Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mt. Atago (愛宕山)

This weekend I went for a short and relaxing hike in Gifu prefecture (岐阜県). The mountain I climbed was Mt. Atago (愛宕山). Check this and this blog for more detailed information (in Japanese).

Although Mt. Atago is just a small hill (261 m), there was a good reason for going there. You might find it strange but sometimes I decide where to go based on some unrelated characteristic, such as the name of a place (check my post about my visit to Sango town :D). In this occasion, the area where the mountain is located has a name that many of you may have heard: 福島 (Fukushima). Additionally, the mountain is also referred as 米田富士 (yoneda-fuji) which reminds me of 富士山 (Mt. Fuji) the famous Japanese volcano. In fact, there is a mountain called 富士山 nearby but I'll talk about that in another post.

Mt. Atago stands in front of the little town of 中川辺 (Nakakawabe), right at the other side of 飛騨川 (Hida river). It is very easy to go there by train from Nagoya (e.g. Nagoya-Tajimi-Minoota-Nakakawabe). There is a festival with fireworks every year in Nakakawabe and people gather by the river to see them.

The path to the top is well indicated and it is a pleasure to walk, especially after a light rain. During this time of the year (late March) you can see many camellia flowers (ツバキ tsubaki in Japanese).

There is a beautiful Shrine called 加茂神社 (Kamo Shrine) on the way. In front of it, there is a small wood building with an Engawa that is just perfect to take a brief rest.

I'd suggest this short hike (around 1 hour walking) for people living around Nagoya who want to escape from the daily stress. The country side (田舎 inaka in Japanese) is really beautiful and worth a walk. After the hike, you can go to have a relaxing bath in 湯の華 (yu-no-hana) spa, close to 可児川駅 (Kanigawa Station).