Summer holidays 1999 - Intro - Yura -  Haguro -  Tazawako -  Oga Peninsula -  Atsumi


"...catching occasional glimpses of the peaks above" (Akita-Komagatake)

(High-quality image)

9th - 11th August

We arrived at Tazawako, an almost circular lake, after a slightly tiring drive north, and eventually tracked down the Nyuto campsite (properly "Nyuutou", or "nipple", but more of that later). This was a wonderful location, buried in beechwoods, and with good facilities.

(The campsite link is in Japanese, of course, and you may have difficulty navigating from it. Here's a map of the area, from the same Akita site.)

We spent most of the 10th on a mountain hike. For no very particular reason, we chose Nyuto-san, the mountain after which the campsite is named. When we saw the shape of the top, we understood where the name came from, but through shame or forgetfulness unfortunately neglected to capture it on film.

From the campsite we set off through the beechwoods. Reminded me very much of the woods I grew up near, and except for the Japanese number plate on the car (which no amount of magnification will reveal) this could have been taken in Cranham Woods.

Climbing mountains in Japan usually means battling through vegetation of one sort or another, sometimes only catching occasional glimpses of the peaks above.

Then eventually we emerged from the tree line...

Keiko and Ian on the summit of Nyuto-san (1477 m), with the lake, Tazawako in the distance.

Conditions were perfect for mountain photography: of course it's always easier to take a photo of the mountain next door. The shot below is Iwate-san (2038 m), just to the east.

(High-quality image)

On the way down ... another view (not through the trees, this time) of Akita-Komagatake, at 1537 m the highest mountain in this group.

We left in the morning on the 11th, and headed back to the coast. Not being in a hurry, we chose to go via the "Tazawa Suupaa Rindou" (Super Forest-road), which was yellow and extremely wiggly on the map. But since we'd happily made our way over several wiggly white roads on the map, we could hardly have been prepared for this one. The ro-, uh, track was completely unsurfaced, and on the way up, there were several very large 'bumps' of gravel across the way, which we only got over once I realised we got enough extra suspension clearance if everyone got out. As we started down from the summit tunnel the track became rapidly worse, with huge rain ruts, and overgrowing grass. Finally the denouement: part of the road had fallen away, leaving about 2/3 the normal single track width. It looked slightly wider than the car, and the alternative was to reverse about a kilometre of very rough going... it was the first time I'd driven a car with the door open, and my first thought being how to jump out if things went wrong. Bit dry-mouthed. And some time later I realised what a photo opportunity for my website...

Anyway, we reached the Oga Peninsula, so you won't be surprised to see that the next page has a blue background again.

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© Brian Chandler 1999