Thursday, May 27, 2010

A winter walk up Maruyama


Driving from my place to Iwami Ginzan, which I used to do regularly a few years ago, you pass through the village of Mihara, and as one is doing so the 480 meter high Maruyama (Round Mountain) is distinctly visible for quite a ways.

One fine January day the weather was warm and the light was bright so I decided to to find out what the views were like from the top.

I drove up the long, narrow valley that runs up from Tanijyugo, parked and headed up the forest track that climbed over the ridge and dropped down to the base of Maruyama.


Half way up Maruyama there was a clearing in the trees that offered a wonderful view over Mihara to the saddle of the ridge called Oe-Takayama. The highest point is a little over 800 meters, and behind it lies Iwami Ginzan. According to a painted signboard in the village at its base, there is a trail that goes up and along the ridge that I've always hoped to climb one day, though I suspect that the trail, like so many others around here, has long since disappeared by not having been used for decades.


The road up to the top of Maruyama switchbacks up the north side, so there was still unmelted snow.


Just below the highest point are the foundations of what used to be a castle, though fort or watchtower might be a more appropriate english word.


From the top, the view roughly south. Somewhere down in there is the Gonokawa River and my village.


But this is the view I had hoped to find. About 25k away, the snowy peaks of the volcano Mount Sanbe, at 1,126 meters the highest point in Iwami.


  1. More stunning photos, I love them, so atmospheric.

  2. I thought that was a brilliant, brilliant first photo (the rest were good as well). Makes my thoughts turn to a crisp snowy Japanese winter (sitting here in dreary-drizzly winter in Adelaide).

    Always feel you've got a lucky life to have enjoyed so many wonderful moments!

  3. Hey Ben.... On a daily basis I count my blessings, but.... our choices heavily influence our luck....

  4. I know - despite my "grass is greener" comment, I always catch myself pondering on how lucky I am. Even if there are choices that I wonder if I should take (or should have taken), I can always reflect on that knowing that I've got a pretty good life, even here in Adelaide... far, far away.