Second hike in Aso – Stage 2 – Mt. Eboshidake

Greetings everyone from Michi No Eki Aso.

Yesterday was a very warm and sunny day so I decided it was time to take on the second leg of my mountain hiking journey.

This time the target mountain was Mt. Eboshidake, located directly opposite the first mountain I climbed last time, Mt. Kishimadake.

As with Mt. Kishimadake, the hike started from the Aso Volcano Museum parking lot that can be reached by bus or car in approx. 20-25 minutes from Michi No Eki Aso and Aso Station.

This time I traveled and hiked with two of my co-workers Nathalie and Yū, whom have become my new mountain climbing buddies.

Yū is our Japanese speaker and blogger and Nathalie is our French, Dutch, English and Japanese speaker, a living breathing Google translate app.

We traveled by car from Michi No Eki Aso along the Panorama Line greeting our friends, the red cows of Aso (Akaushi) and their friends the horses as we passed by.

cows_horses

We were also able to snap some great pictures of the pristine Komezuka, a grassland hill in Aso that is inaccessible for hiking.

komezuka

After arriving at the Aso Volcano Museum parking, we were met by a guide from the museum whom took us around the Kusasenri grassland and up to the start of the hiking trail.

kusasenri_guide

The Kusasenri ga hama is a crater formed around 30,000 years ago and contains two fresh water ponds and a variety of mountain flowers, insects and other creatures. As well as flowers we spotted a frog hopping along as we walked through the grassland.

flower_frog

Having taken a nice leisurely stroll through the center of Kusasenri, it was time to climb up onto the path and start our ascent of Mt. Eboshidake. The trail is well signposted up to the starting point and there is a rope you have to remove and re-attach to access the trail.

signs

The hike started off at a very gradual incline with little difficulty compared to Mt. Kishimadake but that made sense as the elevation of both mountains is similar but the trail takes double the time to reach the summit.

Along the way we were treated to beautiful views of the blooming Azaleas all around us.

azaleas

Before long the trail began to get a lot steeper and the path was lined with wooden steps that are very useful especially after rainfall to prevent slipping on the mountain soil.

steps

Just over halfway up, the views on all sides were stunning with an excellent view of both Kusasenri and Mt. Nakadake along with its fuming crater.

Due to the direction of the wind on the day, we were a little overwhelmed with the smell and taste of gas from the active volcano in the distance so proceeded as fast as we could to rise above it.

kusasenri_nakadake

Having climbed at a faster pace than average to avoid the gas, we arrived very quickly at the final leg of the hike and the summit came into view.

I must admit I was extremely tired but thankful to be away from the strong smell of the volcano. We decided to take a short rest before making our way to the summit marker and taking a victory picture.

last_leg

Whilst the previous summit of Mt. Kishimadake had been extremely windy, there was barely any wind at the Mt. Eboshidake summit.

As it is Spring, there were however thousands of insects that were a little annoying while trying to take the victory photo. Those with an insect or bee phobia should prepare yourself for the onslaught especially in the warmer months.

summit

After taking some time to enjoy the view and celebrate another summit achievement, we began our descent down the opposite side of the mountain and eventually back to the Kusasenri grassland making a big circle from where we started.

The descent gave us another great view of the Nakadake crater and Kusasenri.

descent

The descent seemed to fly by very fast and before we knew it we were back down on the opposite side. We decided to take a dip in the fresh water pond to cool off as the day seemed to be getting hotter and hotter.

pond

All in all we were about 30 minutes faster than the average time of 2 hours it usually takes for the hike.

I would highly recommend both the Mt. Eboshidake and Mt. Kishimadake hikes as they are totally different experiences from each other and offer very different terrains and surrounding views.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to drop in to Michi No Eki Aso tourist office for any hiking advice and route maps.

With stage 2 now complete the next goal is the much longer Mt. Nakadake & Mt. Takadake summits which can take around 6-7 hours.

I will be sure to report back once Stage 3 and 4 are completed.

Stay safe and hope to see you soon in Aso.

Oliver

カテゴリー: Activity, English Blog   タグ: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   この投稿のパーマリンク

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