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Mt. Kogashi, looking for azaleas ( Day Hike / Japan Nikko, Nasu, Tsukuba)

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Views: 121
Date:
20 Apr, 2017(Thu) [Day Trip]
Members: Weather:
Sunny


How to reach:
  Transport: Car/Motorcycle
Drove and parked at a free parking of Utsunomiya-shi Shinrin-koen near Akagawa dam.
* HP in Japanese:
http://forestpark-utsunomiya.jp/

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   Go by: Train, Car
   Return by: Train, Car

Map / Graph:
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Route Details:
   8:00 Parking
9:40 Branch to Nimai-iwa peak
10:25 Teoka-toge
11:35 559P
12:03 Fujimi-toge
12:28 Mt. Kogashi
* Lunch at a park restaurant 30 min.
13:57 Parking

Route Infomation:
   Not very dangerous or difficult, but most of the trail was rocky and there were dozens of spots with short fixed ropes.

Also, the first half of the course until Fujimi toge was not maintained as Sunday hikers' trail, and there were few signboards. If you go alone, course log on the GPS device would be recommended to avoid unnecessary lost or accidents on rocky trails.

Photos: View in slideshow
8:00 I started from a parking lot of Utsunomiya-shi Shinrin-koen near Akagawa dam.
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8:00 I started from a parking lot of Utsunomiya-shi Shinrin-koen near Akagawa dam.
Double cherry blossoms were at their best around the dam lake.
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Double cherry blossoms were at their best around the dam lake.
I found this kind of violets all day today.
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I found this kind of violets all day today.
I walked up by the dam lake to the trailhead.
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I walked up by the dam lake to the trailhead.
White flowers of Japanese plums.
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White flowers of Japanese plums.
The hiking trail was closed near the entrance due to a broken bridge, so I made a detour to the trailhead using the trail on the other side of the stream.
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The hiking trail was closed near the entrance due to a broken bridge, so I made a detour to the trailhead using the trail on the other side of the stream.
Yamabuki, or Japanese yellow roses were at their best, too.

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Yamabuki, or Japanese yellow roses were at their best, too.
The traces came to a paved road soon.
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The traces came to a paved road soon.
There was a nice resting hut on the other side of a bridge near the trailhead. I prepared for the upward trail here.
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There was a nice resting hut on the other side of a bridge near the trailhead. I prepared for the upward trail here.
The trailhead was at the west end of this bridge.
There is no sign, though.
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The trailhead was at the west end of this bridge.
There is no sign, though.
I found this kind of violet here and there along the trail, too.
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I found this kind of violet here and there along the trail, too.
This one looks like a tsukuba-kinmonso.
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This one looks like a tsukuba-kinmonso.
Soon I came to a rock. The trail branched traversing the rock on both ways. I used the one on the right.
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Soon I came to a rock. The trail branched traversing the rock on both ways. I used the one on the right.
99.99% of the dogtooth violets ended.
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99.99% of the dogtooth violets ended.
Miyama-shikimi.
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Miyama-shikimi.
I could only find a few dogtooth violets in the upper part of the field.
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I could only find a few dogtooth violets in the upper part of the field.
This type of while violets were blooming in the field instead.
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This type of while violets were blooming in the field instead.
Hitori-shizuka flowers, too.
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Hitori-shizuka flowers, too.
I came to the first fixed rope at the foot of 490p peak.
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I came to the first fixed rope at the foot of 490p peak.
When I came up a little I could get a view to the north.
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When I came up a little I could get a view to the north.
The trail was on rocky ridges.
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The trail was on rocky ridges.
I found akayashio azaleas on the ridge. This was one of the two objectives of this hike.

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I found akayashio azaleas on the ridge. This was one of the two objectives of this hike.
I could also get the view of the field to the south.
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I could also get the view of the field to the south.
I followed traces at a col thiinking it was to the Nimai-iwa, but I found I was on a wrong ridge by the GPS on my smartphone. I had to turn back and walk thin traces to the right ridge.
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I followed traces at a col thiinking it was to the Nimai-iwa, but I found I was on a wrong ridge by the GPS on my smartphone. I had to turn back and walk thin traces to the right ridge.
Since there were no signs in the first half of today's hike, I made small mistakes three times. The biggest circle was the one above.
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Since there were no signs in the first half of today's hike, I made small mistakes three times. The biggest circle was the one above.
I came to the Nimai-iwa peak, where literally a two-sheet rock was on the peak. I found several hikers coming up from the other side near this peak.
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I came to the Nimai-iwa peak, where literally a two-sheet rock was on the peak. I found several hikers coming up from the other side near this peak.
And I found many light-yellow flowers of hikage-tsutsuji azaleas near the peak. This was the other objectives of today's hike.

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And I found many light-yellow flowers of hikage-tsutsuji azaleas near the peak. This was the other objectives of today's hike.
And they were fresh.
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And they were fresh.
This flower tends to have stains even if it is fresh, but I found many stain-less flowers here.
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This flower tends to have stains even if it is fresh, but I found many stain-less flowers here.
I came down to a trailhead at the northern end of the peak, and turned left toward Teoka-toge.
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I came down to a trailhead at the northern end of the peak, and turned left toward Teoka-toge.
There were many wild-strawberries bloomed along the paved road.
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There were many wild-strawberries bloomed along the paved road.
And a different type of violets, too.
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And a different type of violets, too.
When I arrived at Teoka-toge pass, I turned left onto the ridge trail.
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When I arrived at Teoka-toge pass, I turned left onto the ridge trail.
There were rocky peaks on the ridge toward Mt. Kogashi.
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There were rocky peaks on the ridge toward Mt. Kogashi.
And akayashio azaleas were beautiful on the higher ridges.
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And akayashio azaleas were beautiful on the higher ridges.

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I found a small filed of iwakagamis, but most of them were still buds. It looked to take 10 days to be the peak.
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I found a small filed of iwakagamis, but most of them were still buds. It looked to take 10 days to be the peak.
This rock before 559P peak was the toughest in today's hike.
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This rock before 559P peak was the toughest in today's hike.
Fortunately, there was a traverse with a fixed rope on the left side.
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Fortunately, there was a traverse with a fixed rope on the left side.
When I came near to the 559p peak, I could get a fine 180-degree view to north-east.
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When I came near to the 559p peak, I could get a fine 180-degree view to north-east.
I could see Mt. Nantai and Mt. Nyho in the left.
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I could see Mt. Nantai and Mt. Nyho in the left.
At 11:36, I arrived at the peak of 559P. More than 10 hikers were resting.
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At 11:36, I arrived at the peak of 559P. More than 10 hikers were resting.
There was another Hikage tsutsutji field on the east cliff of the peak.
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There was another Hikage tsutsutji field on the east cliff of the peak.

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A little below the peak, yama-tsutsuji started to bloom.
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A little below the peak, yama-tsutsuji started to bloom.
About half Mitsuba@tsutsuji were blooming.
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About half Mitsuba@tsutsuji were blooming.
There were about a dozen small peaks on the ridge. They were all rocky, but not so difficult or steep.
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There were about a dozen small peaks on the ridge. They were all rocky, but not so difficult or steep.
I reached Fujimi-toge, where a hiking course set by the park met the mountain trail.
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I reached Fujimi-toge, where a hiking course set by the park met the mountain trail.
I stopped by a viewing terrace at near the Fujimi-toge. This place has a fine view toward the east.
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I stopped by a viewing terrace at near the Fujimi-toge. This place has a fine view toward the east.
And turned back to the trail to Mt. Kogashi.
I arrived the peak at 12:23. There were also a dozen of hikers resting near the peak.
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And turned back to the trail to Mt. Kogashi.
I arrived the peak at 12:23. There were also a dozen of hikers resting near the peak.
A TV antenna was by the peak.
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A TV antenna was by the peak.
Then I visited the adjacent small peak of Mt. Mitake. There was a torii gate, but the upper-most building wasn't there, and only the concrete base left. ??
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Then I visited the adjacent small peak of Mt. Mitake. There was a torii gate, but the upper-most building wasn't there, and only the concrete base left. ??
I came back a little and turned into the South Hiking Course.
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I came back a little and turned into the South Hiking Course.
This trail was well maintained with wooden steps.
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This trail was well maintained with wooden steps.
And soon came to a paved park road.
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And soon came to a paved park road.

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Japanese yellow roses were blooming along the road.
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Japanese yellow roses were blooming along the road.
And wild-strawberry.
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And wild-strawberry.
Tiny violets.
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Tiny violets.
This is the only wild bird I could take a picture of today. It looked like some kind of woodpecker.
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This is the only wild bird I could take a picture of today. It looked like some kind of woodpecker.
Another kind of wild strawberry. กก
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Another kind of wild strawberry. กก
The hiking course left the driveway into a forest.
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The hiking course left the driveway into a forest.
When I came out of the forest, I found a restaurant. This building was an inn for bicyclers.
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When I came out of the forest, I found a restaurant. This building was an inn for bicyclers.
The soba noodles with deep fried vegetable tempura weren't great, but taste good after a hike.
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The soba noodles with deep fried vegetable tempura weren't great, but taste good after a hike.
I walked on the dam from the west to east.
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I walked on the dam from the west to east.
The parking lot was nearly full. Many hikers were preparing to leave after the hike.
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The parking lot was nearly full. Many hikers were preparing to leave after the hike.
  
Notes:(by tatsuca)
   I've been wanting to visit this mountain for a couple of years, and this time I read reports saying that special azaleas, akayashio and hikage-tsutsuji, started to bloom, so finally made this plan.

The first half of the trail I planned was not on the hiking course set by the park, but I found GPS logs of the hiking that visited the spots that the azaleas were blooming and I downloaded them into my smartphone, which I found was a great help because there were no direction signs along the trail.

I found the two azaleas successfully, and also enjoyed short easy scrambling unexpectedly. Also thanks to the nice weather, it was another better-than-expected hike. ^^)

[Rating of the trail for middle-aged beginner hikers, like myself
* The keys used in my logs are in: http://mountrec.com/modules/diary/629-detail-455
- Required Stamina: Level 3 of 5. There were small rocky peaks from the trailhead to Fujimi-toge, which wasabout 2/3 of the whole trail length, but ups and downs were small, the hike wasn't so tough on the whole.
- Difficulty: Level 3. There were several spots that I should use fixed ropes, but they were all short and not very troublesome.
- Unnerving?: Level 3. Some traverse paths of rocks were on steep slopes and a little scary.
- Get lost? Level 3. As I wrote in the photo section, there were few direction signs in the first half of the course. I would recommend to use a GPS device with the map of the planned course.
- Photogenic? Level 2. The mountain views were not great, but if you are a wild flower lover, the level could be 3 during the flower season.
- Come again? Level 3. A little far from my place, Kichijoji, but a nice hiking course for beginner to intermediate hikers, and flower lovers in particular.
- Comment: The north hiking trail set by the park was partly closed near the parking lot due to a broken bridge or something. You have to use less walked trail on the west bank of the stream by the north course entrance.

The original Log in Japanese is here.
https://www.yamareco.com/modules/yamareco/detail-1109914.html
If you are interested in my other logs, please check
http://mountrec.com/modules/mtrec/userinfo-629-data.html

I hope my humble hiking reports could be of any help for your memorable stay in Japan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through MountRec.
* I sometimes wonder if real humans ever visit my report. Please click "Like in secret" below if you are not a robot and feel like it''s OK to show that you're not. m(_ _)m


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