Saturday, May 08, 2010

Climbing Akasakayama near lake Biwa

At the end of the Golden Week holiday we spent a night near the top of Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture, the largest lake in Japan. The weather was like a perfect summer, warm but without the humidity and mosquitos which blight the summer in Japan.

Akasakayama is an 800m mountain close to Biwako in an area popular for skiing in the winter.Even thought the campsite at the bottom of the trail was crowded very few people were actually climbing up the steep path. It is only 3.7km from the car park to the top but there is 600m of climbing so it is fairly steep. The initial parts have steps as shown in the picture. Further up the path follows a small stream.

I miss climbing in England where the hills rarely have trees so you have a good view as you climb. Most Japanese mountains are covered in trees so you only occasionaly get glimpses of the view from the mountain. Such as this back towards the lake with the campsite just visible at the bottom of the picture.

The other thing in Japan is that it seems impossible to escape from transmission towers. Almost every hill seems to have a line of them marching across it.

Finally the summit;
Then back down to have a hot bath in the Onsen at the bottom.

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