2015.2.16
Okayama

Mt. Yudachiuke: Let’s Go See the Fantastic Seto Inland Sea Sunset!

Located in southeastern Okayama prefecture, Mt. Yudachiuke is 210 meters above sea level.

 

The origin of its name comes from a legend according to which, in the olden times during a particularly hot, sunny spell, local residents were praying for rain at the mountaintop, when clouds started forming and spreading out and a sudden evening shower erupted! (‘yudachi’ evening shower or rain in Japanese.)

Though ‘evening’ is related to the name, that’s not the reason many people visit the mountaintop in the evening. They come to gaze at the beautiful sunset.

This time one of the Setouchi Finder photo-writers, Mr. Matsuoka, will introduce the behind-the-scenes making of a story themed “Photographing the sunset at Mt. Yudachiuke”.
As mentioned, Mt. Yudachiuke is 210 meters above sea level, and there is even a road leading halfway up, so it’s a relatively easily climbable mountain. The mountain trail starts from in front of the parking area, and guide signs are set up there, as well.

If you look at the guide sign, you may think that you’ll reach the mountaintop in no time, but actually the climb includes some rather steep and winding slopes, which will leave you short of breath.

 

Taking breaks as and when we get tired, we head towards the mountaintop.

After continuing to climb like this for around 30 to 40 minutes, we reach the mountaintop.

There is a small resting hut and an observation deck, but heart-cleansing scenery opens up all around.
The Hinase islands floating in the Seto Inland Sea spread out before you… And further back you can see Shodo Island.

Well then, after a short break at the observation deck, we start walking again. The reason is that actually the best spot on Mt. Yudachiuke is not the mountaintop, but rather on top of another peak! (Picture text below: Location for a fabulous view.)

 

We descend around 50 meters down from the mountaintop, and then climb up another 50 meters before reaching the viewing point.

The tremendous view from can be seen below!
The Okayama Blue Line road’s Katakami Bridge spans Katakami Bay, and dozens of rafts for cultivating oysters float in the water…

Actually, the photograph above was taken early in the morning on another day.
We recommend visiting Mt. Yudachiuke not only for the evening view, but also early in the morning and around noon.

Well then, let’s get back to the evening view. The weather seems to have become a bit ominous. After reaching the viewing point, clouds suddenly spread around and the situation becomes truly close to the legend’s situation as it looks like an evening shower might come down.

I wonder if we’ll actually get to see the sunset today…

Though this is a situation where one might normally descend from the mountain right away, and head for a soak in a hot spring, Mr. Matsuoka, the photo-writer does not give up so easily.
When you look in the direction that the sun will set, you can see a small gap in the clouds.

When there is a gap in the clouds near the horizon, there is a high probability of seeing a dramatic sunset. (Picture text below: Gap in the clouds)

 

But I cannot stay here!!!

With clouds like this, the sunlight will radiate and the sunset will cover a large area.
In the place where I am now, although it’s the location for the fabulous view, as trees surround me, my field of vision is a bit cramped.

I grab my camera and tripod and head back down the trail with a ferocious dash. Again I descend 50 meters and climb another 50 meters, but I find myself in a situation where the sun might come out from between the clouds at any moment…
There is no time to walk slowly like I did before!

In the end I’m exhausted. Dragging my feet along, somehow I reached the observation deck at the top of the mountain.
And… I made it before the sunset!

After waiting a while, the divine light of the sun came flowing out from between the clouds dyeing the sky and sea and the surroundings.

From this observation deck at the top of the mountain, the Blue Line bridge is slightly hidden, but you can see all the way to the end of Katakami Bay and the field of vision is wide.

Bansai! I tried expressing in my pose the fact that I didn’t give up and descended the mountain, and that I chose the viewing point correctly (laughing)!

 

This is the moment of that day’s sunset. Thanks to the small gap in the clouds, we were able to see a very dramatic sunset!

Although at times everything goes well like on this occasion, there are also times when you misread the situation regardless of how much experience you have.

“In that moment, be in the best place!”
This is the slogan of Mr. Matsuoka, the photo-writer, in order to convey the wonders of the Setouchi area.

Location: 2277-9 Honami, Bizen city, Okayama prefecture
Guide Homepage: http://www.okayamakanko.jp/modules/kankouinfo/pub_kihon_detail.php?sel_id=591&sel_data_kbn=0 (Japanese)

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka

 

 

 

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Hironobu Matsuoka

Hironobu Matsuoka

Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.

http://www.healing-japan.tv/

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