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Posts Tagged ‘Japan. Suzuka’

The Suzuka mountains straddle the border of Shiga and Mie Prefectures in the eastern part of the Kii Peninsula. A hiking path runs along the entire ridge, stretching nearly 90km across some surprisingly rugged terrain. Mt. Nyūdō sits just off the main ridge roughly halfway along the serrated Suzuka spine.

On clear days, Mt. Fuji is clearly visible across the eastern horizon, but unfortunately the factories lining the Suzuka basin often spew billowing clouds of smog, blanketing the region in a thick cake of haze.

Mt. Nyūdō is included as part of the Suzuka 7, a collection of seven mountains that attract scores of enthusiasts from neighboring Nagoya city looking to climb all of the peaks for good luck. Because of this, Nyūdō proves popular with hikers throughout the year, especially in the early spring when the Japanese andromeda, or asebi, flowers are in bloom. The white swatch of asebi flowers is so impressive that they were designated a living natural monument by the Japanese government back in 1962.

A sprawling field of bamboo grass lines the summit plateau, guiding hikers to the shrine torii gate directly on the summit. This gate is considered the entrance to the upper precinct of Tsubaki Ōkami Yashiro shrine, a sacred Shintō space located at the foot of the mountain. Every spring and autumn, a festival is held on the grounds, with scores of worshipers scaling the northern face of the peak to a cave just below the summit that houses the deity.

Avoiding the crowds, we opt for a late autumn ascent on the western flank under clear skies and brisk winds. The summit affords outstanding panoramic views and plenty of impressive backdrops for photos. The calendar girl is no other than alpine superstar Dewi, who is well on her way to becoming the first Indonesian female to climb the Kansai Hyakumeizan.

 

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