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- My First Okinawa
Ishigaki Island: Climbing the Spectacular [Nosoko Mape]
post : 2020.01.04 07:00
Nosoko is located in the northern region of Ishigaki Island and that is where you’ll find Nosoko-dake, a mountain also known as Mape (pronounced “mah-peh”). With an altitude of 282 meters, the mountain is not very tall, but the view from the top is spectacular and attracts many islanders and visitors to take in this view. As shown in the photo above, it has a sharp apex but you can climb to the very top!
There are two routes to reach the peak of Mape; the route that starts at the foot of the mountain, which is about an hour hike, and the other route, you can drive up the Nosoko Rindo forest road and then hike for about 15 minutes to reach the top. I’ve climbed to the top over ten times, but have only taken the shorter route…Someday, I hope to start from the bottom…!
Last August, I went to Nosoko Mape with a friend who was visiting from mainland Japan, and the view that we were treated to was the best and clearest that I’d ever seen. No matter how many times I go, the view from the top of Mape is so impressive.
The photo above shows the view facing further north of the island. From this height, there’s nothing that blocks the view, letting you command a panoramic view. You can see 360 degrees around you and you can enjoy the view of both sides of the island, the sights of both the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea. The cars driving just below you look tiny like toys, and the birds come flying near you as they dance in the air. The breeze is lovely and cools you down from the hike to the top.
The entrance to the shortcut course has a sign as shown above. There’s a large space nearby where you can park.
One step on to the trail, you’ll find yourself in a dense forest.
There are numerous steep slopes that you’ll have to use the rope to climb, and although you might find yourself out of breath, knowing that you’ll reach the top in just 15 minutes keeps you going. Short while later, you’ll come out of the woods and find the spectacular view from the top.
Just be careful of poisonous Habu snakes and various insects when you’re hiking, and be sure to wear sneakers, and I recommend you wear long sleeves and pants. Also, for a few days after rainfall, the path can get muddy and slippery even if the day you go is a clear, sunny day.
Maybe hiking up a mountain isn’t exactly what many visitors to Ishigaki Island think of doing, but when you’re there and deciding what to do on a lovely, sunny day, I highly recommend an excursion up Nosoko Mape!!
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Masumi Sasamoto