Hiking: Eboshigadake

Photo above – The summit of Eboshigadake


Finally. The trails are open and the longer hikes are possible again. Back in 2014 I hiked up Eboshigadake (2291m・烏帽子岳) in southern Nagano and have wanted to return for a long time. I could hardly walk for a week after the first hike and although my legs feel sore again 2020 isn’t 2014 and I have a lot more hiking in my legs to help ease the pain. Things should be all good again by tomorrow.

Eboshigadake is one of many mountains with the same name. I also hiked up this one last year and often get confused – Eboshidake, Eboshigatake, Eboshigadake? This one is in the southern Chuo Alps accessible from the trailhead in Matsukawa (松川), just north of Iida (飯田).

There isn’t much to look at on the hike up at this time of year until you reach the summit where you get a great view of Minami Komagatake (南駒ヶ岳), but there is plenty to listen to. With a huge gap in my knowledge of forest and mountain birds in Japan I’d love to be able to put bird songs to actual sightings. Yes, I’m approaching (already in) middle age so maybe that has a lot to do with it but there’s no denying it – the sound of the forest surpasses the hum and drum of city life. Give me peace and quiet of a solo hike over the excitement of the city any day. Read The Nature Fix by Florence Williams if you want to know more.

So I made another simple sound recording on my iPhone. From 01:04 there’s the sound of a bird like no other. If anyone knows what it is, I’d love to know.

And here’s a link to the route on Yamap and below a short video on YouTube that I shot at the summit. As I’ve subscribed to Yamap’s Premium service I also get access to some spooky videos of the climb as well. I thought they had me marked as pregnant when I first saw it.

A quick word about the video. I have no intention of becoming a YouTuber so this video, as well as any subsequent ones, is purely for reference.

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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