23-Jun-2018 -- Serendipitously I had the chance to have an extra holiday. I used my time for a trip to Japan and did a bicycle trip on the main island Honshu. While this I could manage to visit some confluence points. The sixth one was the CP 37°N 138°E.
I used the coastal roads from the Toyama Bay direction east to approach the area of the confluence 37N 138E. If possible I took smaller roads or the bicycle road next to the highway. But sometimes I had to take the HWY 8, especially if there was only one tunnel to go. But Japanese drivers are very considerate. In Itoigawa I started my way uphill near the Umi river. Later I reached the road 270 and stopped 6 km later at a vegetable market. There I bought some food, had a picnic and found some information boards about the nearer hiking area. It also contains information about the very young and still active volcano Yakeyama. The volcano is to be seen in the middle of picture #09. From the market it was only 2.6 km beeline to the confluence point.
After 1.3 km I left the road 270, changed to the other side of the creek Hayakawa (早川) and followed the tarred road into a tributary valley. There I passed a junction to a shrine. The nearest distance to the CP I reached on the road was 110 m. Now I started the way by foot. Soon I reached a totally overgrown valley. But when I saw a quite large snake, only a view centimetres next to me, I went back, put on my long trousers and felt more safe. After fighting against a lot of head-high plants I realised that I came from the wrong side. A lot of mud and mire, overgrown with reed grass, made it impossible to reach the other side of the creek. So I did my pictures at a distance of 24 m. I felt like being in a subtropical virgin forest.
After climbing back upwards I started my way back to the main valley. Short before reaching it I visited the earlier mentioned Shintō shrine. Back in the main valley I continued the way up to reach the Yunokawauchi Camping Ground. But it was closed. I could refresh at a creek and started the downhill back to the sea.
The visit of the confluence point 37°N 138°E shows very impressively how the terrain changed from 2003 to 2006 (picture #7) and to now - totally overgrown in 2018 (picture #11)!