Mizu-basho (Skunk Cabbage)


I trekked ‘Oze’ for three days. Oze is a very famous marsh land especially for skunk cabbage (no bad smells as American one) with white flower indicating the begginning of early summer in this high land on mountains.

The first of June was the openning of the mountains to climbers for the year. In usual year, this time at the season was the best for skunk cabbage (‘Mizu-basho’), though this strange weather of warmer air made the ‘Mizu-basho’ bloom one month earlier. I expected to take the pictures of beautiful flowers covering the marsh, but almost of them were over to bloom…

First night it rained so hard, so I had to wait the rain to stop at the hut for several hours. Second day after the dawn, I started trekking down to the base of the mountain where the marsh start. I walked 16km for the second day. It was cloudy whole the day. I could not see the tops of the mountains. I just walked and walked to reach to the hut at 14:00. The hut has a natural hot spring which is the only hot spa hut in this marsh land. I took a hot tub for a while. I relaxed to prepare the trekking on the following day.


Onsen-koya (Hot Spring Hut)IMG_6926

The hut provided us the too nice supper for the mountain hut. They supply us everything by helicopters from the base town. Everything is twice more expensive than in Tokyo. 500ml mineral water bottle costs 400 yen. I brought four bottles from home. I bought only one bottle there.

After the meal, I was smoking out door (smoking in the hut was prohibited). I saw a couple of mountain dear grazing in the marsh field. Air was getting lower and lower as low as 5 ℃ at the time to go sleep at 8pm. We must get warm at the fire place. It’s like a middle winter in Tokyo. Iplanned to wear half sleeve polo first before coming to this place, though montaineering shop advised me bring a winter clothes. I was lucky to listen to their advises. I took two blankets for sleep.


Morning Frosts
Mt. Hiuch and its reflection on marsh pond
Yoppi hanging bridge


Bell avoiding bears attack


The third day, it cleared up, no clouds in a sky. Frost covered the marsh to white. I’ve never seen this white out frost. Beautiful. I left the hut at 8am. I took the another route to reach to the same south gate starting and ending the trekking of the marsh. It took 6 hours. I had to climb back to the top of the mountain to get back home I climbed for another two hours. Usually people took just one hour, but I took twice because my heart problem. However I could reach back to the first hut where I stayed at the first night.

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