Author Topic: japan bouldering  (Read 2949 times)

Offline SamDeakins

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japan bouldering
« on: July 16, 2011, 12:01:32 am »
Hi guys,
just wondering if anyone has any info on bouldering spots around Japan
heading over there for amonth mid august so maybe it will be worthwhile to take some gear  :P

seen the article on ukclimbing i think about the mitake area...definately a place to consider. hopefully there will be a few more areas such as that
got a 4 week rail pass so will be making whistlestop tours of every major city and maybe a few obscure towns and villages along the way!

cheers

Offline habrich

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 05:04:34 am »
There's various beta scattered around the forum like this, this, etc

Japan has quite distinct seasons - cold and snowy in winter, hot and sweaty in summer - so not everywhere is in condition at once. Mid-August you'd want to go high ... the granite at Ogawayama, for example. Mitake, which gets a lot of press because it is close to Tokyo, would be horrendous mid-summer.

Offline Tom de Gay

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 11:39:57 am »
As Thesiger said it will be rather hot and humid, so don't bother with Mitake, which isn't all that great anyway. jwi's website has some useful info. I have a topo for Ogawayama and, if you happen to be in Kobe, Kitayama Koen. PM me if you need them - they're all in Japanese though. Given the heat it is important to dress appropriately:





At this time of year I'd be tempted to sack off bouldering and go walking in Hokkaido or the North Alps.

Offline habrich

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 12:20:00 pm »
I have a topo for Ogawayama and, if you happen to be in Kobe, Kitayama Koen.
I have not heard of Kitayama Koen before. Is it any good? Can you get there on public transport?

Offline Tom de Gay

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2011, 11:18:16 pm »
Not been to Kitayama Koen but looks pretty decent. The Old Skool Pics in my last post are all from there. Here's the topo:
http://www.d1.dion.ne.jp/~kiwi/fragments/topo_a4.pdf
Just checked
the map and it's half way between Osaka and Kobe, a mile or two from Koyoen station. Have a good trip Sam, and let us know how you get on.

Offline SamDeakins

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 05:41:05 pm »
thanks for the feedback guys
i did wonder if it would be a bit too humid to climb in some places, especially as mitake seems to be ina forest!

ill be spending a while in the kansai area, got a few friends around there so maybe one will feel kind and offer a lift :P

cheers for the topo tom!
though i cant read japanese, it will give the old ball&chain chance to practice their japanese haha


aside from attempting to climb, trips to shikoku and koya-san for some spiritual cleansing should be good. And then on to fukuoka for some indulgence!
exciting times

cheers once again :)

Offline Tom de Gay

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 07:47:18 pm »
If you're in Shikoku try and get to Naoshima and Inujima which both have stunning contemporary art and architecture. Cycling the Shinamami Kaido is a good day out too.
Heading from Kansai to Fukuoka, a stop off in Hiroshima is a good way to break up the journey. Miyajima is a short trip from there and has some fine granite boulders, though I don't know the extent to which bouldering is allowed as it's a sensitive site. Worth a visit nonetheless.





Mount Misen, Miyajima

Offline jwi

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 11:26:45 am »
Mid august == hot.  Mizugaki is 1600 m above sea level so it will probably don't get too hot.  I've been to Fukube in September and it was OK.
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Offline climbingjoe1984

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2011, 01:33:47 pm »
Hey people. I'm looking at a trip to Japan in the spring. Bouldering will be an extra rather than a focus of the trip but I was wondering if anyone had any beta.

I have read through the forums, a couple of decent blogs and a few dodgy google translates of Japanese pages but I was wondering if anyone had any first hand experience.

I will be hopefully staying in west Tokyo, so was thinking about a day or 2 at Mitake. Being a fat punter is there much around other than the Ninja block (looks amazing but nothing I will get done in a day,) is there anywhere you can rent a good pad from? Also is spring ok at Mitake? I saw it is next to a river, does the level fluctuate much?

Is there any trail running in the area?

Apart from the bouldering what do people have as there "must do's" for a trip to Japan?

Cheers,

Joe
Can we go climbing now??

Offline Tom de Gay

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 02:07:20 pm »
Mitake is just one boulder with a few decent but hard problems. Spring should be fine temps wise; can't comment on the river. Mitsumine is a good area with plenty of mid grade high quality problems, though a little harder to access. Ogawayama is probably quite nice at this time of year, though might be under snow, depending on when in Spring you're heading there. The tops above 1800m had snow when I was in the Tokyo area in late April a few years ago.


There are some fantastic trails around Mitake and Mitsumine. The only resource I know of in English is the Lonely Planet Hiking in Japan guide. Just keep in mind that it could be snowy, there are bears, and it's quite easy to get lost if you can't read the signs!


As for must dos: all the usual stuff in Tokyo and Kyoto; Nara is often overlooked and quite spectacular; Naoshima and Inujima (as described above) are a little off the beaten a track; really enjoyed cycling the Shinamami Kaido.

Offline SA Chris

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 02:12:53 pm »
Apart from the bouldering what do people have as there "must do's" for a trip to Japan?

A geisha? :)

I would be getting some snowboarding in. Powder looks amazing.
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Offline habrich

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2011, 02:52:06 pm »
Apart from the bouldering what do people have as there "must do's" for a trip to Japan?

I would be getting some snowboarding in. Powder looks amazing.
YYFY. Been to Niseko twice and absolutely loved it. If there were a decent cliff nearby I'd move there tomorrow.

Otherwise Tom is clearly ukb's guru on Japan, but I'll just add quickly that I was underwhelmed by Mitake but have very much enjoyed trips to Ogawayama.

Offline habrich

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2011, 03:00:09 pm »
Must do's in Tokyo (I visit once or twice most years): my favourite places are 1. Shibuya crossing 2. wandering around Shimokitazawa at night - studenty drinking district - and 3. the view from the exit from the elevator at the New York Grill level of the Park Hyatt (actually eat there too if you can but you can always just check the view then reverse). But almost everywhere in Tokyo is pretty compelling if you have not been before.

Offline Tom de Gay

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2011, 03:16:56 pm »
ukb's guru on Japan
That would be jwi!

Offline jwi

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2011, 04:18:26 pm »
:ninja: Arigato :-[

Rent a car and go to Mizugaki.  Really.  It is one of the best areas in Japan for bouldering (and granite trad climbing).  When I lived in Japan there were no printed topos for the bouldering there, other than handwritten stuff and stuff on blogs (and a quick google-search seems to imply that there are still no guidebook for the bouldering).  The directions I wrote should still suffice to take you there http://thousand-cranes.blogspot.com/2007/04/mizugaki.html

There are loads of boulders in the forest above the car park / tourist info hut.  Good problems across all grades.

A touristy thing I really liked in Tokyo is to go up to the bar on the 50th floor of  Mori tower in Roppongi and watch the night time skyline. The sight of skyscrapers all the way to the horizon is something else.

In Kyoto, some of the fancy restaurants in Higashiyama beneath Kyomizudera serve yesterday's leftovers for lunch, which is a nice way to sample kaiseki cuisine.

For eating in general, many of the bests restaurants offer no menu in English.  Learn to ask for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omakase (or just point at the menu at random, I did that a lot when I moved there, it worked well except when I once had to eat a cake buffet for lunch).
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Offline habrich

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2011, 04:32:22 pm »
A touristy thing I really liked in Tokyo is to go up to the bar on the 50th floor of  Mori tower in Roppongi and watch the night time skyline. The sight of skyscrapers all the way to the horizon is something else.
I was up there last month! The New York Grill view is rather similar except that you have the similar height Tokyo Metro Government Building just in front of you with a huge void in between, which adds some drama. It's very <overused cliche>Blade Runner'resque </overused cliche>

Offline SA Chris

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2011, 07:58:39 am »
it worked well except when I once had to eat a cake buffet for lunch

Sounds like on that occasion it worked very well? Can life get better than a cake buffet?
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Offline Snoops

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2011, 08:40:42 am »
Must do's in Tokyo (I visit once or twice most years): my favourite places are 1. Shibuya crossing 2. wandering around Shimokitazawa at night - studenty drinking district - and 3. the view from the exit from the elevator at the New York Grill level of the Park Hyatt (actually eat there too if you can but you can always just check the view then reverse). But almost everywhere in Tokyo is pretty compelling if you have not been before.

I;ve always wanted to visit, sounds like an a pretty cool place. Just out of curiosity would/could you settle there longtime , or is a great place to visit?

Offline habrich

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2011, 09:15:00 am »
Must do's in Tokyo (I visit once or twice most years): my favourite places are 1. Shibuya crossing 2. wandering around Shimokitazawa at night - studenty drinking district - and 3. the view from the exit from the elevator at the New York Grill level of the Park Hyatt (actually eat there too if you can but you can always just check the view then reverse). But almost everywhere in Tokyo is pretty compelling if you have not been before.
I;ve always wanted to visit, sounds like an a pretty cool place. Just out of curiosity would/could you settle there longtime , or is a great place to visit?
I have never lived there so Tom or Jonas could answer with more credibility. But I have thought a lot about it. I don't fancy living in Tokyo or another big Japanese city now as it is just too much hassle with family etc and physcially hard to escape at weekends. Rural Japan might be OK, especially Hokkaido.

It should be added that Japan generally has a certain reputation as a good spot for young single foreign males  :lets_do_it_wild: :lets_do_it_wild: :lets_do_it_wild:... but I missed my opportunity on that  :slap:

Offline jwi

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2011, 12:35:23 pm »
it worked well except when I once had to eat a cake buffet for lunch

Sounds like on that occasion it worked very well? Can life get better than a cake buffet?

 ;D (Unfortunately, if there is one thing the Japanese can't do it is occidental-style cakes... so it was a bit  >:( )

I have never lived there so Tom or Jonas could answer with more credibility. But I have thought a lot about it. I don't fancy living in Tokyo or another big Japanese city now as it is just too much hassle with family etc and physcially hard to escape at weekends. Rural Japan might be OK, especially Hokkaido.

Living in a big Japanese city is fantastic in its way, and something I think those that have the chance to experience should try, but its probably better for young people without children.  And your point about being locked into the city is absolutely true.  It is mandatory to have a car, but it was a bit of a hassle to get a drivers licence and all the permissions for the car, and even with a car it took forever to get to the climbing areas which was totally swamped during weekends.

Not everyone takes to the Japanese culture, especially in the work place, so people moving there should be prepared for a bit of a culture chock.
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Offline climbingjoe1984

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2011, 06:55:16 pm »
Cheers for all the input, I'm very pysched, but less and less for the climbing and more and more for the trip!
Can we go climbing now??

Offline SA Chris

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Re: japan bouldering
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2011, 07:58:54 am »
be prepared for a bit of a culture chock.

Like Ferrero Rocher :)
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