My daughter exploring the mountain hut.

Hiking: Takadoyasan, Nagano

We didn’t make it all the way to Takadoyasan (高鳥屋山) – I was carrying 11 kilos of daughter on my back and I’d never hiked this trail before. Logic dictated that we take it easy and stay well within our limits.

It was a tough steep start but once we reached the plateau the hike became much more manageable. My daughter absolutely loved it, giggling constantly as we hiked our way through overgrown bushes, and bobbing up and down with joy on the descent.

My wife has always been a much faster descender than me so she often goes off trail running into the distance leaving me alone to trudge back solo. But not anymore, now I have a constant bundle of fun on my back no matter how far off into the distance my wife decides to run.

A note to myself: I need to make an audio recording of her giggles as we hike sometime soon to play to myself whenever I feel stressed. One-hundred percent guaranteed medicine for the soul.

  • The trail entrance along a logging road.
  • My daughter exploring the mountain hut.
  • Inside the mountain hut.
  • Looking out over Iida towards the Minami Alps.
  • My daughter playing with my trekking poles.

There’s a link to the route here on Yamap. I briefly forgot to stop tracking the route when we got back to the car so ignore the last one kilometre or so when I was apparently hiking at 40kph.


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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.