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the Degree Confluence Project
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Japan : Kantō

1.9 km (1.2 miles) S of Ogano, Ogano-machi, Saitama-ken, Kantō, Japan
Approx. altitude: 446 m (1463 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 36°S 41°W

Accuracy: 15 m (49 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: The town of Ogano-machi, where my trek began #3: Looking west #4: Looking north #5: GPS reading #6: A tiny village of what look like vacation homes. The confluence is on the hill behind. #7: A marker for the trail I followed to the confluence. #8: Looking down on Ogano-machi at the highest point on the hike. #9: Palm tree and snow, an interesting mix. #10: Statue along the trail heading back to Ogano-machi.

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  36°N 139°E (visit #1)  

#1: Looking down (east) at the confluence point

(visited by Peter Jacobs)

28-Feb-2003 -- I visited the 36N 139E confluence on a day trip from Tokyo, where I currently reside. I took the Seibu Red Arrow Express Train from Ikebukuro Station and arrived in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture about 90 minutes later. From Chichibu, it was another 40 minutes by bus along Route 299 to the small town of Ogano-machi, the closest town to the confluence.

From Ogano-machi, I set out on foot to find the confluence. I walked on a rural road past homes and farmland till the road ended and it was time to trek through the woods. I thought I had found a trail, but it soon ended and I found myself trudging up a steep, heavily wooded ridge following my GPS's lead. Luckily, as I climbed the ridge, I came across another trail that I was able to follow nearly all the way to the confluence point. It turns out that this trail follows electric power lines (I even came across some workers hiking up with equipment on their backs!).

Within 1/10 mile of the confluence point, I was descending into a thick forest of tall cedars, when my GPS lost contact with the satellites! I wondered if I would reach the point without even knowing it, or worse yet, drift off course from it. Fortunately, the trail ended at a small road and my GPS was back in service, indicating that I was a mere 300 feet away. A small climb up a wooded hill off the road, and there I was!

On the way back to Ogano-machi, I took the road at the trailhead through what appeared to be a small cluster of vacation homes. It eventually led to a hiking trail that went directly back to Ogano-machi in about 1.2 miles. This trail is used to make the pilgrimage to the Hosho-ji Temple, Temple #32 of the 34 Kannon temples in the Chichibu region, from the town. This in fact turns out to be the easiest and most direct route to the confluence, but of course I like to do things that hard way! The trail lets out close to the Keisatsuho-mae bus stop, where I hopped a bus back to Seibu Chichibu Station and caught the train back to Tokyo. All in all, it was a most enjoyable day away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

For those interested in visiting this confluence or who have an interest in the Chichibu region, I highly recommend "Chichibu, Japan's Hidden Treasure" by Sumiko Enbutsu. It describes the trail to Temple 32, which also leads to the confluence (pg 92-93).


 All pictures
#1: Looking down (east) at the confluence point
#2: The town of Ogano-machi, where my trek began
#3: Looking west
#4: Looking north
#5: GPS reading
#6: A tiny village of what look like vacation homes. The confluence is on the hill behind.
#7: A marker for the trail I followed to the confluence.
#8: Looking down on Ogano-machi at the highest point on the hike.
#9: Palm tree and snow, an interesting mix.
#10: Statue along the trail heading back to Ogano-machi.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)