Mokoto-yama is my local mountain, visible from my wife’s family home on the shores of Lake Kussharo. I have climbed it many times, including with my children when they were still in elementary school. I even managed to get my wife up there once. It was also the first mountain I ever did on skis. It never disappoints.
The most recent visit was with Rob, who had also done it the previous year on skis with Haidee, staying at the Ginreiso Hut. Now it was a beautiful autumn day and we reveled in the views across the lake, enjoyed a little scrambling on the exposed rocky towers two-thirds of the way up, and soaked up the panorama beneath us from the rocky summit.
Rob wanted to see the hut again without snow, so we dropped off the back to check it out. From here we followed the trails back though the forest to the car park, slightly regretting that there were few views on this route. Back at the car park a cold wind had picked up so we headed back down to Kotan and the onsen. For a change, we took the 22km gravel road that runs along the north shore of the lake, though the glorious autumn forest. While much slower, it was a great way to end the day.