July 21, 2009

Mt. Kitadake, Yamanashi (July 17th)

The view from a bridge at Hirogawara.
Mt. Kitadake was hiding in the clouds.

Today's course:
JR Koufu Sta. (9:30) - by bus - Hirogawara BS (11:30) - lunch - Shirane-oike-goya Hut (14:40).

We went to hike up to Mt. Kitadake in the South Alps area.
Mt. Kitadake is the second highest mountain in Japan.
We took the bus from JR Koufu sta. to Hirogawara, from where the trail starts.
It took 2 hours by bus on the winding road when it went up to the bus stop.
From the bus stop, we walked a 20 or 25 minutes to get to the junction of the trail to Shirane-oike-goya hut and the trail by the creek. The trail up to the hut was pretty steep but we got to the hut earlier than we expected. On the way to the hut it started raining and we got all wet. It was really hard to take pictures under the umbrella. The hut was pretty new with clean toilets. The meals were okay there, but the ones we had at the huts in Yatsugatake was much nicer, I think.

Primula japonica (Kurin-sou).
It has mostly done, but we found a few flowers with bright color.

The Junction of the trails to the hut and by the creek.
From here the steep trail starts.

Maianthemum dilatatum (Maizuru-sou).
They got the berries already at the lower part of the trail, but we found the flowering ones at the higher part of the trail.

Isn't it steep a bit?

After lunch we had HUGE Rainier cherries for dessert.
It is not only HUGE but also sweet!

Platanthera ophrydioides var. monophylla (Kiso Chidori).

Platanthera ophrydioides var. monophylla (Kiso Chidori).
There are several kinds of orchids which look like this, so it is a little hard to identify, but I think this is it.

There are a couple of signs on the trail.
This one says the steep part of the trail ends there...We were relieved.

Monotropastrum humile (Ginryousou).

Geranium eriostemon var. reinii f. onoei (Takane Gun'nai Fuuro).

Geranium eriostemon var. reinii f. onoei (Takane Gun'nai Fuuro).

Lilium medeoloides (Kuruma Yuri).

Shirane-oike-goya Hut.

We saw some sunny spots on the mountains for a few minutes.

Some snow still remained.

Veronica schmidtiana var. senanensis (Miyama Kuwagata).

Shirane Oike pond.

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