Experiencing Japan’s Ancient Mountains
ローカル魂 朝日連峰大縦走 原始の山を行く [TUY]
｜Length : 46min ｜Year : 2020 ｜
Located in the northern part of central Japan, the Asahi Mountain Range straddles Yamagata and Niigata prefectures.
With an elevation of 1,870 meters at its highest point, the mountain range’s numerous peaks have seen little development, preserving their ancient landscape. For this very reason, hikers must shoulder their own food and equipment and climb from trailhead to summit, relying on their own strength.
Departing from town, they drive 15 kilometers across steep mountain roads before arriving at a solitary mountain hut amidst a thick forest of beech trees: The Naturalist House. Here, the Asahi Mineral Spa gushes forth, a little-known medicinal spring from times long past. Roughly 40 years ago, owner Nobuo Nishizawa moved from western Japan and re-opened the once-shuttered medicinal spring, attracting hikers from all over Japan, their gazes fixed on the Asahi Mountain Range.
According to Mr. Nishizawa, “To fully appreciate the Asahi Mountain Range’s nature, you must traverse its ridge.”
Local TV announcer Haruka Koyama of TV-U Yamagata accompanies him. Together they attempt a 3-day, 30-kilometer-long hike.
Through her journey with Mr. Nishizawa, Ms. Koyama encounters breathtaking views and discovers the allure and profoundness of these ancient mountains.