When Fu’s aunt visited recently, we went hiking at Mount Takao, which is located on the far west of Tokyo.
Previously when Fu and I visited Mount Takao, we took the cable car from the base to the mid point, but this time we decided to climb from base all the way to the summit!
There are various trails and we chose to go with #6, which was a 3.3km hike that took about 90 minutes. We decided on this course because it ran alongside the lake, which meant it would be more cooling (and it was!)
We had to do a mini hike to the starting point of the trail, and we got to enjoy some pretty scenes along the way!
And here we are, at the start of the trail!
I may look like that in the above photo, this was what I really looked like outside of posing for photos:
But hiking like this is super hot and stuffy, even with the mesh lining. So as we ascended, I slowly started detaching parts of the gear. First the face veil, then the curtain (lol) around the head until I was left with just the cap.
Aiya, already damn tiring hiking up, and additionally having to feel like I’m slowly being cooked in the smothering heat like braised pork… Sun protection who??? Anyway, I kept the cap, sunglasses and resprayed sunscreen, so enough lah!
We came upon 琵琶滝 Biwa Falls, which is a place where monks carry out part of their ascetic training. You know, where they sit under the waterfall and let the water pound down on them all the while maintaining that zen frame of mind? Yes, they do that at this waterfall!
I read previously that there is this monk training experience thing, where you can experience sitting under this waterfall! Fu and I were intrigued and wondering if we should go for it together haha!
Then we came to a part of the trail which I think is my favorite! Walking in the stream!
These photos were taken at the earlier section of the stream, but in the later sections, we were literally walking IN the stream, balancing on stones and water flowing freely beneath our feet! It would probably be pretty dangerous during rainy weather though, so it was lucky that we had good weather!
Finally arrived at the summit!!!
No sighting of Mount Fuji due to the cloudy and humid weather though :(
We spent a while resting at the summit, and when it’s time to head back down, we all decided that it’s too tiring to walk all the way back down. So we decided to walk down to the cable car station (around the halfway mark) and take the cable car back.
We took route #1 on our way down and the path is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from #6! There are proper concrete pavements to walk on, unlike the dirt track of #6, which often had gnarled tree roots, jutting rocks and all sorts of other natural obstacles. While on #6, I spent most of my time looking at the ground because it was too easy to slip or trip if I wasn’t careful.
Trail #1 also brought us through a temple, 薬王院 Yakuoin:
We spotted this structure that literally translates to “Wish granting circle” so we stepped through it…
… and rang the bell!
Not sure if we did it correctly, but… it’s the thought that counts, right? :D
We walked for quite a bit, but at least it was a more leisurely walk and I could take in the surroundings better, rather than worrying about when I will trip and fall to my death lol
This was interesting and enjoyable, for a once-a-year (or less frequent) event. Any more often than that, I will have to decline haha. It’s not so much that I dislike outdoor activities, but more because the amount of hard work and satisfaction derived from is way too skewed. Like, have to climb so much, tread so carefully, try not to slip and break something, but the reward is just… mediocre.
So… hiking, check.