Water is the key to delicious rice, Sake, seasonal herbs, and fresh fish that you find in Akita. Mountains surrounding Akita meet with clouds from the ocean and bring a good amount of rain and snow. Akita experience especially heavy snowfall during winter that melted snow sink deep into layers of mountains and goes back to surface after years. This natural process provides clean and pure water to the land of Akita, and that is what produces great food.
Mt.Chokai tells you a lot about Akita. Mt.Chokai is also called as Dewa-Fuji because the top of the hill is always covered by snow and the shape is similar to Mt.Fuji. The mountain is 2,236m high and takes about 4 hours to the top. Our friends from Australia and Venezuela joined this journey.
We started from the entranced named “Yashimaguchi” at Yurihonjo city. There is no snow left on starting point on summer. Instead, the way is very wet by melted water from snow. There are stones that local people organized to guide you on the way. You can see some highland plants and flowers that only grow there depending on seasons.
You better take crampons that specialized for climbing when climbing Mt.Chokai. The trail becomes snowy as you going further. Some parts are very steep that it is not easy to climb this. Make sure to take crampons and other necessities if you are trying to climb for the first time.
There are a lot of natural spring water on the way. Water comes from snow and gradually creates wider lines that you can witness the origin of clean and pure water in Akita.
You can see a beautiful crater from the top and enjoy the fantastic view of the ocean. Visitors usually stars climbing, have lunch on top and climb down in the afternoon. Weather and snow change the condition of climbing drastically that you are strongly recommended to write your name to the list before climbing and ask for climbing time if you are doing for the first time.
I thought Mr.Chokai is not too high that I can climb easily until I tried. However, snow on the way was challenging and we needed to take a break for a few times on the way. I felt great when we finally reached the top. There were clouds down the mountain and felt as if I was in the cloud. It is one of the best place to understand that the land of Akita is originated from this clean water. (From Venezuela )