Japan Alps – Day 5

People in the hut got up at 4am or earlier in hopes to climb the Yari and watch the sunrise. But the weather was still the same - we were inside the passing rain clouds. I left the hut just after 5am with my destination Kamikochi written down for me in Kanji. I got to the first trail junction 10 minutes down in very strong wind and practically zero visibility and surprise - no Kamikochi sign. Not to play the Russian roulette went back up to the hut and got all possible names in Kanji of places closer than Kamikochi. That worked.

At some point I was descending with the guy who was listening to the loud recording of classical music. I thought it was Wagner but wasn't sure, so I asked. All I could understand that it was from Europe. Surreal. Steep descent on the rocks, rain and blowing wind with almost zero visibility and Wagner. I lost this guy in 5 minutes.

Alps - Matsumoto Alps - Matsumoto Eventually I reached the grass, creeping pines, and more and more trees. The last half of the stage trail followed the Yari-sawa river. It was great to walk through the lush vegitation after four days of mostly rocks and snow. So it was back to civilization after the 1,500 meter descent.

Alps - Matsumoto Castle I took a bus to the Shin-Shimashima local train station. The road was very impressive - 30 tunnels or so in less than one hour. Then local train - two cars - took me to Matsumoto. Checked into my hotel and went to explore the city. Saw an impressive Japanese castle and just was watching the life of a provincial town. Tomorrow morning I am taking Shinkansen trains to Nagoya and then Kyoto.