The Northern Alps, which has many mountains over 3,000-meters in height, is located in central Japan. It attracts many mountaineers even in harsh winter when it's covered in snow and ice. The operator of a mountain lodge on Tsubakuro-dake in western Nagano hosts traditional events from year-end to New Year. Mountaineering enthusiasts climb up to the lodge to take part in the New Year countdown and mochitsuki rice pounding on the first day of the year. Later they make an offering of a buri yellowtail at the summit to pray for safety throughout the year. On Journeys in Japan, mountain guide Huang Haiyan scales Tsubakuro-dake via the secluded Nakabusa hot springs. She immerses herself in the breathtaking scenery, camaraderie of fellow hikers, and New Year's rituals.
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Episode #346 / Length: 28 minutes