Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ogawayama, the Yosemite of Japan


This spot is pretty countryside, near the borders of Yamanashi, Nagano, and Saitama, but when I saw on my motorcycle map that there was a mountain with the description "The Yosemite of Japan", I had to check it out.


Bonus, you might be able to see some Kamoshika, which is some kind of Japanese deer. I didn't see any.


This place is beautiful and empty. Honestly, I was in a line of traffic for 2 hours the day before... to go to Costco. About half the people at Costco were families. In just a little more time, you could bring the kin up here, and let the kids run around in something natural. I know that Costco has free samples and 3D televisions, but nature doesn't cost much... and it's in 3D!


How many families in Japan have been here, or any non-on-the-tourism-map mountains, vs. how many have been to Disneyland? I don't want an answer to that rhetorical question, because I think I already have it. Also, it's hard to make fractions with zeros.


I didn't have much time, but some older hiking ladies said it would take about 4 hours to get to the top of Ogawayama. Which means it would take me 2. I went up for an hour, then back.


This spot is well known (apparently) for rock climbing. Just like the real Yosemite!


The granite rocks were nice, but Yosemite?!? Is that supposed to be a mini Half Dome over there? Right across from the 3 meter tall El Capitan?


There's a nice campground. And a nicer ryokan, Mr. Moneybags.


Awesome, you can do a little rock climbing of your own, even if you forgot your gear. You know, those metal hooky things and harnesses and what not.




So, yeah, check it out if you have a chance. Although the internet spoke of rock climbers, I saw none. There was a 20% chance of rain, which means 99.99% of people won't go somewhere with trees. Maybe they are up at the peak.

Speaking of peaks.


I rode the CB1000 over 9km of dirt to get to the highest mountain pass in Japan. At 2360m.

Hooray, I guess.


The dozen dudes on dirt bikes, besides thinking I was fucking crazy for riding my 100% non-dirt bike on a 100% dirt road told me that this is the end of some well known Japanese road. They said to take a picture and tell my Japanese friends. Is there something to this?

Riding back, you'll pass through Kofu, which looked pretty rad. There are a ton of onsen, boasting selling points like views of Fuji, or hella grapes, but it started raining so I went home.

I'm serious about the grapes.

Oh, check out my video. It has no sound, so it's boring. But it's only a couple minutes. You can be bored for a couple minutes, yeah?

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