Sunday, October 11, 2015

Kamikochi - Great Old Route Via Tokugo Pass #1

Let's go to mountains with your Brompton. Yesterday Brompton and I  traced the Grand Old Route to Kamikochi.

[Ride and Trekking Data]
Route: Kamikochi bus terminal(05:30am)~Myojin~Tokugo Pass~Iwanadome Lodge~Futamata~Simashima~Shin-Shimashima Station (Kamikochi Grand Old Route)
Distance: 33.5 km
Max. difference of elevation: 1,419 m
Average % of slope:  total: -2.3% ascent: 8.6% descent: 8%
Acquired elevation:  ascent: 726 m descent: 1,503 m

As you may remember that I went to Kamikochi to watch the best autumn tints in Karasawa last week. This time I brought my Brompton there to climb and traverse the great old trail to Kamikochi. The trail was only the route from outside to Kamikochi for more than several hundred years and the famous figures, such as Ryunosuke Akutagawa and Walter Weston, used to follow the route.

Arriving at Kamikochi very early in the morning. I found that several hundreds of people were about to depart for the mountains.

In order to reach Tokugo Pass, Brompton and I needed to go to Myojin where the old grand trail to Shimashima via Tokugo Pass started. As you do not know, due to the bike-offlimit rule in Kamikochi, I have to pull the bike instead of to ride before arriving the entrance of the trail. 

As I did not like to have climbers and hikers being surprised with my bike, I crossed the Azusa river over the Kappa Bridge to use another trail to Myojin on the north bank. This route was less popular and I expected less people. It was true that there was a quiet Kamikochi environment early in the morning. It was completely another world from the main route to Tokusawa in the south bank.

Autumn leaves have already turned into red and yellow.

Mount Myojin in morning glow.

There were dead whitened trees in the pond of very clear water with backdrops of high mountains. It was really a perfect landscape of Kamikochi.

Prayed for today's safety at the Hodaka Shrine.

Then crossing Myojin Bridge to reach the entrance of the trail leading to the Tokugo pass and Shimashima.

I reached out the crossroad to both Tokusawa/Yokoo and Tokugo Pass/Shimashima. As it was the first day of three consecutive holidays of October in Japan, so many mountain climbers and hikers were walking with big rucksacks toward Tokusawa/Yokoo to head to the famous mountains such as Mt. Yari and Mt. Hodaka. Today Brompton and I directed to the Tokugo Pass for Shimashima. I started to ride from here.

The slope was getting steeper and steeper. On the mid way, I gave up to continue a ride and got off to pull the bike.

In the midst of climbing I enjoyed a beautiful contrast between rocky Hodaka Moutain range and autumn tints.

There was a water supply point before the pass. The spring water is cold, clear and very tasty.

800 meters left.

Brompton and I continued to progress toward the pass.

200 meters left to the first destination.

We arrived at Tokugo Pass around 9 am.

(to be continued to #2)

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