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Hiking in Tokyo

Winter hike to Kawanori-san

On those crisp and clear winter days that Tokyo puts on so well, there’s no better place to be than up a mountain.  I was keen to head out and get some snow on my hiking boots and experience the cold fresh air.  My day took me out to Kawanori-san, a 1,363 mountain in the Okutama area (fast becoming one of my favourite areas). (more…)

Through the snow to the Falcon’s Nest

Ever wanted a falcon’s view of Mt Fuji and the surrounding ranges?  Takanosu-yama (鷹ノ巣山) – translated as Falcon’s Nest Mountain – offers just a commanding view, good enough for a falcon.  On an unseasonably cold, but clear and crisp autumn day, the contrast between snow, bright coloured foliage, clear blue skies and the vista beyond was a perfect way to spend a public holiday. (more…)

Autumn at Mitake-san again

Mitake-san is a mountain in western Tokyo Prefecture with a grand, old Shinto shrine on top.  It’s become sort of the place in the hills that I head towards when I’m not imaginative to head anywhere else.  Tried and trusted, there is a network of pathways through the forest, taking in a few mountain tops, and leading down the valley to the Tama River.  I headed up with my Swedish friends for a day of autumn in the hills. (more…)

A morning mission to Takao-san

Takao-san is a popular mountain to the west of Tokyo with a number of hiking tracks and Yakuoin temple, and I’d never been out there.  This is surprising given that it’s only an hour from Tokyo and easy to get to, quick to climb, and (supposedly) has views across to Fuji-san.  I think what had deterred me from visiting previously was rumours of large crowds and queues of people lining up to get to the summit. (more…)

Sobatsubu-san (Mt Buckwheat Grain)

Japanese mountains can have some unusual names.  Apparently, Sobatsubu-san (蕎麦粒山 – literally translated as Mt Buckwheat Grain) may have been given its name based on its small isosceles triangular shape that resembles a grain of soba.  (more…)

Hiking from Itsukaichi to Okutama, 24 Nov 08

After the success of our hike up and down Tanigawa-dake a month or so earlier, my friend Jamie and I decided to tackle somewhere a little lower in altitude.  We settled on a walk leaving Musashino Itsukaichi station, up Hinode-yama, and down the other side to Okutama. Whilst we had to take an early turn back to civilisation on Tanigawa-dake, the heavy rain didn’t put us off when crossing Mitake-san and heading down the other side. (more…)

Mitake Jinja in the fog Nov 2008

In early November, I found my way up to Mitake-san, a mountain in the very west of Tokyo Prefecture, on top of which sits Mitake-Jinja. (more…)