Jōgasaki (城ヶ崎), Ocean (オーシャン) crag
If I have already been to Ocean rock (オーシャン・ロック) several years ago to climb the two left-most routes easily accessible from the cove, I had never climbed any of the many cracks starting from above the ocean. Our new-year four days plan in Jōgasaki (城ヶ崎) was a good opportunity to go and do something else so we decided to go back to Ocean rock and try some of those routes. And belaying above the sea by a perfect weather was appealing.
We just had the time to climb the next two routes:
- Hottentotto (ホッテントット) which is an easy 5.7 crack with a 5.10a offwidth boulder problem in the middle
- Mistrel (ミストレル) a wide hand 5.9, a little bit spicy for the grade
Once we got back down at the end of the day, one of my friend tried the 5.10a fist crack called Boxery (ボクサー) and got bitten up. So we’ll have to go back there for him to work on that crack and me to try some of the other many routes above the ocean.
Ocean rock is a very nice easy crag. Because only two routes are easily accessible it is not very popular. Right of those two routes are three routes starting on a platform above the sea but accessible by soloing an easy 3 meters crack. All the other cracks are accessible only by rappelling down from the top. The next couple of cracks start from behind a wine bottle shaped rock which provides a comfortable belay platform. Most of the remaining routes will require to setup a hanging belay. If it can be challenging and cold when there are strong wind and strong sea, it is very enjoyable by good weather and calm sea and it’s not everywhere that you can belay and climb just above the sea. So when conditions are good it is definitely a unique and worth going crag.
Access from Tōkyō
Coming by public transportation, the best option is to get off at Jōgasaki-kaigan (城ヶ崎海岸) station and walk or take a taxi to the Renchakuji (蓮着寺) temple and follow South the coast trail. If you come by car, you can park near the temple but will have to pay for the parking or park at Igaigane (イガイガ根) parking for free equipped with toilets (see the map in Jōgasaki article).
When setting up your rappel, watch out for all the loose rocks at the top. Make sure you set it up at the end of the route in a way that you won’t pull a big rock on your head when pulling the rope (or if you climb top rope) while you’re hanging on your belay station just above the ocean. Rescue will be a real nightmare! Try also your best not to get your rope wet by dropping on side in the sea when pulling it.
Information about Jōgasaki
Check this page for other climbing videos and more detailed information regarding Jōgasaki.