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Yarigatake 2008 (click for slideshow)

In July, I finally hiked a mountain I've wanted to do since I saw it featured on a Japanese TV show 7 years ago. Mt. Yarigatake is Japan's third-highest peak at about 10,500 feet. More than the height, its sharp profile (the name means "arrow" in Japanese) is what makes it distinctive. The surrounding area of the North Japan Alps is beautiful, and the jumping-off town of Kamikochi is full of great sights also.

I did the hike with two friends--Geoff and Bob. Geoff is a current co-worker at Toyota, and Bob is a former colleague from my teaching in Japan days. The weather was less than perfect--we got rained on a few times, we had no view from the top of Yari, and our tent almost blew off the side of a cliff at the Sessyou campsite near the top. Still, it was a great time and a beautiful hike. Have a look!