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Kyoto-Mie-Nara - 2005-11-12

After a day of geocaching I found myself in Ueno visiting the Ninja castle - there are two tripoints close to here - Kyoto-Nara-Mie and Kyoto-Mie-Shiga. However it was now dark, albeit a bright moonlit night, and Kyoto-Mie-Shiga appeared to require a 2km hike up a steep hill trail and so I decided that was not wise to do alone at night. Kyoto-Nara-Mie, however, appeared from the map at http://watchizu.gsi.go.jp/watchizu.aspx?id=52360050&slidex=2000&slidey=400 to be just about 100m or so from a road about 10km drive out of Ueno so I decided to investigate.

The WGS84 coordinates obtained from that map are 34 44' 18" N, 139 3' 19" E or 34 44.300' N, 139 3.317' E in decimal minute notation which I programmed into my GPSr to help me find the tripoint.

So -  I drove up the nearby road until I reached the Mie-Nara border - I will let the photos (click on the thumbnails for the full size photos) drive the narrative from there.

At the border crossing, just inside Nara...
... was this sign which indicated that I was in the right place. The tripoint is clearly marked on this map.

There was no clear path into the woods leading up the hill towards where the tripoint should be, however there did appear to be a small opening in the undergrowth at about the point where the border was. Accordingly I pushed my way in and headed up the hill.

As I went through the forest there was a rough path of sorts and, following my GPSr towards the coordinates I had programmed in, I encountered a series of markers like this. I concluded that these were marking the border between Mie and Nara. However, as I climbed further up the hill my GPSr was suggesting I should deviate to the right, away from the line of the markers. Now, as I had been driving around I had noticed that the GPSr was recording me as being in a position some metres beside the road that I was actually on, leading me to believe that the maps were not precisely georeferenced to the WGS84 datum. I therefore felt that I should place more reliance on the physical border markers that I discovered here.

As I got near the top of the hill I could see that the forest was ending - suddenly I encountered an electric fence (which was low enough to step over) and a man made steep incline that I scrambled up. I figured that I would find the tripoint just at the top of this incline.

Well - I did find a marker of sorts - but it didn't say anything about a tripoint!!
Yes - I was on a Golf Course!!

Just to be sure I headed over to where my GPSr zeroed out (which was just in the woods beside the tee area) and recorded my presence there for posterity. I searched around in the woods all around for any indicators of other prefectural boundary markers but could find none. I concluded that the tripoint is not officially marked on the ground since the tee area appeared to cover it. I wonder how many golfers know that they are in 3 prefectures at the same time during their round!!

Kanagawa-Shizuoka-Yamanashi - 2005-11-13

After another day of geocaching to the west I drove back towards Tokyo to make my final "find" of the day - the Kanagawa-Shizuoka-Yamanashi "Mikuni" point that looked as though it stood a good chance of being well marked on the ground as there were clear trails marked on the map at http://watchizu.gsi.go.jp/watchizu.aspx?id=53380750&slidex=2000&slidey=800 showing the tripoint to be at 35 24' 2" N, 138 54' 58" E.
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This required a drive up into the hills, and, shortly after crossing the Shizuoka-Kanagawa border I reached the Kanagawa-Yamanashi crossing where there was a path marked on the map. I stopped and parked there (again it was, by now, dark) and prepared for the 500m horizontally but 200m vertically trek to the "Mikuni" - again let the pictures take over.

The first thing I found was this sign that confirmed I was on the right track!.
For the record, before we get to the tripoint itself, here are a few more photos around the road area.
 
 
Actually I'm not sure what this sign is telling me - it may be nothing to do with the border since it is beside a gate into a property just inside Kanagawa.
I suspect this is an official border marker
Same marker - different angle
Heading up the trail in the dark one had to be really careful as parts of it were covered with really evil looking root systems which one had to find one's way around.
Looks like something out of Harry Potter :)
There were a whole series of border markers up this trail, marking the line between Kanagawa and Yamanashi
At the top of the hill, right in line with the earlier border markers, was this one that clearly marked the tripoint. This picture is of the side facing Shizuoka.
This is the side facing the Shizuoka-Yamanashi border
This is the side facing the Shizuoka-Kanagawa border
This of the "back" - i.e. facing the Kanagawa-Yamanashi border
The "money" shot - with my foot touching the tripoint and the GPSr on top of the marker showing fuzzily the actual coordinates of the tripoint.
A clearer display of the coordinates - 35 24.041' N, 138 55.010' E - or, in minutes and seconds notation - 35 24' 1.46" N, 138 55' 0.6" - somewhat different again from the coordinates obtained from the map. Once more I believe that the inaccuracy in the georeferencing of the map was the culprit here.
Nevertheless I went to the location where my GPSr zeroed out and took the evidence of being there as well!!
I walked down the Shizuoka-Kanagawa border line and took this shot of one of a series of markers I found there
The same marker from a different angle
Next a close up of a marker on the Kanagawa-Yamanashi border. I also went along the line of the Shizuoka-Yamanashi border but found no markers there whatsoever.
Now for a few more shots in the general area - which, incidentally, is set up with seats and picnic tables - it appears to be a popular spot to rest and enjoy the view which, being dark unfortunately, I was not able to photograph but I bet it is pretty spectacular - looking in the Shizuoka direction. Incidentally, this is not far from Fuji-san (Mt.Fuji) but I don't think one would be able to see it from here as the view is in the wrong direction (i.e. southwards).
 
I like the saucepan!!
 
 
These two signs were at the top of the hill near the tripoint marker
 

Ibaraki -Fukushima-Tochigi - 2005-11-14

My last day in Japan and a hectic drive before catching my flight at 1715 back to Canada. There is a geocache at the top of Yamizo-san (Mt. Yamizo) 八溝山 which I decided to find in the hope of bagging the tripoint as well.

Unfortunately it takes a age to drive through these windy narrow roads, up and down mountains, and so after finding the geocache at 1100 I decided that I didn't want to push things too far and miss my flight - it took me 3 hours to drive to Narita from here anyway so I was only just on schedule. Nevertheless, here is my report.

There is a viewing tower at the top of Yamizo-san - this view looks over towards the tripoint. It was pretty hazy as you can see.
The 100 yen ticket to go up the viewing tower has a picture taken on a sunnier day.
This extract from the topo map shows my vehicle track as I drove here (in green), the geocache location (GCM5PP) and the tripoint location (__TP39). From this you can judge where the tripoint is located in the photo.