10 Hometowns for Each - takuminasuno.com
Photography
2014/11/13

Autumn Colors Report 2014 - Invitation to Mt. Otani, a Mountain of Japanese Pampas Grass Surprisingly Unknown to People

Sunset over Lake Biwa

Canon EOS 6D, Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (200mm, f/5, 1/800 sec, ISO-100)

I had been expecting a deep forest full of autumn colors. It did have a deep forest. But the biggest surprise was that it reminded me of the beautiful sceneries of Hakone.

I'm visiting Makino, a small town located in the northern west of Shiga prefecture. It's just about 1 hour from Kyoto by train. As I left Kyoto in the very early morning, I managed to see this beautiful sunrise over Lake Biwa (biggest lake in Japan).

Yesterday, a clerk of an outdoor shop told me that this area, often called Takashima Trail after the name of this region, is the best place to go around by one day. It is full of unspoiled nature, especially Japanese beech trees with autumn colors. Then, why not go there? I added Shiga to the list of my destinations.

 

A Row of Metasequoia at Makino Shiga

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/1.4, 1/250 sec, ISO-100)

The starting point of Takashima Trail is located at Makino Highland. On the way to the highland, I was amazed to see a row of Metasequoia which runs over 2 miles down. This street is designated as one of the top 100 views of street trees of Japan, and is said to show red colors in the end of autumn and white color in winter. Now the trees are green and energetic.

 

Entrance of Makino Highland

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/1.8, 1/4000 sec, ISO-100)

After a walk of around 1 hour, I arrived at Makino Highland!

 

Field of Makino Highland

Canon EOS 6D, Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 IIDG HSM (24mm, f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO-100)

This highland leads to the entrance of the path to Mt. Otani. Look how wide and comfortable it is!

 

Wide View of Makino Highland to Mountain Path

Canon EOS 6D, Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 IIDG HSM (24mm, f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO-100)

But as soon as I started to go up the highland, I was surprised to find how steep the slope is... Yes, it is the slope for skiing. You need to brace yourself before walking up.

 

Starting Point of Takashima Trail

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/1.4, 1/800 sec, ISO-100)

I reached the entrance after walking up the steep slope. Groups of Japanese pampas grass welcomed me.

 

Macro Shot of Japanese Pampas Grass

Canon EOS 6D, Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (113mm, f/2.8, 1/200 sec, ISO-100)

Then, I found this. How fluffy it is!

 

Gentle and Fluffy Japanese Pampas Grass

Canon EOS 6D, Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (162mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO-100)

I must photograph the best of Japanese pampas grass, I thought. I walked around in the field of Japanese pampas grass and shooted this. I love this warm atmosphere.

 

Looking Down from the Top of Makino Highland

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO-100)

The view from the top of the field is like this. This view reminded me of Sengokuhara at Hakone, where a field of Japanese pampas grass welcome millions of visitors.

Autumn Colors Report 2014 – Hakone with Autumn Colors and Sea of White Japanese Pampas Grass

The difference is that there was no one here without me. More people should know this beautiful place.

 

Mountain Path of Takashima Trail

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/1.4, 1/320 sec, ISO-100)

Then, I entered a mountain path. As you see, you can find some autumn colors already.

 

Rest Area of Takashima Trail

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/8, 1/50 sec, ISO-100)

I had some rest at the wooden chair. What a lovely place with Japanese pampas grass and the view of Makino.

 

Lake Biwa from Takashima Trail

Canon EOS 6D, Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (117mm, f/11, 1/320 sec, ISO-100)

And I managed to see a view of Lake Biwa from the chair, too. Oh, it is really like an ocean.

 

Takashima Trail Full of Yellow

Canon EOS 6D, Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 IIDG HSM (16mm, f/5, 1/30 sec, ISO-200)

After the rest, I walked up the path. I walked up and up.

 

Peak of Mt Kampu at Takashima Trail

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/22, 1/4 sec, ISO-100)

I've reached the peak of Mt. Kampu, which is on the mountain trail to Mt. Otani.

 

Japanese Pampas Grass at Peak of Mt Kampu

Canon EOS 6D, Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (129mm, f/4, 1/200 sec, ISO-200)

I found some groups of Japanese pampas grass here, too!

 

Mountain Path from Peak of Mt Kampu

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/4, 1/80 sec, ISO-100)

Then, I started to walk to Mt. Otani. After going through the path like this,

 

Mountain Path to Mt Otani

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO-100)

an open space welcomed me with the biggest surprise! All of the plants I see from here are Japanese pampas grass! Oh, that's great.

 

Japanese Pampas Grass and Wide View at Takashima Trail

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/8, 1/100 sec, ISO-100)

I climbed a bit with this view on the left.

 

Mountains from Mt Otani

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/8, 1/50 sec, ISO-100)

As I looked back to the Mt. Kampu, I clearly see the autumn colors of the mountain.

 

Peak of Mt Otani

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/1.4, 1/2000 sec, ISO-100)

Finally, I arrived at the peak of Mt. Otani!

 

View from Peak of Mt Otani

Canon EOS 6D, Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 IIDG HSM (24mm, f/11, 1/60 sec, ISO-100)

The view from the peak was simply magnificent.

 

Landscape of Japanese Beech Trees at Takashima Trail

Canon EOS 6D, Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 IIDG HSM (24mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO-100)

The clerk in Kyoto told me that the forest of Japanese beech trees is in the west of the peak of Mt. Otani. As I walked down a bit to the west, I found it. But sadly, many of them had already lost their leaves.

 

Valley of Japanese Beech Trees at Takashima Trail

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO-100)

One or two weeks before must be the best season to see Japanese beech trees.

 

Wakasa Gulf from Mt Otani

Canon EOS 6D, Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (200mm, f/4, 1/400 sec, ISO-100)

By the way, I managed to see Wakasa Gulf in the distance. I'm looking forward to going there some day.

 

Unspoiled Forest of Takashima Trail

Canon EOS 6D, Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 IIDG HSM (24mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO-250)

Then, I started to go down the mountain. The path leads to this unspoiled forest.

 

Path of Fallen Leaves at Takashima Trail

Canon EOS 6D, Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 IIDG HSM (24mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO-250)

The forest is full of fallen leaves as if it didn't have even a path. I love it so I really miss the landscape of this forest in orange.

 

Sunset from Makino Highland

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF50mm F1.4 USM (50mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO-100)

I've finished climbing down the mountain. After having some rest, I realized that the sun has already hidden. I started to walk again.

 

Nightscape of Lake Biwa

Canon EOS 6D, Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 IIDG HSM (24mm, f/5.6, 137.9 sec, ISO-400)

As I reached Makino station, the stars were shining in the cloudy sky. Lake Biwa is very close. Then, there's no reason not to check the starscape of Shiga. Oh, Lake Biwa looks quite huge from the shore.

 

Starscape of Lake Biwa

Canon EOS 6D, Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 IIDG HSM (24mm, f/5.6, 30.8 sec, ISO-6400)

Even though the sky had a lot of clouds, I managed to see the starry sky in the east. The shore was a very quiet, very romantic, and very cold place. The winter is coming. Tomorrow, I will meet some friends in Osaka. Good night, everybody.

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Author of this Blog

Takumi Nasuno. Tanagura Supporters' Ambassador (Official supporter of Tanagura Town of Fukushima Prefecture). A man who recommends TRIPLESSO just as he likes. A multi-language blogger for mainly nature photography. Currently I'm off from my main job (knowledge management and data analytics) and devoting myself to childcare for my newborn baby for half a year.
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