Japan Alps – Day 4

Alps - Trail on Ridge I slept ok despite being able to use only portion of the mat, the lights staying on all night and the spot where people change slippers being only three feet from my head. Nothing unusual to report about breakfast.

Got on the trail at 5:20 after asking the reception girl to write down in Kanji where I am going today (Yari-ga-take). Also just in case asked for the direction and was surprised because it was where I came from yesterday. Well it turned out that I spent the night in the different hut than I thought. Obviously I took the wrong turn yesterday under that pouring rain. Not a big deal - just one hour off the trail.

Alps - Mountain Hut Yari-ga-take Today's stage was short but interesting. It was in the clouds all the time. When trail would go on the wrong side of the ridge, I would be in the cloud which was blowing over the ridge with over 50 miles per hour. Half of the time that would be a rain cloud. This was exciting, but not as exciting as the typhoon from the first day.

Alps - Mountain Hut The last hour was a slog of more than 300 vertical meters. I was at the hut before noon and didn't hesitate to check in. I could've climbed the peak Yari (the 5th highest in Japan) which from here would take less than one hour return trip (120 vertical meters). But we are still in the cloud. Besides my boots, socks and clothes are still drying. Maybe next time.

Alps - Down to Kamikochi The plan for tomorrow is to walk down to Kamikochi, take a bus and a train to Matsumoto and stay there for one night.

This hut has a very limited water supply. People are only allowed to brush teeth. The hut has a laptop with internet connection for everybody to use. The problem is the keyboard is Japanese. The other problem is that search engines (Google etc) stubbornly return only results in Kanji. But eventually I managed to get the bus and train schedules and even booked a hotel room in Matsumoto for tomorrow.