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This is a collection of my blog entries related to short or long trips I, or Jennifer and I went on.
I have some master pages for some specific locations/trips:

Paris over many years | Australia over many years | Canada over many years | Japan over multiple trips | Italy in 2011 | France in 2013 | Indonesia in 2013 | Japan in 2013 | Japan in 2014 | Taiwan in 2014 | Indonesia in 2014 | New Zealand in 2015 | Japan in 2015 | Costa Rica in 2015 | Singapore in 2016 | South Korea in 2016 | Japan in 2016 | Japan in winter 2017 | Great Britain in 2017 |

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2016/07/19 Japan Day 08: Travelling and Hiking the Japan Alpen Route
π 2016-07-19 00:00 in Hiking, Japan, Japan2016, Trips
After arriving in Shinano Omachi the previous evening, the start of the west side of the Alpen Route, and a great night at the excellent Kurobe View Ryokan we stayed at, we gave them our luggage just before 08:00 to transfer it to our next hotel on the other side of the route (a long bus ride around the mountains) while we were going to take the fun away across the mountain. At 08:00 they dropped us off at the first bus that took us to Ogaziwa, the first leg up the mountain:

nice view from our Ryokan room
nice view from our Ryokan room


it gets expensive when you add the fees
it gets expensive when you add the fees

The weather is finicky, and we got super lucky that day, but they had nice displays showing the weather along the route and on the other side of the mountains (where it can be very different):





Now is a good time to mention that we got super lucky with the weather as in mid July, we could have been greeted by thunderstorms, and low cloud obscuring the view everywhere. During the busy season (in April/May just after the route opens and you can see the crazy high snow wall), people can wait 1h+ between each mode of transport, making the whole thing a lot less fun:

but we missed out on this :)
but we missed out on this :)

Then came the time to take an electric bus through a long tunnel to Kurobe Dam:

we got a funny ticket guy :)
we got a funny ticket guy :)



Kurobe Dam was worth almost an hour to walk around and take pictures from different angles:







time to walk to our first cable car
time to walk to our first cable car

no line, yeah! :)
no line, yeah! :)




then we connected to the ropeway after a very quick 10mn stop to take a few pictures
then we connected to the ropeway after a very quick 10mn stop to take a few pictures




We finally got to Murodo, the top, by a respectable 11:30, giving us time to hike up to the top (Mt Tateyama). The hike up is about 800m of climbing, initially on ok trails, but then it turns into sheer boulder hoping and rocks and gravel that slide down as you try to walk up. Let's just say it was more difficult and took longer, but we made it up:




we got lucky and saw a local grouse with 2 little chicks :)
we got lucky and saw a local grouse with 2 little chicks :)



evntually we got to the rest house at 2700m before the trail turned into rock hopping for the last 300m
evntually we got to the rest house at 2700m before the trail turned into rock hopping for the last 300m



almost there
almost there

yeah, got to the top
yeah, got to the top

the peak had a small shrine at 3003m
the peak had a small shrine at 3003m


damn, should have brought my snowboard :)
damn, should have brought my snowboard :)





now we only need to walk back down to the building where our next bus was going to be
now we only need to walk back down to the building where our next bus was going to be

sadly we didn't have a lot of time to go check out other parts of the top plateau, like the volcanic section
sadly we didn't have a lot of time to go check out other parts of the top plateau, like the volcanic section

back down
back down

to the next bus
to the next bus

In hindsight, it was a mistake, but we got a recommendation to stop at Midagahra and Bijo-daira on thw way down. They are likely both worth visiting, but I'm guessing they are mor impressive during a different season. When we went they were just ok. We shoud have spent more time at Murodo and done more tails up there. We managed to rush both the boardwalk (40mn in 25mn or so, and the caldera climb (25mn instead of 50mn), and caught the very next bus out, putting us a bit ahead of schedule. The caldera climb itself was pretty underwhelming, sadly:



this was supposed to be the caldera view, mmmh, ok
this was supposed to be the caldera view, mmmh, ok


Next, we took the bus to Bijo-daira for a forest walk:

big waterfall visible from the bus on the way down
big waterfall visible from the bus on the way down


we did the short loop, pretty muddy and hilly, but sadly we didn't see any of those birds
we did the short loop, pretty muddy and hilly, but sadly we didn't see any of those birds



at least we saw some cool trees :)
at least we saw some cool trees :)

multiple trees merged, and some trees seemed to split off into multiple ones
multiple trees merged, and some trees seemed to split off into multiple ones

After a 1h hike for the loop, we took the last transport back down, a cable car to Tateyama:




bits from a former lava flow
bits from a former lava flow

almost there
almost there

And we finally made it to our hotel: Morinokaze Tateyama, where we enjoyed another nice onsen and an ok buffer dinner and breakfast:

ready for onsen
ready for onsen



More pages: October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997

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