Memories for a Journal: Agematsu Night Hike

Late last summer I went on a solo night hike up the Chuo Alps from Agematsu in Nagano. The A Course hike as it is known is infrequently used by other hikers as the east side from Komagane is far more popular. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone else use it. That night I nearly got myself into trouble as I was hiking along a cliff face, in the dark, amongst the clouds in the rain, on a trail I’d never hiked before.

For all I know it may be have been completely safe and it was the conditions that were playing with my mind. But visibility was low and my instinct told me that there was a shear drop below. I’ll have to go back later this year and take another look.

Either way, the memory of that hike is one that will remain for a long time and it’s for that reason that I found myself printing out a few photos on some more Japanese washi paper to put into my journal.

It isn’t the spectacular views at the summit that remain in my memory, it’s the darkness, the humidity at the base and the cold at the summit. I can’t wait to get back and having the photos in my journal where I can see them everyday acts as a reminder that adventures are never far away and that there are rarely any excuses for not going on them.

Cycled since I was a kid, moved to Japan in 2001, bought my first 'serious' camera in 2005. Spent the later half of the 1990s travelling in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Japan, and the Philippines and wish I'd photographed a lot more back then.

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