I got an email from Google the other day saying that my photosphere picture from the peak of Nagatadake (永田岳 – Mt. Nagata) has received over 300,000 views. Yay! I wish I could earn money from that, haha.
In case you don’t know what a photosphere is, it’s basically a 360 degree panoramic photo that you can take using the Google Camera app. On the photosphere above, use your mouse (or your finger) to move the viewpoint around. If you move the photo all the way sideways 180 degrees, you’ll see my friend next to the peak marker, looking out into the ocean.
She and I climbed this mountain last year in the spring. It’s on the island of Yakushima (屋久島), a world heritage natural site famous for inspiring the setting of Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke.
Nagatadake is not a popular destination among visitors of Yakushima. Most folks seem to have not even heard about it at all, and the typical itinerary is:
- Hike through Shiratani Unsuikyo (白谷雲水峡), where the moss forests of Princess Mononoke are.
- See Jomon Sugi (縄文杉), a tree supposedly over 7,000 years old.
- Climb Miyanouradake (宮之浦岳 – Mt. Miyanoura), one of Japan’s 100 famous mountains (日本百名山 – Hyakumeizan).
This was actually what our itinerary more or less looked like initially, but we ended up adding Nagatadake on the suggestion of a hiker we met along the way. He said that the views from the top were much more spectacular than on Miyanouradake. And he was right!
If you’re hiking up Miyanouradake, you might as well check out it out. Nagatadake is only about a 30 to 40 minute detour (one way), so it’s relatively near. In fact, in the photosphere above, you can see that it’s pretty close. That mountain in the distance is actually Miyanouradake.
Here are a few more pictures from the trip: