Mount Mitsutoge

by kenji SAITO on July 20, 2017

Hiking Mount Mitsutoge

Looking to escape the oven heat of Tokyo and get away to the mountains for a respite, I found myself on a train heading to a town noted for pure, clean water. The steripen can stay home.

Mitsutoge Eki

Mitsutoge Eki

Pretending to read the map.

Nishikatsura

Nishikatsura

Leaving the station, I was treated to promising views of the iconic Mount Fuji from the road.

Green Mile

Green Mile

Following a green painted line masquerading as a sidewalk that kept me on track.

Uruchimai

Uruchimai

Pockets of rice fields dotted the neighborhood.

Green Centre

Green Centre

I’m detecting a color coordinated pattern.

Trail map

Trail map

Now if I had paid attention and retained some meager language fragments from school, I could be somewhat reading this map, instead of just taking a picture of it.

Shrine

Shrine

The first and not the last one I will see on the trail.

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

Scarfing down a shoyu flavored hard boiled egg and washing it down with a cold Coke. Life doesn’t get any better than this on the trail.

Trailhead

Trailhead

Leaving the paved road behind.

Daruma-ishi

Daruma-ishi

So where do you paint the eye?

Trail

Trail

Going up the log lined trail.

Rest stop

Rest stop

One of many benches sprinkled throughout the trail. Surprised there are no massage chairs as well.

Mountain amphibian

Mountain amphibian

Frog or toad?

Trail

Trail

My last view of Mount Fuji from the trail.

Trail

Trail

I can read. English.

Trail

Trail

Goin up the heavily rooted and stepped trail.

88 & counting

88 & counting

Some stone Buddhas still had their red aprons and others still had their heads.

Landslide

Landslide

Stakes and ropes to keep one from falling off the ledge.

Trail

Trail

Bridge crossing coming up.

Trail

Trail

Flip or flop.

Rock climbing area

Rock climbing area

Approaching the spot where Japanese alpine climbers practice and perfect their skills.

Rock climbing area

Rock climbing area

I heard there are roughly 70 routes to choose from, ranging from 5.4 to 5.9 grades.

Trail

Trail

Picking up my pace in case an errant rock decided to come my way.

Mountain Hut

Mountain Hut

Never fails. Vending machines dispensing chilled beverages to those with the yen for them. I’m not complaining.

Mountain Hut

Mountain Hut

Panoramic view. Looking for Mount Fuji.

Kaiun-yama

Kaiun-yama

Still looking for Mount Fuji at the 1,785 meters summit.

NHK broadcast

NHK broadcast

Same view that Japanese viewers get to see on New Year’s Eve. Well, they actually get to see Mount Fuji.

Benjo

Benjo

You don’t even have to poop or piss in the woods up here.

Mountain Dog

Mountain Dog

Who let the dog out? Not this poor pooch.

Exit

Exit

Time to leave the mountain tops.

Trail

Trail

So many signs. Which one to follow?

Trail

Trail

Walking through open fields. I think it’s some sort of nature preserve. Half expected wild life to show up.

Trail

Trail

Back in the tree lined ridge.

Trail

Trail

Horizontally leaning tree to give balance to all the vertically standing trees.

Tenjo-zan

Tenjo-zan

Going down the tree shaded trail. Crisp and cool in the mountains.

Trail

Trail

In a rut. Hiking rut.

Trail

Trail

Passing a makeshift dwelling. Didn’t stop to see if it was occupied.

Bear

Bear

I can’t read Japanese well, but I can read a picture. Picking up the pace.

Mount Tenjo

Mount Tenjo

Second shrine of the day.

Kachi Kachi Ropeway Station

Kachi Kachi Ropeway Station

My trail of solitude was interrupted by the crushing mass of humanity at the station.

Kachi Kachi Ropeway Station

Kachi Kachi Ropeway Station

Most of the people milling at the station had used the ropeway to come up and go back. Three minutes versus thirty minutes. I’ll take the latter.

Scenic Point

Scenic Point

I can’t see Mount Fuji for the clouds.

The Farmer and the Badger

The Farmer and the Badger

Statues depicting the story of the rabbit setting fire to the heavy load of kindling on the tanuki’s back. Kachi-Kachi Yama.

Rabbit Toss

Rabbit Toss

Try your luck and don’t forget to deposit a donation. Lady?

Trail

Trail

Making my way down the bench and tree lined trail.

Lake Kawaguchi

Lake Kawaguchi

Looking down at the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes.

Trail

Trail

Going down the trail populated with shrubs of ornamental hydrangea flower heads.

Temizuya

Temizuya

Purifying minds and bodies.

Shrine

Shrine

The last shrine on the trail.

Junction

Junction

Back on the paved road.

Kawaguchiko Eki

Kawaguchiko Eki

Finishing my hike off with what else? Another ice cold Coke.

All pau

All pau

Hmmm, which colorful character themed trains shall I take to Shinjuku?

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

The 16.9 km hike winded through forested areas, summits with views (but not of Fuji) and tree lined ridges. Not a bad way to spend the day. Post hike meal at Standing Sushi. Cheap, fresh and tasty sushi. It would put Genki Sushi to shame.

Note: I have been made aware the some hikers have been using my blog as a hiking guide and getting lost on the trails. Please note that this blog was made to document the hike for the crew(s) that did it. That is why some of my comments will seem to have no relevance or meaning to anybody outside of the crew(s) that hiked that trail. My blog was never meant as a hiking guide, so please do not treat it as such. If you find inspiration and entertainment from these hikes, that is more than enough. If you plan on replicating these hikes, do so in the knowledge that you should do your own research accordingly as trail conditions, access, legalities and so forth are constantly in flux. What was current today is most likely yesterdays news. Please be prepared to accept any risks and responsibilities on your own as you should know your own limitations, experience and abilities before you even set foot on a trail, as even the “simplest” or “easiest” of trails can present potential pitfalls for even the most “experienced” hikers.

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