Mt Nabewari

The road goes ever on.

I set off from Mt Tōno-dake with renewed determination. On my way up here I had seen a sign pointing towards Mt Nabewari indicating 2.2km so I feel confident another hour of hiking is all that’s needed to reach my ultimate destination.

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This trail is especially beautiful as the clouds provide a wonderful quality to the light. It’s incredibly dream-like and surreal. Almost as if I’m in a fairytale or some Tolkien-esque world.

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At last, the pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow! The place is nothing to look at with the heavy mist shrouding any view.

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The collection of ramshackle buildings does little to deter my enthusiasm.

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My bowl of Nabeyaki Udon is everything I had hoped for and more. Hearty. Filling. Nourishing. Delicious. Well worth the climb!

Yet I’m aware that time is marching on so I choose not to linger, as tempting as it is. I guess it’ll take me about 2 1/2 hours to climb down and although there’s plenty of time before sunset, I am alone and anything could happen.

Not surprisingly the descent has its own challenges. A different set of muscles come into play. What’s more, there is no one else on the path so I have to rely completely on my own instinct and wits to find my way down.

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At some point I must have strayed from the correct trail because it appears I’m on ground that doesn’t look like it’s been disturbed by a great many hikers. Perhaps I’m just imagining it but I get the uneasy feeling that I may in fact be lost. Not completely lost. Just a little off-track.

I begin to have visions of Touching the Void and 127 Hours, wondering what happens if I injure myself. It wouldn’t take much to trip and fall, possibly twist an ankle or worse.

But I have a map and plenty of daylight and I know the way is down.

At one point I think to myself that I’ve had enough. But what’s funny is that I don’t have the option to give up. It isn’t like I am going up the mountain and I can quit and simply return to the start.

An eagle cries out overhead. And large multi-coloured beetles scurry across my path.

By now I can also hear two rivers either side of the spur I’m on. Reassuring in their sound, they help me find my bearings on the map.

I contemplate how it’s possible to have such a different experience from someone else who has climbed the same mountain only about a week or so earlier.

And I’m particularly thankful for her warnings about leeches. It means I keep checking my socks and shoes regularly and this pays off as I catch a couple of the big blood-suckers before they can latch on and do any damage!

After about 2 1/2 hours I eventually break free from the confines of the mountain trail to find myself on a road. I ask a guy on a motorcycle if I’m heading in the right direction and he assures me that it’ll take me there but he’s surprised that I would want to walk for 1 1/2 hours. Having just hiked for 6 1/2 hours and covered about 17km I’m not too fussed. Really. Especially when it’s leech-free!

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I’m actually pleasantly surprised that I find myself in a rural part of the countryside.

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Here and there I see a variety of planted crops: rice; eggplants; sunflowers.

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A tiny green frog is well camouflaged so I’m lucky I notice it at all.

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Some unusual sculptures too. Who would have thought?

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I suppose getting lost can have some wonderful, completely unexpected rewards.

I can’t wait for next week’s adventure.

level of difficulty : 13/20 (combined Mt Tōno-dake + Mt Nabewari climb)
duration : 7.5 hours

Kim*

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4 thoughts on “Mt Nabewari

  1. congrats Kim! you are quite a hiker , two mountains in a day 🙂
    hope you had great time!

  2. Thank you. You’re too kind. It wasn’t intentional. Bloody hard work actually. As I was anticipating 4-5 hours of exercise and it turned out to be 8 hours!

    But it was fun. Lots of fun. I’m planning on going to Mt Ryūgatake tomorrow. My report will follow shortly 😉 Kim*

    p.s. thank you for replying to my question about Mt Kamikōchi on another blog back in June. I never saw the reply until yesterday. Hopefully I’ll get over there one day soon.

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