It’s been another busy month, made more so by having my parents in town for two weeks. It was wonderful to be able to show them our life in Tokyo and it also allowed my husband and I to get in a kid-free weekend escape. We chose Gunma, a prefecture I hadn’t yet been to and with the perfect weather made for an ideal weekend away.
We’re a hiking family and generally, our daughter is always game for the adventure. But without her, we can set our sights a bit higher so we decided to scale the peaks of Tanigadake, just north of Minakami.
To climb to the peak, we first had to take a cable car a good ten minute’s ride up several thousand feet of elevation. From the top cable car station, we had stellar views over the ranges all around, but we didn’t stop there. We took a small chairlift a further few hundred meters up the mountain and then, only then, could we begin our hike.
Yet despite all of the assistance, the climb to the actual summit was rather brutal. My husband had promised me a ridgeline hike, which I mistakenly assumed meant fairly level. Instead we slogged on with the weekend crowds up a rocky exposed mountain face. With glaring sun and huge groups on the trail to take advantage of the fall colors, it wasn’t exactly the most enjoyable experience.
I felt myself growing ever more irritated until after our lunch stop, when we were greeted near the summit with the panorama below:
Most of my autumns in the past few years have allowed me to see the close-up beauty of this season but the view that this height afforded me was of the stunning panorama of whole mountains of foliage. I suppose in the end, it was worth the effort!