Monday, February 8, 2016

Mt. Nasu - Beautiful Snow Mountain with Brompton

Yesterday Brompton and I went out for a snow ride toward Mt. Nasu situated at about 150 km north of Tokyo. I wanted to see beautiful snow mountains in winter. In order to ride on the snow road, Brompton was equipped with a pair of 16-inch stud tires. 

Though the most upper part of Nasu Highland Road led to the gate of Mt. Nasu trail is closed to cars during winter, hikers can enter the closed section of 1.3 km at their own risk. During winter season there are a lot of climbers who want to climb snow-covered Mt. Nasu toward the peaks and to walk on the section .

route:  Oomaru Onsen busstop - Nasu Ropeway Station - Mt. Nasu - Oomaru Onsen 
distance: 7.33 km (4.81km to walk)
max. difference of an elevation: 494m

Brompton and I started from here. The road was closed to cars.

Fortunately snow on the road was only 2-3 inches that enabled Brompton to continue to climb. 

The sky was blue and there was almost no wind.

What a fantastic snow ride!

Brompton and I got close to the ropeway station. Due to heavier snow on the road from here, I needed to leave Brompton and started to walk on the snow-covered trail.

I just followed a group of experienced climbers.

This is the holy gate of Mt. Nasu, saying "mountain god". Yes, Mt. Nasu itself is a sacred object of the god and this Torii gate is an entrance to the holy area. Before the introduction of Buddhism, Japan traditionally had a worship of nature, named physiolatry. The tradition of physiolatory still exists in Japan and a great mountain like Mt. Nasu is often an object of strong faith among local people.

After 40-minute ascending on the trail, a shack came into my view on the ridge. That must be  the Toge Chaya Ato Shelter which is located in-between Mt. Asahi and Mt. Chausu.

When I looked at the snow mountain, groups of people were climbing in a row.

I arrived at the shelter in minutes.

As I was not tired, I wanted to climb a little more from the shelter for the better view.

Arrived at the point called Remains of Sulfur Mine. Here I was able to see steaming Mt. Chausu (1,915 meters), one of the peaks of Mt. Nasu, at close range. 

 In the back, look! This is Mt. Asahi, another peaks of Mt. Nasu, with an elevation of 1,896 meters. If you look the photo carefully, you will find a climber at the top of Mt. Asahi. (please click to enlarge.)

I really enjoyed the beauty of the snow mountains in Nasu.

After descending, I dipped myself into an open-air and natural hot river bath of famous Oomaru Hot Spring to relax.

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