Tanigawadake Hike and Takaragawa Mixed Onsen

One of the things I told myself I would do more of last year was do more hiking. Autumn is the best season for hiking in Japan because the weather is a lot cooler and the colours of the leaves are pretty at that time of year.

I don’t hike a lot, so this one was quite a tough one for me. It was a long, steep, rocky hike, but the view and landscape was pretty spectacular. Didn’t start off that way though.

From Tanigawadake hike

This was the Tanigawadake hike that I did last October (yes, a little overdue, I know).
It first required taking the cable car:

From Tanigawadake hike

The leaves were just starting to change colour:

From Tanigawadake hike

Conditions at the hiking start point did not look good. Not good at all. How is this for visibility:

From Tanigawadake hike

Trail was a bit muddy and wet too:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

The fog cleared a bit and we were on our way:

From Tanigawadake hike

Once we got closer to the top it was very picturesque. When I wasn’t sweating and panting away, I managed to get in a few photos. Ok, so more than a few photos.

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

It got steeper and steeper. Not entirely sure if this was meant to be a hike or a rock climb!

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

In amongst the clouds:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

You would have thought we were climbing Fuji!

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

We were up pretty high:

From Tanigawadake hike

There were even some small patches of snow. And this was October!

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

More climbing. Still not yet at the summit:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

Stunning scenery:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

I finally reached one of the lower peaks (there was still the upper peak as well):

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

I think I’m in heaven:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

The trail of people:

From Tanigawadake hike

What goes up, must come down. Coming back down is worse than going up. And going up was no picnic.

From Tanigawadake hike

A beast of a mountain:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

After a hardcore hike, we totally deserved an onsen. And we went to a really awesome. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this onsen. It’s a mixed outdoor onsen. There’s about 4 outdoor baths and all are mixed (there is one female-only onsen). This is one of the very rare mixed public onsens in Japan (no cossies allowed). You are allowed to rent a towel to wear into the hot springs though. Most of the ladies covered up with a towel (as I did), but be warned, that a lot of the men there won’t be so modest. The hot spring is a secluded location built across a river and there’s also a really nice ryokan you can stay at there.

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

A very cool onsen:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

This is Takaragawa onsen for the record. Definitely want to come back to this place. Lots of different rotemburos to enjoy so long as you don’t mind being surrounded by naked people (towels are optional. Although I am glad I am not too much fatter than what I am because they towels on offer wouldn’t have covered all of me! Just something to keep in mind, if you’re on the bigger side).

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