WOODLAND WONDER

JUNE 2014

#031 – HACHI-GA-MINE

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Some fifteen ks, if the crow flew it, west of Hyakuri-ga-take, you’ll find the 800 metre  Hachi-ga-mine, rising above the old country hamlet of Miyama.  Struck as we were, on Hyakuri by the beauty of the forest greenery in those mountain woodlands a couple of hour’s drive out of the city, we headed back for more.

The Missus, ever reliable behind the wheel, swung the car off the main Miyama road and up along a narrow slither of tarmac through dark wooded, steep sided, logging country and up into the verdant forests crowning the high ridgelines of lost Kyoto.

Hyakuri-ga-take from Hachi-ga-mine

Hyakuri-ga-take from Hachi-ga-mine

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The Missus, the Kid and I walked in from Gonami Pass.  Another deserted trailhead on a fairweathered day.  The Kansai mountains were proving to be our own private playground.  Up there the sea breeze blows in from the Japan Sea, some twenty kilometres away, to the north.  A welcome respite as the summer heat began to build.

Through woodlands carpeted with dry leaves and ceilinged with a canopy of sunlit greenery, we ambled westwards to the top of Hachi-ga-mine.  Once there, we popped out of the trees onto what must be one of the region’s best hidden camping spots.

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Aoba-yama from Hachi-ga-mine

Aoba-yama from Hachi-ga-mine

Knee high azalea sporting deep red blossoms attracted bees and butterflies.  Views, slightly cloaked in haze, stretched out across mountainous terrain.  Hyakuri to the east and the twin peaks of Aoba to the northwest.

This was a place we found difficult to leave.  We ate our lunches in the shade of a small pine.  A bumble bee had his work cut out keeping butterflies from his flowers.

‘Next time,’ I said, ‘We’ll bring the tent.’

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