5 hours of pain for 2 hours of pleasure – hiking Mt Mae-Shirane-san and Mt Goshiki-yama

Massive hiking day today! We took the bus up to Yumoto Onsen and walked up past the camping ground to the trailhead for our hike up to Mt. Mae-Shirane-san (2373m) and Mt Goshiki-yama (2379m). Perfect day for it; cool, patchy cloud, slight breeze. What followed was about two hours of pain (up), two hours of pleasure (across) and another three hours of pain (down)! When I get home I’ll work out what the gradient was exactly, but for most of the ascent and descent it was at least 45 degrees and involved scrambling up/down rocks, tree roots and dirt!

A map showing the route we took, together with a description of how to get to Yumoto Onsen and the hike itself, can be found here.

Was it worth it? Definitely! Really tough, but the views from the top were incredible, both down to Yamoto Onsen, and also back over the other side of the range towards the lake in what I think is the caldera of an extinct volcano.

We then caught the bus back to Nikko, visited our favourite yakitori house, took advantage of the in-house onsen (natural hot spring) at our hotel to soothe our weary bodies, and promptly crashed for the night!