Your preference between Yakushi-dake & Yari-ga-take?
Hi Gary, I really like your blogs about your hikes. Can I pick your brains? I'm tempted by either this walk - Yakushi-dake - or Mount Yari. Have you done both? Do you have a preference? They both look around 3 day hikes which are what I'm looking for. Also do you have much experience of Hokkaido and can you recommend any walks there?
Thanks for your time.
Hi Hilary. Thanks so much for your kind words.
Yes, I've climbed both Yakushi-dake (http://www.garyjwolff.com/mt-yakushi-dake.html), and Yari-ga-take (http://www.garyjwolff.com/mt-oku-hotaka-dake-and-mt-yari-ga-take.html), and found both of them rather difficult.
There's no question that there's magic in Kamikochi, and after all, Yari is the Matterhorn of Japan. But if you do the route between Yari-ga-take and Oku-hotaka-dake, you'll have to traverse the Daikiretto, which is by far the scariest thing I've ever done in the Japanese mountains.
I'm afraid I don't know much about hiking in Hokkaido, however, I've heard that Rausu-dake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rausu) on the Shiretoko Peninsula is quite good, although I've heard you really need to be careful about bears there.
p.s. I just remembered this English speaking mountain guide in Hokkaido. Here are some 2 and 3-day treks in the Daisetsuzan National Park: http://zope.emissary.co.jp/JA/contents/1337148158?language=english
...and here are some day hikes near Sapporo: http://zope.emissary.co.jp/JA/contents/1338341894?language=english
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