On the second day of my trip to Akagi Mountain in Gunma Prefecture Japan, Tianyu and I climbed to the top of Jizo-dake, where we were able to gaze across the caldera to Kurobi-dake, the highest peak on the mountain. We had stood on that summit yesterday, but the sky was so crowded by clouds that we couldn’t hardly see a thing. Thankfully, on this day we were blessed with good weather.
In contrast to the previous days thick haze, we were blessed with clear sunny skies on the second day. From the top of Jizo Peak, we could see snow-capped peaks in the distance. Down in the Kanto, the world is full of color, but winter hasn’t yet left the peaks.
Ono Lake is a large lake situated at the bottom of a giant volcanic crater at the center of Akagi Mountain in Gunma Prefecture, Japan.
A picture from my trip to Kanna Lake in February. Nothing like a little sunset to counteract the dull winter colors. It’s a shame I hadn’t bought an ND filter yet!
Copyright Brian Heise, 2019
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I knew it was supposed to rain when I went out last weekend, but I couldn’t let that stop me from going out. Though the approaching rain clouds blocked out the tall white-capped mountains in the distance, they produced a mysterious red light as the sun dipped towards the horizon.
Hiking in mid-March following a relatively warm November, and moreover hiking through the foothills of Gunma on the edge of the Kanto, I didn’t expect many fantastic views. Imagine my surprise then when I crested the ridge to see a line of white-capped mountains stretching across the horizon. Needless to say, I was satisfied.
We had an unusually warm February this year in Japan. In February I went out to Kanna Lake, where I found several trees already in full blossom.
On my first visit Kanna Lake was veiled in mist, such that I never saw it. Rain fell hard, leaving the summer verdure glistening. It seemed like an incredibly beautiful place and I was eager to return again to see it on a clear day. But that day turned out to be in February, and the beautiful green landscape that I remembered was stripped of its color and left seeming drab and dull. And yet, as I climbed up the ridge to cross over into the next valley on my journey along the Kanto Fureai Trail, one of my last clear views of the lack still managed to capture a bit of what I was looking for.
And so I sat on the bus as it wound through the town, wondering whether or not I would go back to the mountains again soon. Two days passed wandering around Kanna Lake and I hadn’t once felt that spur of emotion that usually drives my every step. I wondered if my love of the mountains had really been nothing more than an affair. And then, out of the corner of my eye there was a flash of color as the buildings in the village fell away and the farmland spread out before me exposing the mountainscape beyond which the last rays of the sun were quickly disappearing. Faint though that spark was, it rekindled a flame: I knew I would be back next month.