Much rest wasn’t planned. Maybe eat something nice, drink a beer and enjoy a hot spring and get some sleep in a bed for a change. More important was doing my laundry and refilling water. The previous four days in the Ushiro-Tateyama range were fun, and I was up for more.
I was confused why the Ushiro-Tateyama mountain range (from Jiigatake to Mt Shirouma) is called what it is. It means “rear Tateyama” which is weird from my point of view: isn’t it in front of Tateyama? The name of course would come from the other (Toyama) side, but it still feels weird.
A while back I walked into a bookshop and I spotted a mountain magazine focusing on the so-called kiretto of the country. These are gaps in the mountain range, often very “deep” cols with pretty tough terrain. This magazine named three as the “big three” of Japan: the Hachimine col between Mt Kashima-yari and Mt Goryuu, the Kaerazu col between Mt Karamatsu and Mt Shirouma, and the “great” dai-kiretto between Mt Hotaka and Mt Yari.
Alas this isn’t about seeing Avatar live, though I’d definitely love that too (not with the virus though, not anytime soon). This is, on the other hand about climbing three of the Hundred Famous Japanese Mountains in the Northern Alps – and one of them is called Washiba-dake, which would be “wings of the eagle.”
I got really fed up with sitting at home because of covid. So instead I rented a car and went for a snowy hike where I wouldn’t be likely to run into people: Mt Asama, an active volcano. In fact I only ran into 1-2 people on the way.
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?
If you’ve watched Yama no Susume, then you’ve heard of Mt Tanigawa. It’s the goal of a major arc of the story and an important memory to the characters. I went there in a different season though (in the snow), but didn’t climb the main summit. For no particular reason other than I didn’t realize the summit I was at wasn’t the highest point. Whoops.
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