Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Tambo Art, Inakadate, 2015

This year's theme at Inakadate's ricefield art was Gone with the Wind.  Hiro's father has a particular fondness for the movie and so we popped into see it on our way to Mt Hakkoda. The detail that they achieve through different coloured rice is truly remarkable.

The second feature was Star Wars.

A tribute to Ken Takakura

Hachimantai 3: Late summer flowers of Hachimantai

I don't remember the names of any except the white one in the top row - umebachi.  Locals are forecasting an early winter. The umebachi is an autumn flower and is already out, but to be fair according to the old Japanese calendar, autumn started last week.

Hachimantai 2: Hachimantai National Park.

From Fukenoyu we went on to the opening where you can climb Mt Hachimantai itself, but since you're already so high, the summit is a stroll rather than mountain climbing. We were there in the summer two years ago but the weather conditions didn't lend themselves to walking around then.  

Hachimantai National Park
The area is well signposted, though only in Japanese.
To be fair, it's not a place that tends to see foreign tourists
who are more interested in the well beaten path between
Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. (all of which are well
worth visiting). Tourist hotspots in Japan tend to reflect proximity
to a Shinkansen line which is not always the best indicator.

There were quite a few maps, but this one at the entrance
was in need of repair. Otherwise facilities were in very good nick.

Alpine scenery

There are many lakes on the highland

As can be seen on the map above

English here.
We could have hiked to here from Fuku no Yu

Where we stopped for lunch

Walking through the highlands

The cloud meant that were were unable to see far off mountains like
Chokkai san and Akita Komagatake

High level conservation with walking paths through most of the area we walked.
So few people....

Small lakes punctuate the highlands

A good place to escape the Tokyo crowds.

Logistics of Hachimantai

A big part of the reason that tourists don't go to the area, despite it being quite beautiful

 and despite it having terrific onsen

is that the transport is more complex and less frequent than the Shinkansen.   This give you some idea (picture taken in 2013) so don't use for accuracy.

Bus information is now online in English. It probably needs looking at with google maps in the other, but it's great progress to have the information readily available.
Japan Guide has made a  pretty good effort to show how places are connected to other places.

The updated English bus timetable for the area is below.

More work still needs to be done on getting hiking maps into foreign language. This would enable people to travel more easily across country on walking paths / hiking trails.
Walking paths from Goshogake