- Jan 2011
Left Takasaki at 4:45 am – early in the morning. I took the highway and when I passed Fujisan it was still dark. Only the shape of the mountain was visible. In Gotemba I stopped at a convenient store, but I was disappointed that they did not offer my favorite dumplins. Might be it was little bit too early in the morning and it was definitely colder as I have expected. The temperature was about -5°C only.
It was the second time for me to come to Izu hanko (a half- island south of Tokyo), this time I came to hike the “highest” mountain of Izu: Amagisan. The view on Fuji-san from the skyline-road was great and there was still no traffic. I reached the starting point Amagikougen golf course 天城高原ゴルフ場 parking area at 8:15 am, after 3 and 1/2 hours’ drive only, and I started the hike at 8:30 am.
There was a little fresh snow on the mountain (about 5 cm), the air was cold and clear. The trail was easy to find and to hike. There are signs at all relevant points, the description is in Japanese and English. The trail was well customized, wooden stairs or steps. Only a few rocks had to be climbed during the hike, but they are easy, ropes are available and no special technique is required.
From Banjiroudake 万二郎岳 the path followed the mountain ridge. Almost one km hikers walk through a tunnel of Asebi- bushes. Asebi-bush, a kind of Andromeda-plant, has green leaves all the year – it looked great with the snow! The name “Asebi” means “drunken hourse”; the leaves contains so much poison that a hours can only hardly walk after eating some of them. In spring the bushes have small, white flowers (March-May). I can imagine that it must look beautiful. Another special plant is a variety of Rhododendron which only grows on the rocks of Izu hanko. Best season to see the white-violet flowers is June.
On the top of Banzaburoudake万三郎岳 (1.406 m) I had a small snack and a cup of tea. Then I went back down. from there. Compared to the route to Banjiroudake 万二郎岳, , this way was narrower and sometimes there were slippery rocks. But no problem and all well secured with ropes. In general this path is very good customized – I think lots of hikers come here in summer season. During my hike I meet only 6 other hikers on that winter day.
Back at the car I, changed my clothes and drove to Matennoya-spa (万天の湯). This Onsen offered an inside and outside bath with a great view on Fuji-san.
From there I took the skyline-route to箱根町 Hakone-machi, Gotemba and then highway back home to Takasaki where I arrived at 06:30 pm.
天城山 Amagisan 8. Jan 2011
Start Amagikougen golf course 天城高原ゴルフ場 8:30 am 1.045 m
Trail up Banjiroutosanguchi 万二郎登山口 8:45 pm 1.055 m
Banjiroudake 万二郎岳 9:35 pm 1.299 m
Top Banzaburoudake万三郎岳 10:50 pm 1.406 m
Trail down Karasawabunketen 1.085 m
Finish Amagikougen golf course 天城高原ゴルフ場 12:30 pm 1.045 m
Duration: 4 h Distance: 8,0 km Height: 632 m