This past year I explored the trails and waters around Heiwa Waterfall quite a lot. I took the trail up the backside of Mt. Teine in early summer and caught iwana (Arctic Char) above the waterfall on both bait (salmon eggs) and hand tied tenkara flies. I even did some low-level stream climbing (sawanobori) to get to some hidden fish deep of the beaten path. It’s been a fun year in that regard. And now I rounded out the winter season with some great snowshoeing at the falls, in a near blizzard.
We managed to hitch an automobile ride this time. Riding a bike, even a winterized fat bike, is next to impossible for this long a ride and in these conditions. Once we got to the surprisingly crowded line of cars along the narrow road at the trail head (the large parking lot hadn’t been plowed for weeks), we were anxious to explore.
The trail was surprising well groomed for a good portion of our trek. Other trekking parties, snowshoers, and cross country skiers, had plowed a narrow track that was quickly being devoured by the morning’s intense snowfall. We hiked about 2 kilometers in, past the dam, exploring some side trails and enjoying some deep powder.
With snowshoes, accessing the Kotoni-Hassamu River is actually easier. With some careful planning, I wouldn’t mind trying some winter tenkara fishing. But that is for another day. On this particular hike we decided to head back to the car a bit earlier than we would have liked, since the snow wasn’t abating and we didn’t feel like having to call JAF (Japan Automobile Federation) to dig our car out.