fleeing the Japanese Alps

by site editor Rick McCharles

Just arrived back to civilization. …

I’m near certain the most popular overnight hiking destination in Japan is Kamikōchi.

People go to walk high ridges and scramble Mount Yari (槍ヶ岳 Yari-ga-take), … one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains. … 3,180 m (10,433 ft).

For two days we had perfect weather. (Trip report and photos coming soon.) I put up my tent on a ridge a couple of hundred metres beneath the “spear” (槍 yari).

The first night was fantastic, one of the best spots I’ve ever camped. Both sunset and sunrise.

… but the second night a raucous storm blew in at 10pm. Now I know why none of the Japanese selected such an exposed position.

I listened to an audio book all night, frantic to pack up my soaked belongings at first light, escaping directly to the Tokyo bus.

As a result I missed the infamous “Daikiretto” (die-key-ret-toe – all I see is ‘DIE’).

It will be too late in the season for me this Autumn, but one day I’d love to do the 65km Tate-Yama to Kamikochi traverse of the “Northern Alps”.

It’s somewhat similar to the GR20 in Corsica.

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