My wife and daughter at the summit of Mt. Futatsumori, Gifu.

Camping and Hiking: Mt. Byobu, Tsukechi River, and Mt. Futatsumori

It’s been a fairly quiet month for hiking for two reasons.

First came the seasonal rain causing havoc everywhere. It seems to be getting worse year on year. Like most other resident foreigners, when I first came to Japan I despised the never-ending eye sores of concrete river banks and roadside hills, but the longer I’ve stayed the more I’ve realised how necessary they can be. A trade off for sure – the beauty of the natural world verses (perceived) safety and peace of mind. Nature always wins in the end though no matter what we do.

  • Hiking down Mt. Byobu in the forest. Wooden signs show the way.
  • We made it. A close up of our hiking shoes on Mt. Byobu.

And then came the summer heat. Mid-thirties temperatures and we’re not even halfway through July combined with humidity so high that three showers a day and a couple of changes of shirts are the norm. All of which means I have only been out with my family on a couple of occasions, and not at all alone.

First we hiked Mt. Byobu (屏風山) near Mizunami (瑞浪市) followed a few weeks later by a family camp along the Tsukechi River (付知川) in Nakatsugawa (中津川) with an early morning hike up Mt. Futatsumori (二つ森山) that was supposed to be short and gentle but ended up being ruthless – steep, slippery, and humid – but worth it for the view at the top, especially of Mt. Shiomi (塩見岳). Futatsumoriyama is definitely a place to return to once the seasons change and the landscape becomes more colourful.

The summit of Mt. Futatsumori on a clear day. Nakatsugawa and Mt. Shiomi in the distance.

Both hikes were in southeast Gifu and you can find detailed routes here and here on my Yamap account.


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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.