With a weeks holiday under way and not too much going on I decided to get away from the city for a couple of days. I went to Fukushima and on my arrival just after 9am I was shocked to discover that the one bus a day to Jyododaira was only available at weekends and though this was one hell of a setback I guess I should be mightily relieved that the following day was a Saturday and that I was booked to spend the night in Koriyama.
The next morning I returned to Fukushima station and took the bus for about 90 minutes to Jyododaira. With there only being one realistic return bus (there is one 75 mins after you arrive!) time was of the essence. The information guy said it was a 4 hour round trip but I never believed that for a moment and was confident I could do it in just over half that time…..and I was right! Within 80 minutes I was on top and was pretty impressed at the view of the volcano which was situated right next to the car-park (on the other side) where I was dropped off.
However, little did I know that a far more beautiful sight was to come on the other side of the mountain I had just ascended. This was a stunning view and within seconds cloud was covering the view but thankfully that passed by not so long after. Taking some of the photos below was actually quite slow given the crumbling nature of the debris. One fatal slip and you could easily see yourself tumbling down the mountain!
The actual climb and descend was also fantastic with area’s of gleaming white ice amid grass covered mountains and lush green forest. Some of the views were very Swiss-like or so I assume anyway as I only have limited knowledge of that country’s landscape having only visited for a short time a couple of years back.
Once back at the car park I shot up the steps at lightning pace to walk the rim of the crater seen in the pictures at the top of this page. I didn’t have time to circle the volcano or rather I didn’t want to risk missing the bus as I had to get back to Tokyo as soon as I could for a mates birthday party. Up close the views looking down into the volcano were not as spectacular as those from the top of the mountain but still more than satisfactory for those visitors only wanting a small slice of climbing/hiking action. I splashed out 100 yen on a kunsei tamago (smoked egg) once back at the car park area to reward myself for my hours of hiking in the warm sunshine.
How to get there: Apart from koyo (Autumn leaves) season only one bus a day goes to Jyododaira. It leaves from stop 11 on the east side of JR Fukushima station at 09.50 and/or 10.00 from the west side. It costs 1760 yen one way whilst the return journey is at 15.40 and arrives back at Fukushima station at 16.50. This journey is 1240 yen.