A couple weeks ago, I went hiking and camping in Oze-gahara. It's a quasi-national marshland park which is technically part of Gunma, Nikko, and Fukushima prefectures. It's famous across Japan for it's size, preservation, and altitude (1400 m). There are trails that you can hike year round within the park, but it is most famous for it's skunk cabbage flowers in the summer and autumn foliage.
I was planning on heading up with Alex and Laurel, but unfortunately Laurel just could not kick the sickies from soccer weekend. The weather was gorgeous, it was a three day weekend, and I knew the colors wouldn't last - so I went solo.
These were my hiking buddies for the first leg the first day. They (along with everyone else I passed) were very surprised I was alone (as concluded by their remarks of, 'eeeehhhhhhh!?!?!?!'). It's a marshland, so it's relatively flat. More exhausting than the hike is saying "Konnichiwa" to all of the 294,281 other tourists you pass. There are some fun ups and downs and more challenging hikes into the mountains if you have the time and energy and want to go up and down the same trail, but I hate hiking the same path twice, so I started at one bus drop point and ended at another, stopping about half way to camp overnight.
My tent (just for me) is the one on the right. The tent on the left slept two people.
I woke up the next morning with ice... yes, ICE on my tent. It was in the 70's for hiking the day before. I knew it would be cold at night, but I didn't think THAT cold. Taking down the tent without gloves was painful. I was up with the sunrise around 6am though, and hiking again long after sitting by the lodge heater to de-thaw.