Distant Views of Mount Ontake

An imposing presence from miles around

 By Steve Morton   Aug 23, 2017

It was almost a year before climbing this majestic mountain that I was fortunate enough to set eyes upon it from a relatively short distance away while hiking Japan's Central Alps.

Straddling the border of Gifu and Nagano Prefecture, Mount Ontake has an imposing presence which can be seen from miles away. Rising 3067 meters above the flat plains of the Kiso Valley, this peak is often dubbed as 'the 2nd Mount Fuji’ because of its distinctive crater shaped summit.

Like Mount Fuji, Ontake is also a volcanic peak which erupted in 2014. This incident demonstrated to the world that where there is beauty, there can also be danger!

Perhaps it was this mountain’s imposing presence or sheer beauty which captivated me. As I continued my long hike from one peak to the next, Ontake seemed to follow me throughout my journey until the very end. Although it may have been my imagination, it did feel like this mountain was calling out to me on multiple occasions. This can help explain why it is considered one of Japan’s holiest peaks with a special religion dedicated exclusively to it

Photography by Steve Morton
Japan Travel Member

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