夏、富士山を登った人に勧めたい 秋の「世界遺産」トレッキング!


富士山が世界遺産に登録された2013年。実はこの年は、鹿児島県の屋久島が青森の白神山地とともに世界遺産登録された20周年でもあることをご存知でしょうか。


屋久島が世界遺産に登録されたのは1993年の12月。九州最高峰で最南端にある百名山としても知られる「宮之浦岳」(1935m)をはじめ、九州の高峰上位7位までが屋久島にあることから「洋上のアルプス」ともいわれています。また、島全体で亜熱帯から亜寒帯までさまざまな気候が見られ、日本の植生種の約7割が生息していること、そして樹齢7200年ともいわれる縄文杉など悠久の時を超えて育つ「屋久杉」が多く見られることからトレッキングスポットとしても人気を集めています。

そんな登山客を悩ませるのが「雨」。屋久島は別名「雨の島」といわれるほど雨が多く、一日中島のどこかで雨が降っています。しかし、この雨こそが屋久島トレッキングの魅力。初心者ながら屋久島で登山を行い、縄文杉や宮之浦岳を訪れたという小説家の森絵都さんは、エッセイ『屋久島ジュウソウ』のなかで、こう振り返ります。

――雨が降っていたらよかったのかもしれない、とふと思った。この縄文杉は、雨に濡れて初めて精気を宿すのかもしれない、と。「ひと月に三十五日は雨が降る」と言われるこの島自体、濡れているときのほうが美しいのでは......と、登山中、私はずっと考えていた。私たちが山にいた二日間、一度も雨が降らなかったのは幸運と言うしかないけれど、時折、足下のぬかった湿地帯を通るとき、足場が不安定で歩きづらいにもかかわらず、濡れた岩や植物をとても美しいと思った。岩本来の色。花本来の色。苔本来の色。好天のもとでは乾いてくすんでいたり、陽に彩られてはぼやけていたりする奥のほうの色が、水に誘われてじわじわと表面に滲み出てくるような。本来の色はとても濃く、生まれたてのように瑞々しい――。

屋久島の雨は、むしろ森の魅力をいっそう引き立て、登山客の心をなごませてくれるよう。もし秋の行楽でトレッキングをするのなら、雨対策を万全にしたうえで、「雨でも楽しい登山」を屋久島で味わってみませんか。

【書籍データ】
・『屋久島ジュウソウ』 森絵都著 集英社文庫

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