Mt. Kokushigatake is an amazing place to shoot Fuji!

日本語

Yuga Kurita Mount Fuji from Mount Kokushigadake DSC02089
Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

I’ve always wanted to shoot Fuji from the top of Mt. Kokushigatake. I tried to climb the mountain last November, but the gate of the forest road leading to the mountain was closed earlier than usual due to heavy snow.  I was very busy with my exhibition in summer.  I waited for ten months, and eventually I got an opportunity to try again.

I left home at midnight heading to Oodarumi Touge (大弛峠), which is located on the northern border of Yamanashi prefecture. My house is located in the southern part of Yamanashi prefecture. According to Google Map, it takes three hours, much longer than going to Gotenba or Hakone. Two deers and one fox jumped in front of my car on my way there. Since I expected some animals would do it so I could safely avoid them. Yamanashi prefecture is one of the least populated prefectures in Japan. If you see a sign board making alert of animals, drive slowly so that you can safely avoid them.

The Oodarumi Touge car park has restrooms for both men and women. I used it before climbing to the top. According to the sign board placed at the entrance of the mountain trail, it takes 40 minutes to the top of Mt. Kokushigatake. The mountain trail was arranged well and it was quite easy to hike to the top. But it was the first time for me to take this route and I hiked in pitch darkness with two cameras and one tripod. In addition, I went there with a good friend of mine who is not experienced in hiking very much. We were equipped with headlights but soon swallowed by a cloud and couldn’t even see three feet ahead. We were so careful not to get lost that ended up spending over an hour to get to the top.

We dared to climb the mountain in pitch dark because I knew the trail is short and arranged well, and, most of all, I wanted to shoot Fuji at dawn.  But it is rather dangerous to hit a mountain trail in pitch dark if you are not familiar with it. As a rule, I climb a mountain during daytime hours in advance.

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Nikon D800E w/ Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD

When we arrived at the top of Mt. Kokushigatake, we were in a cloud and couldn’t see anything. The air had a lot of moisture making dew drops in my hair. Even an opportunist like me expected it would probably be impossible to see Fuji from there this morning. But we waited as I know we can never precisely predict what nature would do. As time went by, it got brighter and I could see rocks and stones around me without the headlight but still we had very poor visibility. We couldn’t see Mt. Kitaoku-Senjoudake that is located just a couple of hundred meters away.

But suddenly, as if  by magic, mountains in front of us emerged into view.

That’s Mt. Fuji!

I shouted involuntarily. I quickly removed the rain cover from my camera and took the above shot. Well, to be honest with you, it was the second shot. The first shot was defocused as it was too sudden and I wasn’t prepared.

Yuga Kurita Mount Fuji from Kokushi [Group 0]-_4E00788__4E00792-5 imagesNikon D800E w/ Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD

Weather was much better after that. I took dozens of photos of Mt. Fuji with a grin on my face. I thought it would be quite desperate when I arrived there. But it turned out to be a good shooting opportunity. You don’t know what’s gonna happen.

I created the vertical panorama shot shown above by stitching five horizontal shots. Normally, I use a 3-way head to take vertical panorama shots but I had to use an arca-swiss  compatible ballhead attached to my tripod this time. I made the overlapping part bigger than usual to ensure perfect stitching.

YUGA Kurita Kinpouzan_4E00685
Nikon D800E w/ Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD

The above picture shows Mt. Kinpu, which is located next to this mountain and is also known as a great vantage point to admire Mt. Fuji. This mountain is called Mount Kinpu in Yamanashi Prefecture but called Mount Kinpou in Nagano Prefecture. The rocks standing at the summit of the mountain is Gojouiwa. The view from the top of Mt. Kokushigatake was really amazing but we got a little tired and determined to go back.

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

We got to a crossing after walking for just five minutes. We determined to go to the top of Mt. Kitaoku-Senjoudake as it only takes several minutes from this point.

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

We couldn’t see Mt. Fuji from this place but the view was really amazing. Later I was told by a guy who is familiar with this mountain that Fuji is visible if you go further towards Mt. Oku-Senjoudake. It is a good idea to also visit this mountain when you hike Mt. Kokushigatake.

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

The top of Mt. Kitaoku-Senjoudake provides an awesome view of the Southern Alps. The highest peak at the centre is Mt. Kitadake, which is the second highest mountain in Japan (3,193m). This mountain is also famous for the amazing view of Mt. Fuji. I want to try to climb Mt. Kitadake before the mountain huts close in early November.

We enjoyed the views from Mt. Kitaoku-Senjoudake a great deal. We said good by to the mountain and retraced the trail back to the crossing.

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

We got to the top of Mt. Mae-Kokushigatake after walking a little further from the crossing. We couldn’t see anything on our way to the top of Mt. Kokushigatake since it was too dark. We were pretty amazed by the beautiful sceneries when going back to the car park. If you hike Mt. Kokushigatake in the daytime, read this article from the bottom to check out the route.

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

There is a detour called ‘Garden of Dreams‘ that branches off and joins together with the main route.  This alternative route also provides amazing views . It doesn’t take too much time. I think it is worth while.

It is fun to take pictures while hiking this mossy trail. I’d encourage you to bring a small camera with you when you hike this mountain.

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

DSC02194 Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

DSC02208 Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)


Here’s the entrance of the mountain trail. You can also climb Mt. Kinpu from the same car park. I was very satisfied with this hiking as I could take some awesome photographs of Mt. Fuji =D

国師ヶ岳に登ってきた!

Yuga Kurita Mount Fuji from Mount Kokushigadake DSC02089

Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

前々から国師ヶ岳から富士山を撮りたいと思っていたのだが、なかなかタイミングが合わずに今まできてしまった。去年の11月に来た時は、大雪のために予定より早く林道のゲートが閉まっていて通れなかった。約10が月ぶりにリベンジが出来たわけだ。

夜中に家を出てワゴンRを夜の闇に滑らした。目指すは大弛峠の駐車場。山梨県内の移動とはいえ、南の端から北の端までの移動なので、Google Mapによると3時間ほど掛かるという。途中で鹿2匹の飛び出しと、狩りの最中の狐さんに遭遇したが、無事に予定より早く駐車場に到着した。山梨は自然が豊かで、人口が少ないので車の運転中によく野生動物に遭遇する。動物注意の標識を見たら本当に注意して欲しい。
大弛峠の駐車場にはトイレが完備されているので、用を済ませてから、暗い登山道を登った。登山道の入り口にあった看板によると、約40分で山頂に着くという。登山道はよく整備されていいた。しかし、初めて通る道だったし、どうも雲の中に入ってしまっていたようで、視界がかなり悪い、夜明け前なのでもちろん真っ暗だ。道を間違えないように慎重に進んだので一時間以上かかってしまった。

今回は早朝の富士山を狙いたかったし、国師ヶ岳の登山道がよく整備されていて、距離も短いことを知っていたので、暗いうちに登った。しかし、初めての登山道を夜に昇るのは危険なので、基本的に明るい時間に一度登っておいたほうが良いと思います。

YUGA KURITA FUJI DARK BLUE_4E00618

Nikon D800E w/ Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD

国師ヶ岳山頂についた時は、山頂は雲の中で何も見えなかった。ものすごい湿気で、自分の髪の毛にも雫がつくほどでした。とりあえず期待薄だけど山頂でしばらく待っていると、視界は悪いままだが、徐々に明るくなってヘッドライトなしでも、行動できるようになった。しかし、依然すぐ目の前にある北奥千丈岳の稜線すら見えない状態である。ああ、こりゃ今日は無理かな〜と思っていたら突然視界が開けだして、目の前の山並みが顕になる。

「あっ、富士山だ!」

思わず叫んで、慌ててカメラからカバーを引き剥がして上の写真を撮った・・・ いや実はこれは2枚目のショットです。実際には慌てて撮ったので1枚目はピンぼけでした(〃∇〃)

Yuga Kurita Mount Fuji from Kokushi [Group 0]-_4E00788__4E00792-5 imagesNikon D800E w/ Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD

その後はだいぶ天候も回復し、雲海の上に浮かぶ神々しい富士山を撮ることが出来ました! 頂上についた時には絶望的だと思っていたので、嬉しかった(*´ω`*)

上のショットは5枚撮ってスティッチしました。縦パノラマは、足の水平をしっかり取ってから、3way雲台を使うと撮りやすいです。しかし今回はアルカスイスタイプの自由雲台しか無かったので、左右に若干ずれたり水平が甘かったりします。うまく繋げるために、ちょっと重複部分を多めに取りました。

YUGA Kurita Kinpouzan_4E00685

Nikon D800E w/ Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD

隣の金峯山のシンボル五丈岩もはっきりと見えました。ちなみにこの山は山梨県側では「きんぷさん」、長野県側では「きんぽうさん」と呼ぶそうです。 国師ヶ岳山頂からの景色は本当に神々しくていつまでも居たかったのですが、ちょっとベストの状態は過ぎた感じになったので、降りました。

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

ちょっと降りるとすぐに北奥千丈岳との分岐があるので、こちらも登ってみることにします。

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

するとすぐに山頂につきます。残念ながら富士山は見えませんが、ここからの景観も素晴らしいです。せっかくなのでセットで登りたいところです。

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

南アルプスの山並みがよく見えた。中央やや左の一番高いのが、富士山に続いて日本第二位の標高を誇る北岳である。一度登ってみたい。

北奥千丈岳の山頂も堪能したので、大弛峠駐車場まで戻ることにした。先ほどの分岐地点を通り抜けて、しばらく歩くと前国師ヶ岳がある。

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

登るときは暗くて何も見えなかったので、帰りは美しい登山道に感嘆しながら降りていった。明るい時間に登る人はこの記事を下から見て欲しい(←おい)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

途中には「夢の庭園」なる迂回路がある。この迂回路を通ってもそれほど時間のロスにはならないので、行きまたは帰りのどちらかに通ってみてください。

この登山道は、苔、倒木、枯れ木、キノコなど、なかなか味のある被写体が多く、小さなカメラでスナップを撮りながら歩くのが楽しい。ぜひお手軽なサイズのカメラを携行して歩きたい。

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

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Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

DSC02194 Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

DSC02208 Sony α7 (ILCE-7) w/ FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870)

という訳で登山道入り口に無事到着! 良い富士山が撮れて満足の遠征でした(^_^)v

ワイドはF8、テレはF11まで絞ると結構ちゃんと写ります

このキットレンズはお散歩用になかなか良い

3 thoughts on “Mt. Kokushigatake is an amazing place to shoot Fuji!

  1. 福田忠雄

    魅力あふれる写真を拝見させて頂きました。有り難うございます。今後も楽しみにさせて頂きます。

    Reply
  2. fandosji

    Hola yugakurita
    Me parece estupenda tú idea de unir la fotografía al senderismo y la naturaleza, contando la historia de la aventura y la fotografia hecha.
    Te sigo hace un tiempo en G+ y me gustan tus fotos de fuji.
    Saludos.
    Jf

    Reply

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