Mt. Mii in Kakamigahara

The hike that almost wasn't, but was and more.

By Michelle Ishiki    - 3 min read

Going at a leisurely pace it only took 15 minutes. It was definitely not what I was expecting. Mt. Mii ‘s name in kanji is 三井山. The last character means mountain. I think the kanji for large hill would be more accurate. I stumbled upon it one day while looking at a map for a nearby hiking spot I could get to on my bike. Knowing it wasn’t as tall as Mt. Kinka (329m) I assumed it would be a relatively easy hike. But 15 minutes? I thought of a nickname for it, Mini Mii.

The hiking gods were definitely trying to test me that day. ­­ When I got to the mountain there were orange metal gates blocking two paths. Some kind of maintenance work seemed to be going on. I thought, “Just my luck. Of course the day I choose to come out here I’m denied.” Luckily, I took the time to look at a couple of maps that were posted and saw what looked like another entrance further up the south side. (One day I'll have to go back to see what the other trails have to offer.)

Completely surrounded by trees as I ascended I didn’t notice how much the wind had picked up until I was at the top. The noise coming from the construction site next to the mountain was completely drowned out by the sound of the trees being whipped around. It was one of those rare moments when you couldn’t hear a hint of civilization. Just nature.

According to the sign Mii Castle used to sit at the summit. Even with the illustration, I had a hard time imagining a castle being built on such a small area of land.

For such a short mountain the view from Mt. Mii impressed me more than others vistas from much higher peaks. Not sure why. Maybe it was the unusual haze free spring sky. Or maybe it was seeing Gifu City from a completely different vantage point. I could see a tiny Gifu Castle on Mt. Kinka, and way off in the distance the eastern mountain range of Shiga Prefecture.

The blustery wind still hadn’t let up by the time I got back to my bike. I was not looking forward to riding home in such a strong headwind. Realizing there was still lots of time so I figured I might as well go up again and with any luck the wind would calm down by the time I returned. In case you’re wondering, it didn’t. No big surprise there because I am a kaze onna, woman who attracts the wind. (I made that nickname up too.)

FYI - The maintenance scheduled to be finished before summer 2013

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Michelle Ishiki

Michelle Ishiki @geminimoai

I came to Japan from the U.S. about six years ago to live, work and play. There's always something new to be discovered, and every day is still an adventure here.

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