It's still a little early to be in the search of fall color in the lower elevation areas. I thought I would do some recon though while the weather was nice this afternoon. There was a forest road I wanted to check out because I finally got new tires. I also did a little search to see how good the road was. I've been on some wretched forest roads that I should have never been on so I was trying to be prepared. There was actually quite a bit of fall color in the deeper higher elevation part of the valley I went to. It wasn't enough to make for any good photos yet. I think this weekend will be rather nice.
Tsubayama is such a wonderful place. I have written about it numerous times before. I think the history of inhabitants stretches back to the 1100s. You really feel like you have left modern Japan for a brief moment when you go there. I decided to follow the forest road that leads to the Tsubayama hiking trail just to see the condition of the road myself. I made it all the way to the hiking trail entrance which is off an oddly paved portion of road in the middle of nowhere. I figured I would keep going and see where it would lead. I thought for sure it would go somewhere because of how good of a road it was. But the longer I drove, the longer the road was. I had to pull off the side to let a van go by at one point. The man had rolled down his window and when he saw me only said hello and kept going. It was kind of odd. I wondered what he had intended to say to me. I thought they must have come from the direction I was going as it was such a long way back from where I had come. Boy was I wrong about that.
By the time I started seeing signs that said 立入禁止 I was getting a little unsure of where I was headed. I told myself those signs only meant to stay away from the overhead wire areas where they would be sending logs up and down. The road got worse and worse. I just knew it had to go somewhere though! It couldn't just end. And then it did.
View Tsubayama Road in a larger map
Yes now I remember. I checked this road a few months ago to see if it connected to the next valley over. I remember seeing it didn't connect from what I could tell by the map. I wasn't that surprised the road ended but curse that guy in the van. He must have been too startled to even try speaking Japanese to me to let me know I shouldn't be going that way. So the long journey back along a rocky gravel road started again. I was in good spirits. At least I knew. The light was slowly fading and I didn't want to be out there in the dark.
Despite my wasted time I enjoyed the smell of the leaves. It was good to get away from the sugi, hinoki, and whatever other conifers are around. Not too far from the paved road back toward civilization is a nice waterfall too. It looked like it had a deep pool. It was almost dark by then so I couldn't see very well.
I'll probably be back out this weekend, weather permitting of course. I might just be on top of Tsubayama this time.