Last weekend we headed up to Mt Yaedake (a.k.a. Mt Yae) to view the cherry blossoms which weren’t quite fully bloomed, in fact they were probably only at 50%, but we were not disappointed at all.
We left reasonably early because I suspected it would be quite busy, but we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at around 10.30 to find the carpark was virtually empty.
I had read that the best way to view the cherry blossoms at Mt Yae was to park the car and walk up, so naturally that is what we did.
What we didn’t realize was how long, and at times steep, the trek up would be.
Thankfully we had brought our decent stroller (not the small umbrella kind) for Clio and I made a good shoe decision…I can not say the same for Matt or Eden.
Matt pushed the stroller ahead of us, while Eden & I walked behind chatting about all sorts of stuff; I love our conversations when we go on adventures.
We passed multiple car parks on the way up and we often questioned whether we should have parked in one of them instead of right at the bottom, and a couple times Matt even asked if he should return to get the car but every time Eden said “lets just go to the top” so we carried on.
When we came across the map we were pleased to see that we were just about at the top…so we thought.
In fact we were probably only half way (from where we parked the car to the top) we realized this when we walked around the corner and saw loads of cars & cherry blossoms trees driving up and wrapping around the side of the mountain.
Again we suggested we turn back and get the car but Eden continued to say lets carry on, so we did.
When we finally made it to the top of Mt Yaedake which stands 593m (1,945 ft) tall we were more than pleased to see a food stall selling typical Japanese festival food and a large grassy area to relax on and enjoy the sunshine, even though it was a bit cooler from the winds!
It took us approximately 1 hour 15 minutes to climb up; the climb itself really wasn’t that bad, we just weren’t expecting it.
Matt & I both agreed it would be a whole lot nicer if cars weren’t allowed to drive up.
After a well deserved ice-cream we headed back down; the walk down didn’t take anywhere near as long although the traffic on the road had definitely picked up a considerable amount.
At about the half way point Eden started to complain so Matt & Clio walked ahead thinking that they could maybe come pick us up in the car, while I did something I always do when Eden gets tired of walking…tell stories!
We start off with her birth story, then move onto Clio’s, then we talk all about our wedding and before you know it we are back at the carpark!
Our visit to Mt Yaedake was timed for the 37th Motobu Yaedake Cherry Blossom festival which runs from 17th Jan – 1st Feb (still time to head up yourself!) so we wandered around the stalls and walked away with some candy floss (cotton-candy).
You may remember last year we went to the Nago Cherry Blossom festival and it poured with rain, this adventure was so much more pleasant! We all thoroughly enjoyed our climb and Eden is pretty stoked that she climbed her first mountain!
As far as the festivals go however, I would say that Nago has more stalls and a lot more food choices.
Japan Update posted on their Facebook page yesterday that the top of Mt Yae was 90% flowering, hillside 80% and bottom 70%…so I suspect if you head up this weekend it will be perfect; but if you do get their early because when left at around 3pm the car park was packed.