun rise is about 5:45 AM on that day. ) Most of the people waked up and waiting for Sun. I think this is the difference between Japan and European countries. In Japan seeing sun rise is the biggest event or purpose to come to mountain. However I cannot see so many people who wait for Sunrise in Europe Alps. Of course some people are waiting for Sunrise in Europe. However not so many people waiting in Europe than Japan.
My pet is still sleeping as usual. However here is Japan. I forced him to wake up and let him see rising Sun. Especially Sun rising at Enzanso is very nice. You can enjoy violet/ pink color sky just before Sun rise above a field of cloud. When I worked at Enzanso, I enjoyed sun rise every day. Sun rising is mysteriously different everyday.
Just before sunrise
After the sun rising, mountain hut served breakfast. We ordered lunch box instead of breakfast because I would like to start as early as possible just in case. Today we expect to go to Mt. Yari. Originally I expect to spend 2days from Enzanso to Mt. Yari. However we started one day delay because of the typhoon. So I decided to walk through from Enzanso to Mt. Yari for one day which I have done 2 years ago and I have already known how hard it is for me.
Originally I wanted to start at 6:00 AM .However my pet was very slow to prepare and complained that I left him yesterday and enjoyed drinking with mountain staff. Also it seems that he still feel high mountain sickness. So we argued if he is going to return to his home or carry on walking.
Eventually he decided to carry on walking with me and we departed Enzanso 6:30 AM. 2 years ago, I left Enzanso 6:00 AM and arrived at Mt. Yari 16:00. So I tried my best to walk in order to recover delayed start. However my pet walked very slow and cannot follow me and we argued many times.
Finally I decided not to go Mt. Yari today and stay at Nishidake Hutte which is located middle of Enzanso and Mt. Yari. I called Nishidake Hutte and booked today's space and food because Nishidake Hute is about closing and required booking for staying.
In summer, most of the mountain hut in Japan northern Alps will not require booking for only 1 or 2 people staying. ( Required booking for large group.) However some mountain hut is preparing their closing or already closed in end of September or October. So I recommend to check before actually going on September / October.
In addition, I just would like to tell you. My UK phone is not working at all in Japan alps. So I normally rental Docomo's ( name of mobile phone company in Japan ) mobile phone at arrival Airport. Docomo is the most reliable in Japan northern alps. There are almost no signal for other company's mobile phone. However please note Docomo cannot cover everything. There are no signal at Sugoroku where we stayed 3rd and 4th day.
I personally think this route is similar great as " Tour de Mont Blan " or " Haute route " in Europe Alps. I am very proud of this trekking route in Japan. Especially our today's route is very enjoyable. Firstly there are not so steep climbing and there are not so high tree. So we can enjoy the nice view ! Also we can see great view of Mt. Yari or Mt. Hodaka during today's route.
In summer, there are a lots of people walking this route and mountain hut is extremely crowded and I would not recommend to stay... Sometimes you have to share very small space to other people... So I would recommend to walk weekday at end of September or very beginning of October. Please do not go during Japan long weekend. ( Sometimes Japan have long weekend like Saturday / Sunday / Monday 3 days off. Normally there are too many people anywhere in Japan ! ) You would face too many people and you may be disappointed.
Also there are the risk of snowing at end of September or October. So I normally bring winter jacket and warm hut and globe and very small size of crampon. Previously, I met unexpected snow in 2500m altitude and felt very scared in beginning of October. If you go to Japan northern alps in end of September or beginning of October, please
prepare for winter gear too. We don't know what is going to happen altitude 3000 m mountain. Morning temperature was approx 0 degree on our 2nd day and you would be feel very cold.
In addition, there are the risk of typhoon too... As mentioned above, we originally planned to start on 6th Oct. However big typhoon made us delay our start. Also we left the mountains just before coming next typhoon. Fortunately we enjoyed just between typhoon and typhoon. You may face typhoon in the mountain. In this case, please do not move and please stay at mountain hut. I believe you have already known that you cannot just go through in the typhoon which will be very dangerous.
However I still recommend this autumn season because we could enjoy quiet northern alps and great autumn colors. Actually I would not go Japan alps in end of July or August because I have already experienced too many people mountain and mountain hut. I had enough and no need this experience again.
You can enjoy Mt. Yari view all the way through this route.
Mt. Yari from Ushikubi
Very nice and enjoyable trekking route.
I had no time to go up this view point ( Ushikubi Tenbo dai ) 2 years ago. However I had enough time this time and enjoyed great view ! Really recommended. Can you see the very little shrine behind the sign ? I have put 1 coin to them.
My pet was very lazy and enjoyed cold drink and conversation with other mountaineer at Otensho Hutte during my climbing up & down to this view point.
Top of Ushikubi Tenbodai
2 years ago, I was so concentrated on walking and no time to enjoy the view. However I enjoyed so much this time. I have to appreciate to my pet... This route some time has up and down. However basically very nice easy walking.
Trekking Route around Nishidake
I have heard Mt. Jonen is the symbol for Matsumoto/Nagano people. Now I understand my friend from Nagano is very keen to go to Mt. Jonen instead of other mountain.
Autumn color has gone down to near the bottom. I assume there were great autumn colors in middle of mountain last week.
Late Autumn Mt. Yari
Mt. Jonen again. I have been to Mt. Jonen last year. It is very steep for me to climbing up near the summit. However it is worth to going for great view from Mt. Jonen.
This is the view from Mt. Nishidake. You can see our today's hut which is called Hutte Nishidake. This is unexpected staying. However I found out that the view from Nishidake is absolutely great. You can see Mt. Yari, Mt. Hodaka or other Japan mountain super stars ! Nishidake is not so famous. However I think this mountain is the great view point in Japan alps.
Can you see tomorrow's our route to Mt. Yari called " Higashi Kama One". It is a bit hard for me. Now we thought our choice to stay Nishidake is correct.
This is inside of Hutte Nishidake. Bedding is same as Enzanso which is very warm.
Hutte Nishidake Inside
There are only 4 people who stayed Hutte Nishidake on that day. Other 2 people are coming from Nakabusa this morning. I and my pet were so surprised their long walking today. They must be very trained men. We all 4 enjoyed talking or watching TV at Hut.
I have heard Hutte Nishidake customer service is not so good. I feel that they are very helpful and simple welcome to mountaineer. It seems that this is a kind old style of Japanese hut. I enjoyed staying simple and homely Hutte Nishidake.
Below is the typical mountain hut dinner in Japan. Miso soup, Rice and one big plate which contains a lot of kind of food! This looks like Japanese home food 20 years ago. We are really enjoyed this very nostalgia Japanese food. In addition, hut serve only big miso soup pot and rice pot .Somebody volunteer normally serve miso soup and rice for everyone at same / near the table. You can try !
Dinner plate : Cabbage, Japanese sweet beans, Fish ball, little meatball, Potato salada, Mini tomato, Raddish pickles, Stewed fish, boiled vegetable.
Dinner at Hutte Nishidake
Very luckily, this date was lunar eclipse date. This is the photo before eclipse. My pet and other mountaineers were waiting and saw eclipse. However I was so tired and slept and saw only from the little window in our room.
Moon from Nishidake