While other countries have pretty harsh lockdown rules (from what I hear on the news), Japan is pretty lax about that. While commuting to work by train is discouraged, I figured going up in the mountains (where there are hardly any people) it can’t hurt, right?
I should be able to do it in a day (so no going there the previous night). It should be around 6-7 hours total. There are a few mountains that fulfill the conditions, but I decided to go back to Kumotori after a year and a half. The plan was the same.
The early morning start is really the only thing that makes this painful. The first bus gets to the trailhead a little before eight, but that means I need to wake up before four to catch all the connections. That is suffering. However, once on the trail, Kumotori is really pleasant.
While it’s a long hike (over 10km one way), there are no really steep bits. That’s also the reason it’s very popular with trail runners. Even with corona and this early in spring, I saw a bunch of people on the trail.
I didn’t pass the Nanatsu-ishi peak along the way, instead taking the route around it. This way it was about two hours to make it out on the Ishione ridge route, and from there another hour and a little to the summit.
On the way up I saw no snow except for a few patches in shady corners. However, the descent from the summit to the other side (toward Mitsumine) was a whole different story. It’s the north side of the mountain, so it was still covered in very deep (and loose) snow. I wasn’t equipped for that. I didn’t have any snow gear with me, not mention the route to Mitsumine isn’t as gentle as the climb from Kamozawa, so I decided to go back the way I came.
I totaled under 6.5 hours, which isn’t bad at all considering how out of shape I am because of the lockdown (gym’s closed). In retrospect though, it’s not a good idea to do this on a Sunday: I end up underslept because of the very early start and the hike is still pretty long (even if not hard) meaning I start the week the next day without being able to recover fully. And that sucks.