For the first climb of the season I chose Neishi-dake. I’m glad I did.
The ascent to the top is quite gentle, interwoven with a few flat paths, so that it’s totally doable even if (like me) you haven’t done any physical activity in a while. The trail first runs along a vivacious mountain stream and then through a moist moss-covered wood, all the way under the refreshing shade of the tall conifer trees.
This is the report on the hike:
Read the rest of this entry
The 2000-meter Utsukushi ga Hara plateau makes for a beautiful (that’s what ‘Utsukushii’ means — ‘beautiful’) high-altitude escape. The wide open fields are home to a heard of cows and in late June are punctuated with wild azaleas.
The 360-degree panorama vista looks out to the Yatsugatake Range to the south, the Hotaka Range of the Northern Alps to the west, the Hakuba peaks to the north, and Mt. Asama to the east.
Our recent visit was too brief to be able to enjoy the Open Air Museum’s inspirational artwork, nor the trek to the stone bell tower. But we’ll be back.
Utsukushigahara Open Air Museum
Utsukushigahara can be reached from Matsumoto by bus, but the windy ascent and scenic Venus Line highway are paradise for drivers.