Thursday, 8 September 2011
Pottering about the hills of Shibata
As it was a fine day I loaded the Humber into my trusty Suzuki Every mini van and headed out into the hills. My first stop was my favorite fresh water spring in the foothills of Mt Gozu and after topping up my water bottles I then drove along the base of the mountain and around the corner where I joined up with the popular Shibata to Akadani cycle road. This cycle road follows the old railway line that used to run from Shibata into the hills beyond Akadani where there was once a large coal mine. Now the cycle road is popular with school kids, walkers, runners & cyclists and passes through many small villages along the way. I think the total distance from Shibata to the end of the cycle road is about 18km or so if I remember correctly. After starting out at a rest area that has a car park I rode the slight up hill grade until the cycle road finishes at a small village. I think there may be some difficultly in extending the cycle road into Akadani village because of private land ownership, but it would be fantastic if one day the cycle road could go all the way into Akadani itself. After turning left at the end of the cycle road I headed down and across a bridge over the Kajikawa river as I wanted to take a look at Uchinokura dam and the lake. It's a short tough climb in low gear up the road but after passing through the long unlit tunnel you are rewarded with a fantastic view of the lake and surrounding mountains . And the view on the way up lacking back towards the peaks of Mt Gozu is rather nice as well. Pictured above is a map showing the route and a few photos taken on the 1st leg of the trip.