Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Interview with a mountain lover

   I met with Mr. Hiroshi Kamohara (Culture and International Affairs Division) and talked with him about climbing mountains and what it is that particularly attracts him to the mountains of Kochi.

What is it you enjoy most about climbing mountains?

   Each month has a different outlook, and I can feel the four seasons directly. My favorite season is autumn when all the leaves turn to red. I enjoy seeing the name of mountain paths and like imagining the history and the older lifestyles associated with those places.
   After walking in the hills I look forward to going to cafés and ramen shops. A visit to some hot springs can also be very refreshing! If I am going to Mt Ishizuchisan or Mt Kanpuzan, my favorite hot springs are ‘Konoka Onsen’, or if I am going to the Monobe area I will visit ‘Befukyo Onsen’.

Could you tell me your favorite places?
Mt Kanpuzan

   Recently I like to go to the Reihoku area which is on the border of Kochi and Ehime prefectures. Also I like to go to Mt Ishizuchisan in the west, and in the east, Kajigamori and Sanrei.
   They are trips that can be done in a single day from Kochi City and the wide variety of surroundings will keep you from getting bored. Especially the view from the top of mountain is spectacular.

What in particular attracts you to the mountains of Kochi?

On top of Sanrei with his friend
   84% of Kochi is covered by forests, so I can say “Mountains in Kochi=Forest”. Forest-walking lends another layer of pleasure to hiking. That is the big attraction of walking in Kochi. Forest therapy is one of the pleasures in the forest. In Tsuno and Yusuhara Towns, there are forest therapy roads and they are the only therapy roads in Shikoku. If you don’t have a lot of confidence in your stamina, you may find them easy to do as the roads are often not too steep, but don’t forget to prepare yourself for hill walking. I would like to enjoy walking more by exchanging information with friends.
   Would you like to go on one of these forest therapy trails?
   Website: http://www.fo-society.jp/ (Japanese)

Taken from vol.38 PDF

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