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I need fresh air and altitude!! I`ve been working on the 2009 Amarok pamphlet and have been spending so much time in front of my computer that I`ve gone cross-eyed!!


We had such a great time in Aso last week that I can`t wait until this Sunday when we head out, this time to check out the "Muhyo" in the Kuju area. So far the weather looks good so it should be a really great day with some spectacular scenery. If you feel like joining us for a really fantastic winter experience drop me an email。



2009.01.29 | Comments(0) | Trackback(0) | ツアー情報


A Great day in Higo


Hey everyone, how was your wintery weekend? We had a great time climbing Mt. Aso in Kumamoto on Saturday. At first I was wondering if we should go or not with the snow storm coming but we decided to at least drive down and take a look, and am I ever glad we did. The weather in Fukuoka was snowy but in the Aso area it was cloudy in the morning but by the time we were heading down the mountain the weather was beautiful.

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We started from the Sensuikyo Trail entrance and started up alongside the rope way where more than once we had thought about wanting to be on the tram instead of under it.
Even after the first 30 minutes the view was awesome and the first signs of the “Muhyo” or Rime Icing starting to show. Rime icing is fog that due to freezing temperatures and strong winds has been freeze blasted onto objects, growing larger into the wind.

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We took a short break at the upper tram station before heading up to the upper observation area and the trail to the summit. On the way up there was a slight sulphur flavour in the air as we got closer to the volcano and once we reached the observation area we were greeted with an amazing view, it was a side of mother earth that none of us had ever seen! It was like someone had taken a piece of Mars landscape and put it in the freezer, just awesome!!


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After only slightly shrugging off the awe we all felt we continued up to Naka dake and as we were heading up the rime icing just kept getting more and more beautiful and large. As I looked at the trail ahead the view reminded me of a coral reef that had been completely bleached.

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After a short while we reached the summit of our first destination Naka Dake. Dave was fighting off a slight hangover from the night before so his pace was a little slower than usual on the way up. Dave Ganbatte!!

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After taking our summit shot we headed to our highest destination of Taka Dake at almost 1600m. From Naka dake it`s a relatively easy hike and in this part the Muhyo was huge . After reaching Take dake with we all noticed that we were starving so we headed to the mountain hut just below the summit to have lunch and a break from the -16 degree temperatures. (Didn`t think Kyushu could get that cold) We were actually warm when we`re walking but if you stop for more than 5 minutes you start to get chilly.

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After lunch we headed out of the hut into a beautiful clear blue sky and as we reached the ridge the view was just awesome, I don`t have the words to describe the feeling, the view is just so vast and we could even see the ocean from the top. With this view Dave got re-energized and was his usual funny self!

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As we reached the bottom I found one of the frozen waterfalls I had been looking for, it was just beautiful with 6m pillars of ice cascading down.

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What a great day and what a great place, I can`t wait to go again. Our next winter trip takes place this Saturday the 31st as we go again the Nansho.waterfall here in Fukuoka. With snow we had last weekend I can`t wait to see it! If you feel like coming along please drop me an email to let me know ok.

Until next time.

2009.01.26 | Comments(2) | Trackback(0) | ツアーレポート

Busy Weekend


Hey everyone how`s it going? Had a great weekend last week, on Saturday there was the Annual Diving Club SUNS New Years Party with all the usual frivolities. The next day was the Aikido Shohei Juku Kagamibiraki and zenzaikai afterward (I scarfed down 3 bowls of the stuff, YUM, YUM!!!!)

皆さんこんいちは、元気? 先週の週末はどうでしたか?ここは忙しかったよ!土曜日は毎年にあるDIVING CLUB SUNSの新年会で日曜日は合気道祥平塾の鏡開きイベント


How was your weekend? Drop a comment of an email to let me know ok! There is something wrong with typing English in the comment area of the blog and I`m working on getting that fixed and when it`s done I let you know ok.

It looks like we`re heading into another cold and snowy weekend, right on!! So for those of you who feel like coming out to play, there`s a trip to the frozen Nansho waterfall again this Sunday the 25th .



Last week there was a great picture on the Nishi Nihon Newspaper of a frozen waterfall in the Aso area of Kumamoto and this Saturday we`re heading out to do point research. Once I find out more about it I`ll put it up in the blog and if the timing is right set up a trip to go see it.


Anyway, I hope you all have a great week and if you want to hike up to see this beautiful waterfall on Sunday, please drop me an email.

Until next time….

2009.01.22 | Comments(0) | Trackback(0) | トピック


We made the newspaper!!!

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If you happen to get the Mai Nichi Shimbun go grab your Monday edition and look on the cover. There is a great shot of Nansho ga taki and if you look close enough at the bottom corner you`ll see some familiar faces. Ben, Akidon, and Yanochan よかったね! What the heck was I doing when this shot was taken???

Thanks to Satoko Sans eagle eyes for catching this !!!

You can check out a bit more by following this link

If you haven`t had a chance to go see this waterfall yet, check the Amarok schedule as we have a couple more trips going out in the near future!

2009.01.15 | Comments(0) | Trackback(0) | ツアーレポート


Nansho Ga Taki Tour, 難所ヶ滝ツアー


How was everyone`s long weekend? We had a great trip to Nanshogataki yesterday!! It was also a full house with a total of 10 adventurous people braving the elements to catch a glimpse of this beautiful waterfall.

みなさんこんにちは、みんなの三連休はどうでしたか?昨日僕たちは難所ヶ滝を見に行きました。キレイかった!! 全部で10人で雪の中を頑張って登りました!

We headed up at around 10:00am under cloudy skies and the chance of a snowfall at anytime. Part way up the trail became a little bit slippery so we put our crampons to safely navigate our way up, ( Geez these things are handy!!!)


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After about 2 hours of hiking and the huge slab of ice just ahead we completed the final assault to the top. What a sight!!!


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While we were taking pictures the snow started to fall and we headed up the trail a bit to a flat spot and setup for lunch. With the temperature hovering at about -5, what could possibly warm us up?。。。。。CHILI!!!!


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The night before I slaved over a stove and prepared chilli for the first time, I made it a bit spicy to help offset the cold temperatures. Please everyone write a comment to tell me how the chilli was, if you don`t write anything I`ll assume it sucked!!!

なので。。。ツアーの前の日に一生懸命CHILIを作りました、前から気温が低いのが分かっていたからちょっと辛めに作った! みんな、あじはどうでしたか?コメントを書いてね!もしコメントを書いてくれなかったらCHILIがおいしくなかったってことやね~。。。笑

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As we headed down the sun came out and we took a short coffee break and once again Miyamo made sweets for us. This time it was sweet potato snacks and again they were delicious!!!


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It was again another great day and for anyone who hasn`t seen the frozen waterfall yet drop me a note and lets head up for a look while we can! Amaroks next scheduled trip to Nanshogataki is on January 25th and 31st.

今回もすごく楽しいかったのでもし氷っている難所ヶ滝をまだ見たことないなら是非見に行きましょう! AMAROKの今度の難所ヶ滝ツアーは今月の25日と31日にあります。

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Until next time, happy trails!

2009.01.12 | Comments(9) | Trackback(0) | ツアーレポート


Frozen Nansho Waterfall Mt. Sangun trip、



Hey everyone, I just wanted to drop a quick note about our upcoming winter adventure. This Sunday (11日) we will be hiking up to Mt. Sangun in Umi town from Showa No Mori trailhead to view the beautiful Nansho waterfall. It looks like it might snow this weekend as well so the waterfall will be at its finest, don`t miss this rare chance!

The cost of the trip is ¥6000 and that includes the guide fee, insurance, and a light lunch. There is no transportation cost for this trip. If you want to join us please send me an email at john@amarok-outdoors.com

Make sure to bring your crampons!!

2009.01.05 | Comments(0) | Trackback(0) | ツアー情報


2009 Amarok Outdoor Adventures First Tour

1_20090105004020.jpgHey everyone how were your holidays? We had a great opening tour on Saturday, we went to Mt. Hiko, the tallest mountain in Fukuoka and it was still covered in white from the blast of winter we had on New Years eve.
As we made our way up we first stopped at the Shrine to pay our respects and to ask for luck in 2009. Mt. Hiko and the area surrounding it, is rich in history and deeply connected to the Shinto religion and one of the holiest mountains in Japan. It is said that there were up to 3800 yamabushi ( Warrior Monks ) who used Mt. Hiko as a training area. When you get to the mountain you can see the connection to Shinto immediately, as a huge bronze Torii greets you at the entrance, and as you start up the steps to the Shrine, houses and training areas from long ago line the stone staircase. I love it!!!

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Once we were finished at the shrine we made our way up to the snow covered summit. I know what you`re probably thinking…..”You must be crazy to hiking a mountain covered in snow!!” It`s actually my favourite time to go hiking, but you do have to go prepared. To keep us from sliding off the mountain you need to use crampons or “Aizen アイゼン” in Japanese. You can pick up a pair for about ¥3000~¥4000 at your local outdoor shop and with them you can enjoy all the fun that winter hiking has to offer.

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Anyway, we reached the top at around 12:30 and we visited the shrine at the top of the mountain before we sat down for lunch. Today`s menu was a mixed vegi dish followed with Hot Udon soup to warm our bellies as it was about -5 degrees at the top.

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It was Manachans first time to play in the snow and we all had a great time
playing with her.

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On the way down we stopped for a short coffee break and Miyamoto San brought out her home made cookies for us to scarf down, she always brings such yummy stuff with her!!! As usual I like to dunk mine!

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It was a great way to start off the new year, and I can`t wait for our next winter hike happening January 11th as we head up Mt. Sangun to check out the frozen Nansho waterfall, another secret treasure of winter in Fukuoka.

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There are still spots available so if you want to check out this beautiful place please send an email to john@amarok-oudoors.com.

Until next time.....

2009.01.04 | Comments(2) | Trackback(0) | ツアーレポート





Hi everyone, welcome to 2009!! I hope you all had a great time on New Years! We`ll we didn`t have a white Christmas but we did get a white New Years! We had originally planned to climb Mt. Hiko in the wee hours of the morning and watch the first sunrise of 2009 from the top but the weather just didn`t cooperate. So what we did is postponed the first hike of 2009 to Saturday, January 3rd. We`ll still be going to Mt. Hiko where we will visit the shrine at the bottom before heading to the top. Mt. Hiko use to be a training area for the mysterious Yamabushi of so long ago so I thought I would be a great place for our first mountain challenge of the new year!

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I`m curious to know what New Year resolutions you all decided on. I am resolved to being a better guide than the previous year and continue to grow, and as an outdoor challenge I`m going to try to climb all of the top 100 mountains of Kyushu. In Japanese they`re known as the “Kyushu hyaku meisan” “九州の百名山“and they are the most popular mountains in Kyushu. If you haven’t decided on an outdoor goal for yourself this year why not join me!


Here is the schedule for January, check the website schedule for more details, lets get out and enjoy all the winter fun Kyushu has to offer!!

 3日 英彦山 Mt. Hiko
11日 三郡山、難所ヶ滝 Mt. Sangun and Nansho waterfall
12日 背振山Mt. Seifuri
24日 求菩提山 Mt.Kubote
31日 三郡山、難所ヶ滝 Mt. Sangun and Nansho waterfall

All of these hikes are relatively easy so they are open to all experience levels but being January it will be a bit cold so dress warmly so you can have the best time!

Please drop me an email for more details at john@amarok-outdoors.com

Until next time……

2009.01.01 | Comments(0) | Trackback(0) | ツアー情報

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