Posted by: pdot78 | June 29, 2009

Week 50: Mount Azuma

Hello Canada,

I finally got to go to Fukushima and see Mt. Azuma this weekend. I have been looking forward to this since November and it was well worth the wait. Miki, Mika, Yoshie, Jeff and I made the drive over via the Bandai Azuma Skyline and that was beautiful enough on its own. The road itself brought us a mere 15 minute walk up to the summit of this massive natural beauty.

Mt. Azuma is actually a collection of volcanoes bordering the Yamagata and Fukushima prefectures in the Bandai-Asahi National Park. We ended up climbing two of them: Mt. Azuma Kofuji and Mt. Issaikyo-yama. The first was given the name “Kofuji” because it resembles a small Mount Fuji. It stands at 1705m tall and has a conical-shaped, 500m wide crater making it an absolutely stunning sight. It was an easy climb and had a great view of Mt. Issaikyo-yama across the street. Every spring, as the snow melts, a white rabbit appears along the side of Mt. Azuma Kofuji. This acts as a symbol that the farming season has begun.

Mt. Issaikyo-yama itself stands at 1949m and hosted the magnificent Goshikinuma lake. We originally had the idea that this lake was accessible by car and would be as easily accessible as Kofuji but we were in for a surprising hiking treat! This cobalt blue lake is on the top of the mountain and can only be accessed through a 4 hour hike through a marsh and up the side of Mt. Issaikyo-yama. The hike also brought us past a sulphur vent which was neat. Nobody expected to be seriously hiking today so I think the group was a little hesitant to make the climb but I was so excited I literally bounced all the way up and down! Everyone did a really awesome job though and I’m proud of them for making it the whole way through. I don’t have any facts or interesting historical information on this one other then it’s last eruption was in 1977. I think my Uncle Brad would have loved hiking this place. Absolutely stunning.

Here are the rest of the pictures from this epic journey! Also, if anyone could explain what the strange blue line across the sky was that would be extremely helpful.



  1. Specatcular! The views of the ridge lines and peaks are really beautiful. The orange rock reminds me of a totally barren area in Gros Morne Ntl Park in Nfld – no vegation there at all. No idea about the blue line. Almost looks like some strange line between the upper clouds and lower fog. Loved the way the fog rolled in over the side of the mtn. Looks like you had the place mostly to yourselves too. Sounds like a great day. Enjoy your last 3 weeks!

  2. Great post! Great photos!

    But… was this the last Paul vs. Japan adventure before you come home? Or do you have one more up your sleeves?

  3. hey
    Pictures are awesome
    By the way are you still thinking about writing a book???

  4. stunning!!!

    Absolutely stunning scenery, and absolutely stunning pictures. You should really look into some intermediate/advanced photography classes when you get back.

    Oh, and we got a visit yesterday; the Emperor of Japan visited Carleton (take that U of O lol). I’m not sure when he’s done his Canadian tour, but maybe you’ll see him in the airport on your way back? Say hi for me hahaha

  5. WOW!!! thats some amazing views you got there Paul. Did you put the small rocks on the big rock like that
    The white Rabbit thing reminds me kinda of ground hog day

    Oh Kyle, Alex saw the Emperor of Japan as well haha through his limo window in toronto..

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