Hiking Mt. Oiwadake (大岩岳)

Japan

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April, 21 st 2019

Happy Eastern. I was very excited about today’s hike. On the very first hike (the abandoned railway hike) I organized in Osaka, we went to the Takarazuka area and I IMG_7807.jpgwas so excited that I always wanted to come back. I published this week’s hike very late, so I didn’t expected much people to show up. Interestingly, I observed that hikes in famous areas are crowded, but usually the trail is rather disappointing while the hikes in “unknown” areas are for real the hidden treasures. And honestly I enjoy exploring exactly this within a small group with familiar atmosphere, since the reason for me to go out for hiking is having a nice time and calm down in beautiful nature. Of course, I’m also not negating adventures… This time I brought my flatmate Gui, and since the travellers didn’t show up in the end, we IMG_7745.jpgware just the bunch of friends. As mentioned the area of Takarazuka’s mountains is just amazing beautiful and famous for rock climbing and bouldering. This week my mom sent me my climbing gear and my heart made a jump when I saw climbers at the walls from the train. The weather was just perfect, sunny, warm with bright blue sky. When I left the train I could feel the happiness flooding me. We walked along a river until a huge dam. It was impressive. We crossed a small bridge, and the way which seemed to be a trail in the past was disrupted by a waterfall, but a small path IMG_7735.jpegwas leading us into the woods. And then it happened again. A snake crossed our way. I’m sure this wasn’t the last one and I have to handle the thought that I’m living in a country with (toxic) snakes right now. We climbed up a beautiful forest trail and ended up next to the river which became a huge lake due to the damn. We had an amazing view and the  body of water was unbelievable blue and turquoise. We made our lunch break on the top with a view of the lake. Today was Easter Sunday and since there wasn’t any possibility to get an Easter egg IMG_7748.jpgin the morning, I was more than happy when Sayaka brought one coincidentally. So I got an Easter egg in the end. This break was exactly the reason why I’m going for hiking: laying down, the sun shining warmly on my legs, being with friends and a beautiful nature around me while eating nice food. We continued on a horseback while hiking IMG_7752.jpgnext to the river. Sometimes I had the feeling of being back on the Camino de Santiago in Spain in the mountains de Léon and only the imagination to be back there excited me. There was no city around, no noise, no business. I couldn’t believe the contrast between the busy and stressful city and this peaceful place, only 30 min away. It felt surreal knowing the city is that close. In this moment I enjoyed a lot the advantage of living in Japan. My hometown is way less busy, but there is no beautiful nature, especially mountains, around. While IMG_7753.jpgcreating the trail I got some inspiration from Mat’s hiking book and just adjusted the trail. The trail we were walking on would end up in a shortcut and since it was still early we decided to follow the planned trail. I already could smell some adventure, but today I felt lazy and hoped for the best. The trail went slightly down to the shore and obviously this trail wasn’t that frequented. The trail was covered by dry leaves and each step made this familiar sound of breaking leaves and one softly sink into them. During summer I’m used to wear my barefoot IMG_7760.jpgsandals and if you believe or not hiking in them or even hiking barefoot it’s a completely different feeling and a unique experience. You feel way closer to the trail, feel each step of the soil in different terrain. The trail became wilder and again we could see and feel the damages of Osaka’s last big typhoon. We were walking next to the shore and the lake and mountains around us created a cool breeze on this sunny day. The trail guided us up to the mountains again to Mount Oiwatake, but there wasn’t hardly any trail. And as always, after a blink of an eye we were already too far in a messy trail and going back was no option. Tomal went up first with the task to check out if this jungle like terrain would become a trail like path. He found a trail, he said, and we went on. IMG_7756.jpegUnfortunately our definition of “trail” or even “path” is way different. I wasn’t sure if even monkeys would use this as a trail. Anyway we continued to climb monkey like across country. For sure it was steep und due to the fallen leaves very slippery as well. Finally it was too dangerous to turn back. Sayaka was now leading and made us a trail. We had to literally climb grabbing trees und pulling our bodies up. After a while I was just dreaming of Ice Cream. According to gps we should hit a trail at some point and it felt like an eternity. Luckily we bumped into the trail and all of us were happy. We made a short break to IMG_7724.jpegrecover and care about our little injuries and continued on a small beautiful path. Suddenly we arrived the summit of Mt. Oiwatake and I had to scream. It was incredible. This view was as amazing as unexpected. From the summit we could far away into the mountains. The river was embedded in this countryside and calmly laid down in the valley like a turquoise snake. This was the most amazing view I had in Japan so far. All of us were more than excited and we enjoyed a lot. Yes, this was the honour for our adventurous, exhausting climb. After a while it was time to climb down. IMG_7765.jpegThe trail again was super beautiful and for sure we will come back to this area soon. On the way down we met some rock climbers heavy loaded with huge backpacks hiking up to summit. I was excited to meet them since my gear just arrived and talked to them briefly. There were from an alpine school. Soon we merged into the trail we came from. All of us run out of water and were horribly thirsty and started dreaming and talking about cold drinks. We climbed back down to the damn, when the climbers overtook us. IMG_7795.jpegBack on the street I started playing with my football which I carried all day. The river was next to us and for sure it took less than ten minutes until it fell into the river. I had to went back and climb down the shore, walk through the river and climb back. But I continued playing without any further incidents. The sun started already to set down and dipped the rice fields in a golden glow when we finally arrived at the station. There was a small Konbini which was full of tired but satisfied looking climbers. I bought an ice cold coke and when I came out IMG_7764.jpgof the shop I almost bumped into Yoshi who wanted to introduce me to her friend Kazuhide, whom she met coincidentally and who is a climber as well. Kazuhide told me he is a member of a climbing group and that they are around Dōjō Station almost every weekend and practice rock climbing. He invited me to join and we changed our contact informations. After two litres of cold coke and an ice cream I felt deep satisfaction while the sun was still shining warmly. Sayaka, Tomal and Yoshi went to Umeda to have dinner afterwards and we sat together for a long time. I got home very late, but this was a very enjoyable  Eastern and I’m happy for the opportunity to spend the day with my friends.

Access: JR Dōjō Station

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