Hiking: Mt. Ibuki

When on high or open ground in Nagoya it’s not unusual to see Mt. Ibuki (伊吹山) looming far off in the distance to the northwest (not to be confused with Mt. Ontake to the northeast).

It’s a popular and well known hike that I am yet to complete. I’ve driven up at least twice on the private Ibukiyama Skyline road, and raced up it once on my road bike back in 2007 or so. I finished 20 something out of 140 for my age group which I’m still quite happy about.

Last week my wife and I tried to hike it but I had been cautioned by a good friend and very experienced hiker that if the weather deteriorates and it turns into a whiteout then it would be best to turn around and try another day.

That’s exactly what happened. Halfway up the snow started to fall, the temperature plummeted and it felt pointless to continue on. I get the appeal of struggling through the cold, wind, and snow – to brave the elements and to not give up – but I’d rather do that on my bicycle (which I do regularly), not when out hiking with my wife.

I often use the wonderful Yamap app as a guide for hiking to estimate how long the hike will take and what recent conditions are like on the trails. There will always be somebody crazier than you that has made it to the summit and posted a photo or two that you can use as a reference.

Based in Japan since 2001 I spend free days adventuring into the mountainous regions of central Honshu and occasionally Hokkaido. In 2021, I plan to slow down and talk to more people. Feel free to email me.

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