Monday, 2 March 2015

Mount Takao, Japan

 Looking to get out of the Inner city Pressures of Tokyo I took a train from Shinjuku and headed up into the mountainous hills of Japan.
 I'd chosen Mount Takao as my destination of choice and was glad I'd made today my hike day as the weather the day before was grim.
Today though proved to be lovely!
I didn't have any maps but fortunately the route has several trails, I opted for trail 1 on my ascent and trail 2 for my descent.
 Something that is always great to see is the amount of people of all ages taking the hike. The gentleman in the photo above was taking baby steps and I soon passed him, on my way down though he was almost at the top so had made good time. Good on him though as there was a cable car halfway to up and he'd chosen to take the task of using his legs to get him there! 
Slow and steady!

 I soon materialized at the top and was amazed by the amount of shrines there and a few stalls selling fried octopus and ice cream - not together o course. I obviously had an ice cream :3
 Do feel very welcomed hiking in Japan, as I was one of the handful of rare westerners venturing up and Japanese people would smile and bow their heads saying Konnichiwa and on occasion Hello.
One man said good day to me and told me that Mount Fuji was visible from the top.




 The view everyone's going for.

 Like many places in Japan I've found, there are several clans of cats living in the hilly suburbs. Unlike other stray cats I've seen around the world these furry ones are all thankfully well fed and here are being tended to by a lovely local - my grandma's Japanese cousin :p


 On my return route I decided to take trail 2. This one was not as maintained as the first and had an earthier feel to it.

 

 These were everywhere lining the trail and huddled in clusters here and there.
This was a little hide away I found, a little prayer cave, a very peaceful place.