30. Jun 2013
From Takasaki, Gunma, it takes about 8 hours by car to Hirosaki in Aomori-ken.
Hirosaki is well known for its delicious Apples and many apple trees grow in the flat area below Iwakisan.
One of the famous shirne and powerspots in Japan is Iwakijinja, a shrine located at the food of the mountain. Before the hike, people can clear their mind and taste the fresh shrine water coming directly from Iwakisan.
Hiking trail starts next to the shrine or some hundred meters above at the ski-area. It was hot and I was happy to walk in the deep woods which provide fresh and cooler air.
The way was easy to find and to walk, it smoothly winded up the mountain and there was nothing special until I reached a snow field at about 700m.
And that snow field was really long! It covered a valley, the trail went always straight up. A small river had to be passed by climbing some rocks and bamboo bushes, afterwards just walking up and up again following the snowfield in the valley. The sky changed its appearance from dark to bright, the sun lighted the way – it was like hiking towards heaven.
The top itself was free of snow, may beautiful flowers grew near a small pond. Before reaching the top, the trail became steeper and rocky.
From the top there was almost no view. After visiting the shrine, I descended to the end of the west side mountain road.
From this point you can go back to Iwaki shrine (starting point) by bus or car. Several onsen are located close to the shrine, therefore it is highly recommended to visit one of them after the tour.
If you have a time, visit Hirosaki-castle.
岩木山神社 Iwakisanjinjya (Iwaki-mountain shrine), 10:30 am, 120m
鳳鳴ヒュッテ Houmei huette, 2:10 pm 1.440m
岩木山 Iwakisan, 2:30 pm, 1.625m
八合目 Hatchigoume, 3:30 pm, 1.250m
Duration: 5h distance: 7,9 km height: 1.470m