Hiking: Katsuragisan azaleas

Js hiking book threw out another recommended hike for May – Katsuragisan. Famous for thousands of azaleas planted on the top of the mountain. According to people’s Twitter and Instagram pictures they were in full bloom on May 11th, so we packed a rucksack and set off.

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It took us a while to get to the correct train station, and then it was a bus journey up to the cable car starting point. We just missed one bus and the next wasnt for over an hour! We thought about a taxi but couldnt decide, a quick paper, scissor, stone decided the bus it was.

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The bus wasn’t overcrowded but as we started going uphill towards the cable car we got stuck in a long crawling line of traffic. At first I thought roadworks but then it became clear it was just a load of families driving to Katsuragisan too. After an hour on the bus we could finally disembark.

The cable car entrance was jam packed, we bought our tickets, but then also had to take a coloured timed ticket (like at USJ!) from someone else. It wasn’t too bad though we only had to wait 40mins.

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At the top we followed the map to the summit.

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Then we followed on to the main viewing area….

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..as it came into view….wow.

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There are plenty of viewing platforms to take pictures or sit and eat your lunch.

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From far the azeleas looked gorgeous, but close up they were starting to look a little tired.

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We worked our way down and sat on a platform enjoying the view for a while.

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Are these azeleas on my skirt also?!

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Heading back to the cable car we also encountered a long wait, about an hour to queue to get back down (no coloured tickets this time).

We didnt do much hiking but it was a beautiful walk!

More information here: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/spot/natuscen/mt-katsuragi.html

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