Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mt. Kanpu in Oga city

Hubby and I went to Mt. Kanpu (Kanpuzan in Japanese) in Oga city of Akita prefecture on June 21st. Mt. Kanpu has an altitude of 355 meters and is located at the base of Oga peninsula. It is an elegant looking gentle mountain covered all over with a grassy lawn and is devoid of trees. Kanpu means cold wind in Japanese. Mt. Kanpu is a major tourist attraction of Oga peninsula.

We started from our home at about 12 noon and reached the service (rest) area at the entrance of Oga city by 1.15 pm. It was nice to see the two enormous fifteen meters high Namahage statues welcoming the people to the city. After about 15 minutes of car drive from the rest area, we passed though a winding road in a mountainous area surrounded by forest. After another 20 minutes, we saw Mt. Kanpu covered with grassy lawn. The winding road led up to the car parking area at the top of Mt. Kanpu.
Namahage statues at Oga city service area

Driving through a forest area

Mt. Kanpu

It was a very clear and shiny day, and the view from the parking area located at the top of the mountain was spectacular.
Me standing at the parking area

After enjoying the view of Oga peninsula and the Sea of Japan from the parking area, we started climbing up the stone steps that led to the summit of Mt. Kanpu. It was just a ten minutes climb but we stopped many times to enjoy the magnificent sceneries all around us.
Climbing up the stone steps leading to the mountain summit

Another photo taken while climbing up the steps

At the summit of the mountain, there was a rotating observatory that commands a splendid all-direction 360 degrees view. From here the tourists can enjoy the spectacular scenery and get a beautiful view of Oga peninsula, Hachirogata to the east, the Sea of Japan in the north and south, and Mt. Chokai in the south. Although we did not go inside the rotating observatory, we moved around the summit area and enjoyed the beautiful views from many directions. In the observatory pavilion building, there were shops selling souvenir goods of Oga peninsula and Akita prefecture. We bought a packet containing four bottles of various kinds of Akita sake as a souvenir for my father-in-law. There was also a restaurant to enjoy the sea food of Oga.
Rotating observatory at the mountain summit

Beautiful view from the mountain summit

Hachirogata marsh (left) and the Sea of Japan (right) can be seen

Beautiful scenery viewed from another direction of the summit. Parking area can be seen.

Above photo enlarged. It shows the Funakawa port direction.

A beautiful mountain nearby

Hubby posing at the mountain summit

After enjoying the view from the summit of the mountain, we started walking down the stone steps up to the parking area. While walking down, I took several photos of hubby who was very relaxed after seeing all the beautiful sceneries.
Hubby walking down the stone steps leading to the parking area

Hubby enjoying the beautiful scenery while walking down the steps

Adjacent to the parking area, there was a pillar called ‘chikai no onbashira’. The pillar was constructed by Oga culture group (Oga kinkokai) in the fifth year of Showa period (1930). The charter oath, also known as the oath in five articles (gokajo no goseimon in Japanese), of the Meiji era is inscribed on the pillar. The oath is very inspiring and is considered to be the first constitution of modern Japan.
Me standing in front of chikai no onbashira pillar

Because the mountain is covered with lawn grass and there are no obstacles in the neighborhood, this mountain is a popular place for paragliding. The area of Mt. Kanpu just in front of the pillar is used for paragliding take off. With reservations, veteran instructors are available to make flying experience on Oga peninsula safe and secure for paragliders of all levels. The fabulous mix of sea, sky, and land can be enjoyed. However, it was too scary for me as I was seeing paragliding for the first time. So hubby and I just enjoyed watching many professional and amateur paragliders take off one after the other with perfection and superb understanding of wind speed and direction.
Paragliding take-off area

Setting up and preparation for paragliding take-off

A professional paraglider

Several paragliders preparing to take-off and people enjoying watching them

I compiled a video of two professionals setting up their paragliders, and then they launched off the mountain and flew away into the sky! It was really an amazing view.

Video of paragliding at Mt. Kanpu

Hubby and I enjoyed the breathtaking sceneries around Mt. Kanpu. We left the place at about 4.30 pm. While starting on our return journey, we saw more than 20 people belonging to a motorcycle riding club at the parking area. All of them started their motorcycle at the same time, which made an amazing view and thunderous sound :)
A group of people belonging to motorcycle riding club at the parking area

We had dinner at an Indian restaurant named ‘Peacock’ in Akita city, and returned back home by 7.30 pm. It was a really nice and relaxing day for us.


Kazuo Nagata said...

I wanted to do paragliding. I wish I could fly!

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Yeah, Kazuo-san, I wish I could fly too! Hope to do paragliding next time when we go to Mt. Kanpu.