There are times out in the middle of nowhere when you can’t believe that you are actually there and this was one of them. Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya—big cities all unimaginable while stood at the summit of places like this.
The weather this August—torrential rain day after day for almost two weeks. One of my goals this month was to do plenty of hiking, with Mt. Shiomi (塩見岳) in the Minami Alps being the main objective. Mt. Shiomi is a mountain I’ve wanted to climb for some time now but never quite managed it.
I first visited the small town of Wajima (輪島) on the Noto Peninsula (能登半島) while on a bike packing trip back in 2015. Protruding out into the Sea of Japan on the Hokuriku coast (北陸), the Noto Peninsula is one of my favourite places in Japan, and one that has been regularly visited since that first trip.
This month we went hiking first up Mt. Byobu (屏風山), followed a few weeks later by the last family camp we’ll do for a while because of the heat along the Tsukechi River (付知川), and an early morning hike up Mt. Futatsumori (二つ森山) that was supposed to be gentle but ended up being ruthless – steep, slippery, and humid – but worth it for the view at the top.
This was the third time I’ve hiked this trail. In July 2019 Sampukutoge was the goal but then I was unaware that an additional 40 minutes southwest to Eboshidake would, on a clear day, present me with a clear view of Mt. Fuji.
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.
Ashihama remains wild and isolated. You can hear the deer, see the eagles soaring above, and see telltale signs of wild boar everywhere. If Chubu Electric had had their way then it would be the site of a nuclear power plant today.
Saturday was a washout with heavy rain all day but that made for a lush forest with a gushing, overflowing tiny stream running down through it on Sunday. Slippy and treacherous rocks, yes, but if you take it slowly and look where you’re going you have little to worry about.