Release | nobu Kawashima
Enjoy hiking at Mt. Mokoto, a renowned mountain with 1,000 meters elevation in east Hokkaido
The highest mountain around Lake Kussharo is Mt. Mokoto with 1,000 meters elevation. The view from the summit is stunning with Lake Kussharo and mountains of Akan and Shiretoko! The hiking course of Mt. Mokoto is easy, and even children and elderlies can enjoy. I will introduce Mt. Mokoto with lots of pictures.
There are two trails in Mt. Mokoto. One trail starts from Koshimizu-Cho, the town in between Shiretoko and Abashiri, and the other one starts from Higashi-Mokoto in Ozora-Cho where Memanbetsu Airport is located. In this article, I will introduce the Koshimizu course.
Heading to the summit from Koshimizu courseThe starting point is the parking of “Highland Koshimizu 725,” a restaurant with a view along Hokkaido Road no. 201 which connects Lake Kussharo and Koshimizu-Cho. As the name suggests, the starting point already has 725 meters elevation, which means, you can go up to the eighth station by a car.
▲There was a stone monument of Koshimizu Kogen in the parking, and the view of Lake Kussharo was terrific!
▲The hiking course starts from the side of the parking.
▲Submit a hiking registration and start hiking!
▲Gentle uphill continues towards the pine forests.
▲I found some pinecones!
▲I saw the roof of the restaurant and Lake Kussharo when I looked back. I felt like I had walked plenty of distance already!
I arrived at the eighth station in only 10 mins although I was taking pictures while walking.
▲There was a spacious area around the eight station, perfect for a short reset!
We would usually feel that we had finally reached the eighth station and we will almost arrive at the summit in other mountains, but in this mountain, we arrive at the eighth station too fast. However, the real hike starts from here. I started walking again towards the summit after a short break.
▲Gentle uphills continue.
▲I noticed many Betula ermanii trees as I continued walking. Their white skins look beautiful.
▲There was this fascinating view spot. It was a perfect place to rest a while.
▲It’s 1,500 meters to the summit from here. 1.5 kilometers in a city is not a problem, but how hard will 1.5 kilometers in a mountain would it be?
After I walked a while, I discovered a foreigner taking pictures of something. There was a cherry blossom tree in full bloom!
▲There were a few trees of Chishima Cherry Blossom. Its nickname is “the skyline cherry blossom.”
▲I visited there in mid-June. The cherry blossom is said to be the latest blooming kind of cherry blossom in Japan.
After I cherished cherry blossom flowers, I felt like I could walk more!
The hiking trail along the ridge had a fantastic viewThe hiking trail continues along the ridge from near the ninth station. Because of that, uphill continued until here, but it starts to go down sometimes.
▲Continue walking by seeing Lake Kussharo on the left.
▲The view becomes clearer as the elevation goes up. The view was too beautiful that I thought I had arrived at the summit already!
▲It feels like I have arrived at a place really high! I noticed a snowy valley still left at far away.
As I continued walking with these fantastic views, I noticed the perpendicular cliff which is a sign of this route. When you see this cliff, you will reach the summit soon.
▲The perpendicular cliff is very rocky.
▲The view when I looked back.
▲According to the sign, it’s only 550 meters to the summit. I am almost there!
Now I reached the summit!After passing the perpendicular cliff, some steep areas appeared. There was a place where I needed to use a rope to climb, and it felt like I was a professional climber. Don’t worry; it’s not too steep so you can relax even if you are a beginner.
▲I saw the summit!
After I kept walking for a while, I arrived at the open space near the summit. I am almost the summit.
▲The open space is perfect to have some bento box lunch.
After walking three to four minutes from the open space, I arrived at the summit!
▲My goal is over there!
▲I finally reached the summit of Mt. Mokoto, a 1,000 meters elevation mountain!
▲I saw Lake Kussharo and mountains of Akan far away from the summit.
It took 1.5 hours from the trailhead to the summit as I take pictures. It was a light hike while enjoying beautiful views.
Mt. Mokoto is an easy mountain perfect for people who would like to enjoy a light hike in Hokkaido.
Text, photo/Hokkaido Likers photo-writer nobu Kawashima