hiking Hakuunzan (白雲山) at Myōgisan (妙義山)
It was raining last week-end, its the rainy season after all, so like two weeks ago, I went hiking with friends ; this time to Myōgisan (妙義山). Four years ago I went to Ura-Myōgisan (裏妙義山) (literally the back of Myōgisan), this time was the occasion to traverse all the summits of the main ridge.
Rain was forecast in the beginning of the afternoon, so we had decided to spend the night at the parking at the start of the hike to leave very early with the objective to do the full traverse from the Myōgi-jinja temple (妙義神社), up to Nakanotake-jinja temple (中之嶽神社) passing by Hakuunzan (白雲山) and Kondōzan (金洞山) summits. We left at 6:00 in the morning from the temple, heading to Dainoji (大の字, the white 大 character bolted in the middle of the mountain).
With the heat and humidity, and no wind in a quite dense vegetation and at low altitude, we had more the feeling of hiking in a tropical jungle than in mountain. Arrived at Oku-no-in (奥ノ院), a kind of remote annex of the temple in a mountain cave, despite it hadn’t started to rain, we were soaked by sweat…
It’s passed Oku-no-in that the climbing up and down sections, equipped with chains started to follow one after another.
The summits being quite steep and rocky, we were expecting to enjoy nice aerial views, but there was none. The vegetation, quite dense up to the rocky summits and ridges and cloud not helping we couldn’t see much.
In the downhill from Sōmadake (相馬岳), a sign is warning people to pull back if you don’t have a rope because despite the downhill has some few short steep rocky sections they are not equipped with chains and depending on people’s level and conditions a rope can indeed be necessary. Although we had one we didn’t used it and kept going to the Hokkiri (掘切 or ホッキリ) pass. Half way on the ridge, while we still had to climb Kondōzan summits it started to rain. We decided to stop there and took the trail going down. So we were back to the parking earlier than originally planned. Soaked by the sweat more than by rain the bath in the nearby Myōgi-fureai-plaza (妙義ふれあいプラザ) hot springs was a real pleasure. We’ll go back to finish the ridge but definitely not in the summer. Next time I’ll go back in autumn.
You fill find all the useful information (lodges, access, security, maps, hot springs…) about Myōgisan (妙義山) and Ura-Myōgi (裏妙義山) area in this article.