Gozaisho Mountain Hike

Going to Gozaisho

I woke up at 4:00am with help of an alarm clock, the outside was still completely dark, I noticed there is a room in nearby apartment with the light on all night. I guess the person rent it did not turn lights off before going to vacation. Stretched my body, packed my lunch and drinks for the trek, finishing with taking shower. I left home at 5:10am, passing the gate and walked up to the platform level, that's the time when the first train of the day was coming in.

To Nagoya: Kachigawa (5:17am) - Nagoya (5:35am)

Local train at Kachigawa station

The train left the station on time under cloudy sky. The number of passengers were not many, and quietly moving under cloudy sky. With no issue, the train stopped at all stations and arrived at Nagoya on time. There was a passenger near me kept mumbling about Nagoya's been a second rated city and is unfair. Anyways, I was checking on the weather information at the destination one the phone and found should be sunny today, while Nagoya is expected to be somewhat rainy toward afternoon.

To Yokkaichi: Nagoya (5:50am) - Yokkaichi (6:23am)

I stepped out from the train and passed the gate. I walked inside the building toward Kintetsu Railway. I did not pay attention for the most of the time I have been here but today found out there is a connection entrance which located within the JR terminal building. I walked down the stairs and bought a ticket for 850 yen. I then waited for the train to come.

Rapid train to Yokkaichi

A rapid train, carrying a comfortable level of people departed from the underground station and soon reached the ground level. The train moved toward Yokkaichi. There are groups of passengers without bags and looked having no business, probably they did not go home last night and going home on the first train in the mornign. I looked outside where cloudy, and was freezing inside the car cold because of too much air-conditioning. I see the train crossed many rivers surrounded by farmland. The train arrived at Yokkaichi on time. One more transition to go.

To Yunoyama Onsen: Yokkaichi (6:46am) - Yunoyama Onsen (7:12am)

Local train to Yunoyama Onsen

After arriving at the train station, I went down the stairs and walked to the next platform. There is a train waiting for departure. The train operated by one person left the station on time, making a sharp left turn. This train moves much slower under hazy morning sky. The scenery is less populated and very few people get on and off. The train stopped at every station and arrived at the terminal station. I walked out and looked up the timetable for the bus which is about 40 minutes to go.

Looking at rice field under morning sky 6:34am

The train arrived at the terminal 6:55

I noticed there is a guy with hiking gear from the train, and saw him approaching to a taxi which just came in to drop off a passenger, and he got on it. I guessed that guy is taking it to the foot of the mountain so I walked to the car and asked if it is okay to share, now we have a deal and we took a taxi. While I ride with him, he told me that he is from Fukuoka, where YAMAP is created. The cost to getting there was 1,130Yen so I paid 600 Yen.

Mountain Hike

After getting off the car, I checked the gear for the last time. I looked around surrounded by mountain with fog. I slowly walked up the hilly narrow road toward the starting point of the back trail.

A familiar view, has not changed much for past 30 years.

Back Trail: 7:14 - 3:11

Taking Back Trail

7:20am, at the stating point

Aotaki 7:32am

I began my ascent, it started out with a regular trail, stopping by at a waterfall then I continued. The path is overlapped with regular road for a while, following the rocky area, where I expect it would be a nightmare event if I stay there for the rainy day. I passed the blocking structure and followed up the rocky area. The path was partly destroyed over the storms in the past years so it was much more difficult than I imagined.

7:59am this design allows sands to pass through and still blocks rocks

8:08am, crossing creek with handmade bridge

8:18am going up foggy trail

Reached by a small shack around 8:20am. then I continued. From here, I have to go up along the rocky area.

8:36am this can be bad when rain

From here on, I need to gear up with globes because I have to grab on the rocks and chain-link. Because it is foggy with more og coming up from the foot of the mountain, I cannot expect the wether to improve anytime soon. This is still early in the morning, and very few people on the trail who I could use as a reference to confirm I am on the right track, it is a bit difficult and sometimes I loose my path. The only was to get back myself, is to stop, look carefully but despite of the effort, sometime I miss it. I am glad when I find a red circle painted on rocks which indicate this is the way.

8:42am so called rabbit ear

Back 6th 9:13, detour is created

When I arrived at 6th, I found that the trail is damaged and detour is provided. Now I cannot trust map so I have to rely on  the sign of people walking, there are seldom signs or indication so I am glad I did not have to go completely independent.

Back 7th 9:38am

Passing the 7th where I was expecting alerted bees but nothing. A guy coming down from the other side and told me he noticed nothing. I guess I was worrying too much. The sky was finally clearing so I think I can have better view when I reach the summit.

Sky is finally clearing 9:50am

Reached Kunimi Pass, this is the 8th, I saw the fog is clearing and I can take a snapshot of the mountain.

Back 8th 9:53am

Kunimi Pass 9:53

From here, the trail is still uphill and not easy. The path is created from erosion so it was narrow and also very difficult to get grips. After a while, I saw a guide rail ahead, and I was on paved road in a moment. I saw people taking breaks here. I made it, but not quite the summit yet.

Mt. Gozaisho peak 10:10am

I guess I have not quite on this path before. I can clearly see the place where could be skiing place during the winter. I came down a hill and began walking up the trail made from soil and logs for stopper. I can look back where I was walking and saw clouds approaching toward me silently.

Cloud coming

Reached the summit, relaxed and had lunch around 10:30am. There must be people coming up using ropeway. There are a lot of people, and some even in heels. I am not saying which is right or wrong.

10:25am the summit marker.

My lunch, almost all of them are discounted items.

I was enjoying whiteout view during the lunch but the weather was improving so I can see the blue sky and the grounds. There are a lot of dragonflys like when I went to Mt. Ibuki, and they were being captured by children due to an event. When I looked up the weather information on the phone and concerned how long this good weather would hold because in many cases, the mountain weather in afternoon can easliy go bad. So I began my descent from11:00am. The first thing I had to do is to find a starting point for center path. Because of the constructions in the summit area, certain roads were closed.

Descent 11:18am - 1:51pm

I began my descent and met with many people who are coming up. It's very interseting they are alone, in group, young, old, male, female, slow, fast... Some asked me how long to the summit, those are the people are usually tired. Many part of the path I had to use chain-link and ropes to come down. I am glad I brought a pair of gloves. The down side is that because I am on the down hill side, I had to yield for those who are coming up.

I had to come done path like this 12:04pm

I kept going down and it was a little tougher than I was coming up. I had to grab on the chain-link provided, a ladder, as well as grabbing onto tree roots. Ah. that's the fun part of treking. Descending is fairly quick.


Reached 8th fairly quick, and so as for the 7th. I can see people going up and down the ropeway. I think it is an easy path but surely missing all the entertainment, and by walking I can stop at anywhere.


I can see clear view 12:22pm


When I reached 5th, I have met with a family carrying small children already drink major portion of the water. It's not okay to climb without plenty of reserves.  I wish I had a spare one today I did not have enough. Sorry.

Abare Rocks 12:38pm

Crossing udder the ropeway, then the descent continued. I can see the more I come down, the trail is more maintained.

1:05pm at the starting point

I finally got down to the starting point of the center path right after 1:00pm. From here, I walked on Route 577 down to Onsen. I can see kids playing in the creek, as well as some people fishing, and even a guy who is biking. It's such a nice weather compare to the morning.

Walking down along a river 1:25pm

Hot Spa before going home

After arriving to the bus terminal, I was not sure what to do. There seems to be very a few buses available and my feet are hurting so walking 5 km to the train station is not a quite easy option. I bought a bottle of drink to replenish water from all the sweating, and I felt good abou it. I needed to take more water with me today, I guess. Just as I was deciding to walk, I saw a bus coming so I get on it. The bus now equip with IC card reader so I don't have to carry cash anymore, and I will remember that next time. The bus left the stop at 13:45 and it took a while to get me to a bus stop I wanted to get off which is one before the train station.

From there, it was a short walk under sunny sky, I was walking slow but looking forward to the hot body of water I can dip myself.

1:57pm at Green Hotel

The parking of the hotel was very busy, and at the entrance, I paid 670 Yen for a pass. I walked to the bath, and after rinsing myself off the all the sweat from walking today, I get to relax in the hot bath. I stayed there for about 10 minutes. It was simply a great feeling. Get changed into a dried clothing, packed my sweat drenched ones in a bag. I bought some gift for my family and friends before leaving around 2:40pm. I hope there will be a train soon.

Coming home

I walked back to the train station under sunny weather, it is getting hot so I took a break when I get there. I found that the next train is leaving at 15:00 just, so I paid 850 Yen to buy ticket at 14:46. I still have about 15 minutes, so I bought a bottled tea and relaxed.

To Yokkaichi: Yunoyama Onsen (15:00) - Yokkaichi (15:25)

Train to Yokkaichi, the brown one is a special train to Nagoya direct.

The train left the station with many people. As the train head to Yokkaichi, I was typing up an email to my dad and brother. I was remembering of the summer time in Mt. Gozaisho has a lot of memories from my elementary school years. One year my dad took me and I stumbled at the very beginning and cried, later in that hike, I was so tired and I was following my dad while crying to the summit. Now I can reach the summit without falling or crying. Another year I complained to my mom that I did not get a chance to go anywhere over the summer and she went to hike with me. She is long gone but I really appreciate what she has done for me. The train kept moving under summer sunny sky, I can see people get on and off at each station, I guess riding on this once every half hour train from country side to place with more retail stores must be fun. The train is finally at the Yokkaichi, where train moved slow and making a sharp right turn to the station.

To Nagoya: Yokkaichi (15:28) - Nagoya (16:04)

After getting off from the train, I walked to another platform to catch a train to Nagoya. Within a few minutes, a rapid train come in to the platform. The seats are all filled so I had no choice but to stand until the train reaches its destination. My right feet was hurting so I put my bag on the floor and just watched the outside, try not to think about it.

Looking out  3:32pm

 The train was moving smoothly under sunny summer sky, but suddenly stopped around Nagashima due to the train receiving an emergency signal. The train resumed as nothing happened and arrived at the Nagoya terminal on time.

Local train arrived at Nagoya

Back to Kachigawa: Nagoya (16:16) - Kachigawa (16:34)

I walked up to the platform just as a local train shuts its doors and departed. My next ride would be leaving at 16:16 which is 7 minutes to go. I walked toward the back of the train and took a seat and wait. Under hot sun, I patiently waited for the departure. The train was not packed, just enough for everybody to take a seat. I am glad since I don't have to stand on my foot which is hurting. Another short train ride, and I get off at Kachigawa.

I come home, grabbed a shopping bag and headed to grocery store. I come home and began my early dinner around 5:00pm. Relaxed in the evening, going to bed around 10:00pm.


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