Mt. Akita Komagatake

Mt. Akita Komagatake, Semboku: Address, Mt. Akita Komagatake Reviews: 4.5/5

Mt. Akita Komagatake
4.5
What people are saying
Sarah B
By Sarah B
Terrible July Weather - AND a Mountain Rescue (not surprised)
Jul 2019
Although my sister and I scheduled three days for our planned hike at Akita-Komagatake (from our 3-night basecamp at Kuroyu onsen inn, 20 minutes from the shuttle/bus station), our weather this July was TERRIBLE... and that was even after the predicted rainy season ending (which NHK insisted was going to be July 27 - ha ha)! We waited all three days but could wait no more, even after being told repeatedly by other hikers that it was dangerous to go up there (at the time, we assumed they meant thunder/lightening). On our last possible day, we caught the mandatory shuttle bus up (cost = about $12 USD/person) up at 10:30-ish, riding it about 30 minutes to the surprisingly stark trailhead at the high trailhead. There were 2 people on the shuttle, including a guy from Hachimantai who came because of the NHK predictions about rainy season being over (it was actually 2 days past due now). There were zero views during the drive - zero... it was nothing but fog, fog, fog. Near the top (which had very little going on at the hut/station), it also looked like a lot of trees and shrubs were blowing - signaling the shape of things to come (at least from certain directions). Our only realistic goal was the big lake (Amidaike Pond, maybe 4 miles total - in/out same way) - original hopes to hike the whole loop and visit Babanokomichi Valley HIGHLY unlikely. We started up the trail (right - the one that is 1 hour 10 from the lake shelter) and should have taken more seriously the ambulance sirens we heard coming up as we proceeded. Initially, the trail was civil and the winds were low. We ran into about 20 people coming down, including several huge hiking groups in major gear. All looked soaked and terrible given the weather. As we headed out towards more open landscape, the winds became super-fierce... Patagonia-like at times (and, frankly, dangerous during the sections near the lake). There was fairly steady rain and run-off, meaning that many sections of the trail were long lakes between the log stairs. Although this trail was slightly more civil than other trails we'd done in Hachimantai, there were still lots of muddy ruts, lots of scary/uneven rocks, and - as stated - tons of very deep lakes of rain with slick logs. But the most impressive thing was the wind. As we sort of topped out - 10 minutes from the lake - you had to actively brace against the wind gusts, particularly because the final part of the hike is on slick boardwalk. We ran into our bus-mate - who officially gave up before the hut because he said he was disoriented and concerned. We made it to the hut - which had zero services. It was cold and damp - another couple was leaving when we arrived. We ate our cold packed lunches as the doors rattled in their frames with the wind. Heading down, we faced into the wind and neither of us could wear our glasses because the wind/spray messed up the lenses. This made things even more treacherous. About half a mile from the end (having seen no one), we came upon 12 people (a fireman mountain rescue team) carrying out a person (like - by hand in a stretcher) who had fallen. It was extremely slow and treacherous given all the rocks and lakes. We hung back until the bottom - where the waiting ambulance whisked them down the mountain. Although we did not get an exact location of the fall, the people at the shuttle station speculated that it happened on the boardwalks descending to Babanokomichi from the lake. That would make sense since the team probably set out behind us, got the guy while we were eating, and then headed down. Nonetheless, it speaks to the danger that hiking in these conditions poses. As I've stated on all our Tohoku hiking reviews (Hakkoda, Hachimantai), our weather was TERRIBLE on this trip. We chose this time of year to hit the festivals - but I cannot recommend hiking Tohoku in July based on our experiences. Also, it seems that most Tohoku mountain hikes largely follow the theme of: 5000-foot open marshy hikes with gentle green ridgelines and mountains, with thick jungle-like terrain below 5000 feet (not the high rocky terrain you associate with the Japanese Alps to the south).

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
69 reviews
Excellent
33
Very good
32
Average
4
Poor
0
Terrible
0

TAMAN1951
Liberty Lake, WA5,775 contributions
Jun 2018 • Couples
Pleasant scenery made for a relaxing afternoon.

The forest is lush and quite dense.

Some of the trees were in bloom which made the scenery even more pleasing.

Nice winding roads.

All in good shape.

Loved the drive.
Written June 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Simplyko
Perth, Australia358 contributions
Jun 2015 • Couples
Went the first week of June. We tried to drive up to the parking lot at the 8th station. The drive was very steep and curvy. Roads were also very narrow and it was difficult to get up. Due to our tiny car's lack of engine power (600cc?), we gave up 2.4km before the parking lot and parked at the side of the road that had a wider flat bit of grass and hiked the rest of the way. It was summer and should have been suitable to hike. However, some parts were snowed in and the route was covered which made it too dangerous to walk. We had to give up the both routes we tried because of snow. The view midway was beautiful, though. Would have liked to hiked the whole trail. An elderly couple before us also had to turn back even though they were more equipped than we were. Would return again.
Written June 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sarah B
Tacoma, WA70 contributions
Jul 2019
Although my sister and I scheduled three days for our planned hike at Akita-Komagatake (from our 3-night basecamp at Kuroyu onsen inn, 20 minutes from the shuttle/bus station), our weather this July was TERRIBLE... and that was even after the predicted rainy season ending (which NHK insisted was going to be July 27 - ha ha)! We waited all three days but could wait no more, even after being told repeatedly by other hikers that it was dangerous to go up there (at the time, we assumed they meant thunder/lightening). On our last possible day, we caught the mandatory shuttle bus up (cost = about $12 USD/person) up at 10:30-ish, riding it about 30 minutes to the surprisingly stark trailhead at the high trailhead. There were 2 people on the shuttle, including a guy from Hachimantai who came because of the NHK predictions about rainy season being over (it was actually 2 days past due now). There were zero views during the drive - zero... it was nothing but fog, fog, fog. Near the top (which had very little going on at the hut/station), it also looked like a lot of trees and shrubs were blowing - signaling the shape of things to come (at least from certain directions). Our only realistic goal was the big lake (Amidaike Pond, maybe 4 miles total - in/out same way) - original hopes to hike the whole loop and visit Babanokomichi Valley HIGHLY unlikely. We started up the trail (right - the one that is 1 hour 10 from the lake shelter) and should have taken more seriously the ambulance sirens we heard coming up as we proceeded. Initially, the trail was civil and the winds were low. We ran into about 20 people coming down, including several huge hiking groups in major gear. All looked soaked and terrible given the weather. As we headed out towards more open landscape, the winds became super-fierce... Patagonia-like at times (and, frankly, dangerous during the sections near the lake). There was fairly steady rain and run-off, meaning that many sections of the trail were long lakes between the log stairs. Although this trail was slightly more civil than other trails we'd done in Hachimantai, there were still lots of muddy ruts, lots of scary/uneven rocks, and - as stated - tons of very deep lakes of rain with slick logs. But the most impressive thing was the wind. As we sort of topped out - 10 minutes from the lake - you had to actively brace against the wind gusts, particularly because the final part of the hike is on slick boardwalk. We ran into our bus-mate - who officially gave up before the hut because he said he was disoriented and concerned. We made it to the hut - which had zero services. It was cold and damp - another couple was leaving when we arrived. We ate our cold packed lunches as the doors rattled in their frames with the wind. Heading down, we faced into the wind and neither of us could wear our glasses because the wind/spray messed up the lenses. This made things even more treacherous. About half a mile from the end (having seen no one), we came upon 12 people (a fireman mountain rescue team) carrying out a person (like - by hand in a stretcher) who had fallen. It was extremely slow and treacherous given all the rocks and lakes. We hung back until the bottom - where the waiting ambulance whisked them down the mountain. Although we did not get an exact location of the fall, the people at the shuttle station speculated that it happened on the boardwalks descending to Babanokomichi from the lake. That would make sense since the team probably set out behind us, got the guy while we were eating, and then headed down. Nonetheless, it speaks to the danger that hiking in these conditions poses. As I've stated on all our Tohoku hiking reviews (Hakkoda, Hachimantai), our weather was TERRIBLE on this trip. We chose this time of year to hit the festivals - but I cannot recommend hiking Tohoku in July based on our experiences. Also, it seems that most Tohoku mountain hikes largely follow the theme of: 5000-foot open marshy hikes with gentle green ridgelines and mountains, with thick jungle-like terrain below 5000 feet (not the high rocky terrain you associate with the Japanese Alps to the south).
Written August 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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