「Castle in the Sky」Takeda Castle's Sea of Clouds
After getting back home, I checked the weather forecast and the conditions looked good for mist to form again tomorrow. 「Clear skies」「A large temperature difference between the day before and the next morning」「No wind」 are the main requirements for the formation of 'the sea of clouds'. Right! I decided to head off on my second adventure of the day. I put my futon in my car and left home at 10 p.m. heading for Ritsuunkyo.
Along the way, I spotted 2 foxes, 2 tanuki (raccoon dogs), 1 marten and 13 deer. It was an entertaining drive, but I had to drive slowly so as to not collide with any deer. I arrived at Ritsuunkyo at just before 11:30 p.m.
The Ritsuunkyo car park was already full when arrive. No way! What the heck! I was astounded. I ended up parking about 100 meters down the road with the rear of my car on the side of the road and the front of my car sticking out onto the road. If you look at the map of Ritsuunkyo below, you can see the 1.3 km long road leading up to the car park. On my way back down, I realized that cars were parked in the same manner as mine all the way down to the turn off. That's crazy! It certainly made me glad that I had arrived early.
An entrance fee to the mountain was apparently introduced in March last year. I didn't know that. So, at around 5 a.m. I paid ¥300 an started climbing the mountain in the dark. While enjoying the star-filled sky, I walked for about 20 minutes up to the top observation area. There were a lot of people. When I went back down the mountain, I asked the ticket booth guy how many people had climb that morning. He replied, "760". That's insane! I wonder when this place became so popular.
Little by little the stars started disappearing and the 'sea of clouds' became visible. From dawn to twilight to sunrise to bright sunshine, the view gradually changed. It was both an interesting and enjoyable experience.