Sunday, November 6, 2011

On top of the world

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Just got back from a few days up on Hibayama, straddling the border between Shimane and Hiroshima. I started out at about 750 meters from Kumano Shrine, an ancient shrine considered the gateway to the tomb of Izanagi on top of Hibayama. From the main building, constructed in the early eighth Century, the trail heads up past the Iwasaka, the sacred rock that was the original shrine, past numerous smaller shrines surrounded by 1,000 year old cedars.

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About halfway up the mountain i paused at Nachi no Taki, a picturesque waterfall. Another hour and I was on top of Mt Ryuuouzan, a tad over 1200 meters. I came upon a derelict campsite and decided to camp there for the night. I was not attacked by the Hibagon!!.... actually the Hibagon has never attacked anyone, and since 1982 there has been no sightings of it or its tracks. If you are interested in this Japanese equivalent of the Sasquatsch or Yeti, this site has the most complete information in English.

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A few hours before the sun I was up and on my way and got to the top of Hibayama not long after the sun rose. The entrance to Izanamis tomb is flanked by 2 ancient yew trees. Izanami was the female of the creator-pair that created the Japanese Islands. The Kojiki places her tomb here on Hibayama. The Nihonshoki places it in Wakayama.

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From the top of Eboshisan, the neighboring peak, the views down into Hiroshoima and Shimane were stunning......

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The slopes of Hibayama are covered in forests of beech, and now leafless, it allowed the sun to penetrate and bath the mountain slopes in glorious golden morning light.....

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Descending down towards the park headquarters with its campsites, ski-lift, and onsen, the tree farms of cedar begin, but remnants of the beech forest survive....

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Down at the park center the fall colors are in full swing......

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Continuing down for a few more hours I reach Yuki where I catch the train down through Okuizumo and home.....

3 comments:

  1. beautiful photos and scenery. Sorry I couldn't join you on this hike. I ended up spending the weekend in the Omine mountains of Nara.

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  2. Wow, that mountain view IS stunning. I love the fall colors.

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  3. Simply amazing, Japanese countryside never fails to astonish me. Thanks for sharing, have fun ciao!

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