Another day of mice and men. We planned to climb Akita Komagatake, well the easy bits, as the weather forecast was good for the afternoon. The overnight rain, supposedly, clearing by lunchtime. To find some slightly cheaper fuel, we drove to the outskirts of Morioka to fill up the car and to buy food for the climb and dinner.
Finally reaching ‘Alpa Komakusa‘ the foothills around lunchtime, it is still raining on and off and the TV screens, showing weather conditions on the mountain, are a grey blur. Having no rain gear we postpone our ascent to the morrow.
Sabo Culture Park
In the sunny spells, which are quite frequent at the bottom of the mountain, it is very hot so we park in the shade of some trees in a park (Sabo Culture Park).
Exploring this park, we discover a pond largely concealed by foliage behind a small concrete dam. This dam has some rather attractive and costly decoration in what looks like red granite. Then there is an elaborate fish ladder with Perspex viewing windows so it is possible to watch the fish passing by under the water.
The whole area is carefully landscaped with stone and grasses, bushes and ART. There is not a soul about and I suspect, judging by the abandoned overgrown aspect of the place, that visitors are very rare indeed. Another well intentioned local government white elephant that seemed like a good idea. A shame as the park was, or could be, very pleasant.
In the park it starts to rain again heavily we make the car damper than we left. At a loss, we go to a coin laundry. Then to a supermarket, where we buy plastic raincoats, determined to challenge the mountain in the morning.
Back at michi-no-eki Shizukuishi Anekko on route 46 people are putting up the shades of their vehicles getting ready for the night though it is still only 5.30pm. We go for a walk around the campsite adjacent to the road station. This place seems rather damp and unpleasantly insect-ridden. The evening has turned cooler and the inside of the car more comfortable.
＊michi-no-eki Shizukuishi Anekko ; elevation 290m.
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.