The second day in Hirayu, we will go to Norikura and then come back to Takayama.
I sink in the hot spring in the early morning and enjoy the rick breakfast in the restaurant.
The mountain area is really nice. Excpet for the nature, the temperature is also cooler in the night.
That's why I choose Chubu region as my travel destination.
No matter walking or doing any exercise, the hot weather is always the problem.
I think I will enjoy a nice hiking in Norikura today.
Mount Norikuradake is part of the Hida mountains and known as one of the 100 Famous Japan Mountains.
The official website provides some trekking routes for tourists.
Among all the peaks in this area, Mount Kengamine is the tallest point of 3026m.
While on the bus driving along the Norikura Skyline, the scenery reminds me of the journey from Lhasa to Yamdrok Lake which is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet and is located in the altitude of 4441m.
Though the scenery in Tibet is much spectacular than Norikuradake, it's also nice and could be approached easily.
Arriving at the Norikura bus ternimal, the altitude is already 2700 meters.
It's no wonder why elder and children could reach the summit over 3000 meters height.
I think this kind of mountain climbing (or hiking) could be one of Japan's features.
In Taiwan, we also have many high mountains. However, the climbing is not so easy.
Inside the bus ternimal, you could find the specialty shop and restaurants.
If you need some sporting stuff, you could buy in the specialty shop.
Following the beautiful Tsurugaike (鶴ヶ池), I start my hiking to Mount Kengamine.
Even though it's already Auguest, you could still find snow along the mountain side and crater lakes along the route.
It's said that it's possible to ski in the specific area of Norikura.
Before Mount Kengamine, it's recommended to try hiking Mount Fujimi (富士見岳).
Since the hiking in Torres del Paine on Jan, I seldom do exercise because of Taiwan's hot weather.
Even though I visited Kamikochi yesterday, the walking is still too easy.
The route to the top is only 10 minutes. Of course, I do it as the warn-up.
On the top of Mount Fujimi, you could see bus ternimal and Tsurugaike.
This awesome scene is worthy of spending only 10 minutes.
Coming back to the route, the blue lakes in the middle are my favorite spots for photographing and taking a short break.
By the way, if you look at the hillside on your left, you may find a wide area of snow and some tourists skiing there.
Just as the estimated time, I reach the building in front of the entrance to Mount Kengamine.
It's really different from my hiking experience in Torres del Paine that the time for hiking is usually four to eight hours.
However, this location is really on the high mountain.
The building "星之小屋" offers accommodation to the climbers that is quite good for watching stars in the night and the sunrise at the top of Mount Kengamine.
Besides, the shops inside the building sell drinks, refrements and other items.
Lots of tourists are resting here for the hiking to the top.
Some of them are children and elders. Suddenly, you feel that it should be easy to reach the top.
So, if you don't have any chance to climb to the summit of the hign mountain, Japan will make your dream come true.
From here, the hiking becomes harder than the route before.
The path is rocky and the ascent is also deeper.
Of course, the altitude is so high that it makes your breathing harder and faster.
Walk and rest, and then walk and rest again. You won't worry to be left behind because the line of people is longer than you could image.
While you move your foot step by step, the resting area becomes smaller and you could see the spectacular scene of mountains.
Around an hour, I finally see the shrine on the summit.
No one knows why Japanese set up the shrine on the high mountain.
However, this shrine is indeed a landmark of Mount Kengamine.
It's another feature of Japan climbing culture.
I feel exciting and great while watching the amazing scenery at the altitude of 3026 meters.
In order to show the evidence to others, taking a photo with the stadning wood is for sure the must-do you could not miss.
Resting for a while, I'm ready coming back to the bus ternimal.
You have to keep this narrow space empty for the people coming behind.
It's much easier to reach the entrance in 30 minutes, and the total time of the hikinh from and back to bus ternimal is around four hours totally.
You don't have to carry the heavy backpack for hiking the high mountain.
It's strange but real. Just a day trip!
Around four o'clock, we've already come back to Takayama. After all, zenkoji is quite cheap and I could cook by myself.
The staff tells about the location of the supermarkets nearby.
One is about walking for 10 minutes where is close to Hida Tenmangu (天滿宮) shrine in the south.
I know that most of tourists feel the cost in Japan is pretty high.
Even a noodle soup in the restaurant is over 500 Yen, and the Hida beef cuisine is much expensive.
If so, I will recommend you to go to the supermarket.
Though the supermarket doesn't offer the Hida beef steak, the sliced Hida beef is less than 2000 Yen.
The sushi box is less than 500 Yen while the lunch in the restaurant is usually over 1000 Yen.
Even the bread is surpricingly less than 100 Yen. That's quite cheap!
Therefore, if you want to save your budget, just go to the supermarket.
My dinner today is the pan-fried sliced beef and the cold Udon with Japanese soy-bean source.
The cooking for these dishes is quite easy.
I think the sliced beef is a little thinner and oily. It's better to fry with noodle and vegetables.
Maybe I should try the Hida beef steak while I come back from Shirakawa-go.
As for the cold Udon, it's nice and also cheap.
By the way, the vegetable in Japan is delicious, even it's uncooked.
The cucumber my mother bought is quite fresh and tasty without any source.