Kaoburi Toge Hike
This is the shortest hike possible to access Hiker's B&B, even though it's short, there are some amazing views along the way. About 800 meters from the B&B there are a couple of tea houses with amazing views of the surrounding mountains, and Mt. Fuji is visible on a clear day.
This hike is well sign posted, and you will do well to follow the signs that are marked 顔振峠 until the tea house.
From Agano Station head down the road that exits the parking area curving around to the right going past a temple on your left side. Feel free to explore the temple grounds, or even head through the tunnel that goes under the train tracks from inside the temple that goes to a spring water source. This is great natural spring water coming straight from the source, so if you need water fill up here.
The road from the station will hit the main village road and you'll bear right on this road heading towards the big bridge with a Kannon Statue on a rock in the river, seen below.
You will continue walking through the village past the bridge and Kannon statue until the only stop light in the village. There will be a cross walk here and you should turn left and walk across the bridge and then go through the tunnel as seen in the above photo.
After exiting the tunnel you will see a stove maker straight ahead, feel free to visit and check out the stoves. Our wood stove was made here. To continue the hike you will need to go left up the hill walking past a a pre-school on the left and there will be an elementary school on the right. After the elementary school you will start going down a long hill to a small creek. Cross the creek and turn right.
After turning right you will keep the creek on your right side, and make a left at the next road. There is also a brown hiking trail marker with 顔振峠 written on it, so go left there as marked in the photo below.
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It's just under 1 km you will need to walk up this road, and you will pass the last bits of the village and then move into a cedar and cyrus forest. The road will make a sharp left turn, and there will be a large wooden sign at this point. Do not continue on the road but head up the forest path marked in the photo above and right. There is a concrete road that heads up a steep hill on the right, but you will walk about 20 meters past that to the hiking trail marked with a brown trail marker, going right and up the hill.
This trail will work its way up the mountain and through the forest eventually exiting onto the same road you were previously walking but in the Fukage Hamlet. Feel free to have a walk around and check out all the gardens, it's very beautiful in fall and spring. The trail will continue up the mountain directly across the street. You will see some Buddhist statues on the left side of the trail as pictured below. Head up this walking between forest and garden and you will pass a pagoda which has some great views. Don't forget to check out the carvings on the back of the pagoda and let us know what you think.
After walking past the pagoda the trail continues through the forest for a short distance and ends at some stairs that come out directly next to the Heikuro Tea house. There has been a tea-house here since the Edo Period, and the 85 year old woman running it is very nice. Stop in here for a Chichibu cola, or mountain vegetable tempura in spring, or Wild Boar Nabe' in Fall.
There is also a short walk to a view point just above the other cafe across the street which you can run up to if you are feeling up for it.
When you exit the trail next to the tea-house, you'll turn left as pictured above and the remainder of the hike is along the road. Be sure to check out the views on your left as you are walking through the Kaoburi Pass, and watch out for Mt. Fuji. From the tea-house it's about 800 meters to our place a little past Vela Vista Cafe, and it's the giant log house you'll see right in front of a curve mirror, you won't be able to miss it. Just ignore the side rides going downhill on your left as you head up.