Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mt. Nakadake

Day 2: Today after a phenomenal breakfast we headed out from the pension with directions to a nearby waterfall.

Boar trap? Bear?

View from the Falls

Mossy wall

Strange little place
The falls had sculptures all around and a small shrine. There was a large frog, weird dragon, a big red demon, and (we think) angels. It was a little strange. But the water coming over the moss wall was an interesting sight. There was a small group of people around taking high resolution close-ups of the droplets of water on the moss.

After following the trail out from the waterfalls we saw a sign for "Immobility" that was 2 km away. Our translate app didn't come back with anything understandable and the kanji was not something we recognized. So up the trail we hiked. Curiosity and all that. After an hour of hiking, we lost the English signs and started following some pink markers and this sign:

We recognized some of the kanji for crater. Up the mountain we continued.

View from the TOP
The view from the top was amazing. We could see out past the mountains surrounding the caldera. Even though it was overcast, the view was worth the hours of hiking. (Remember Japanese don't believe in switchbacks! Straight up!)

Once we got to the top we noticed that the trail continued down a ravine and back up the other side. After hiking for three+ hours we couldn't turn around there! So onward we trekked. On the other side we found a volcanic desert and some interesting "volcanic cones."

Down the ravine

Black Desert
On the other side of the volcanic desert was Mt Aso Crater! We visited it the day before and had hiked (by accident) the difficult trail to get there. I will agree that it was a difficult trek!

On the way back down we found the original English sign we had missed. Still not sure what an immobility is, but we decided not to find out. We were so tired that a nice soak in the bath was all we could think about.

Back in the caldera - coming down
It took four hours to reach the top and only an hour and half to come down and walk back to the pension. A nice warm shower and soak in the bath awaited. Our pension hosts got a nice laugh out of the fact that we "accidentally" hiked the hard trail he had warned us away fro the day before!

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