- Sep 2011
Norikuradake is one of the highest 100 Meisan in Japan – and it is also one of the easiest mountain tops to reach.
There is a road up to Norikuradake which is was closed for public traffic some years ago. The last car parking place is Sanbondaki-parking (8:30 am). From there only bus or taxis can use the mountain road. The price is the same – which was very surprising for me. Thinking taxi is faster, we went by taxy – but it was the slowest taxi drive in my life. The taxi driver told us lots of stories and we stopped at several view-points. Most interesting stop was a sulfur spring, the water there was drinkable but it had a sulfur taste… Maybe good for killing germs.
The hiking starting point was畳平 Tatamidaira; 2.700 meters high. This day lots of students in blue sport-dresses climbed the mountain. The weather was beautiful.
For flower watching it was a little bit to late – most flowers already disappeared, some leaves started to turn into yellow and red colors and told us “autumn is coming”.
The colors of the rocks change during hiking, too. Some areas are white, some black, then red, yellow or grey. The top is formed of grey rocks, and there is a shrine and tori.
As mentioned, Norikuradake is one of the highest mountains in Japan, but also one of the easiest. It provides easy access and its only about 500 meters altitude up to the top. But this doesn’t mean, that there is no risk. This day one hiker broke his leg; he slipped in one of the rocky areas, an emergency team brought him to the bus stop where an ambulance car was waiting.
In the afternoon clouds appeared from the west, it seemed they will cover the top soon, but always the sun was stronger. The 3:05 pm bus brought us back down to the car parking place.
After visiting one of the most beautiful onzen I have ever been, we drove back to Gunma. Norikuradake is a easy mountain located between Nagano and Gifu with a great view on both prefectures and surrounding mountain. If you like to hike – I hope an unforgettable experience for you, too.
乗鞍岳 Norikuradake 15. Sep. 2011
Start 畳平 Tatamidaira 9:40 am 2.700 m
Trail up 肩の小屋 Katanokoya 10:20 am 2.760 m
Top 乗鞍岳 Norikuradake 11:15 am 3.026 m
Trail 肩の小屋 Katanokoya 12:30 pm 2.760 m
Top 富士見岳 Fujimidake 1:20 pm 2.817 m
Finish 畳平 Tatamidaira 2:30 pm 2.700 m
Duration: 4 h 50 min Distance: 5,2 km Height: 467 m