Sunday, April 12, 2009

Takaosan

Thursday.
Our official day off.
We (mostly me) decided to go hiking on Mt. Takao.
For some reason, even though we've had plenty of opportunity, we've never been to Mt. Fuji.
I honestly don't know why.
I guess we could have gone there on thursday, but after discovering that Takao-san was practically on the Chuo line, it seemed like a good idea to go there.
We went kinda early, early for us anyway.
The train took us to Takao St. in about 50 min, there we changed to the Keio line and went one more stop to Takaosanguchi St.

Kitty-chan is everywhere in Japan

We couldn't have picked a better day, the weather was so beautiful and the tourists there were mainly retired japanese people.

We went to the base of the mountain to get a ticket for the cable car.
Just the idea of a cable car scared the crap our of me, but the walk would take 40 minutes and only then would the real trek upwards start.
No thank you.
So i faced my fear of heights and bought two tickets.
Only, we'd bought the wrong tickets.
The tickets we were holding in our hands were for the chairlift.
Who even knew they had one of those?
My Japan info website certainly hadn't mentioned one.

I was pretty much terrified, but you gotta do stuff that scares you sometimes, right?
At least that's what i've heard people say.
People say a lot of dumb things, don't they?
There were no seat belts, but Allan said he'd be more scared if there were, and that kinda made sense to me.
The ride up was very steep, but there were only a couple of meters between us and the ground.
Except when it wasn't ground but a net, but let's not get into that.

The cute colors and little old ladies calmed my nerves somewhat
I never looked back, but i did get comfortable enough for a quick portrait (wearing my 100 Yen hat)
How the tourist site failed to mention this is beyond me
Good to know
Chair lift station
From there the view was already pretty awesome, but we had a long way to go

The trek up was pretty, but tough.
We stopped at a monkey park, hoping it would be like the one we went to in Kyoto a couple of years ago, but it was not.
It was just a sad little zoo where the poor monkeys sat in a boring fake landscape, overlooking the beautiful green surroundings that they'd never get to play in.
If you ever visit this place, just skip the monkeys.
There are things that really suck about this country, and one of them is definitely the way people here treat animals.
But enough of that.

Who's a silly mountain god?
I'd borrowed Allans G9 camera, but the battery died almost immediately, so i didn't get that many pictures
Pretty tree
Little old ladies eating ice cream
There's lots of temple goodness up there too
Finally, after hours of walking up, up, up: the summit
The mountains look like they're cut out of paper, so beautiful
And old man was playing the flute, creating a perfect Japanese mountain soundtrack (i took this picture from far away, so i didn't really notice his audience then, but i'll get back to them later)
We found a restaurant with a terrace, so we ordered something (we never really know for sure what we're gonna eat) and ate while enjoying the view
The food was yummy (after this shot my camera completely died)

We decided to take a different route for the walk down.
We had a map and there was a suspension bridge somewhere that we wanted to see.
This route however was a little closer to the edge than the first one.
And the path was very narrow.
Exciting and challenging stuff i tell ya!

A cute sign (iPhone cam)
And another one

We'd been alone on our path for a long time, but about half way down we spotted a woman and a little boy in front of us.
And then the weirdest thing happened.
The boy was, for some reason, really excited to see us, and he was waving a yelling hello.
And then he ran over to me, grabbed my hand and started walking down with me.
His mother was asking if it was ok, and we were all laughing, but it was actually really nice.
So we walked hand in hand for a long time, while his mother explained to him that we were from Denmark and couldn't really understand Japanese.
And they called me Amalie-chan, i love being called that.
He asked his mom some questions about what stuff was called in English and then he said to us: "Here, japan".
So cute!
Me and Allan got a little ahead of them on the bridge, so whenever our little friend decided that we were too far ahead he'd scream "Allan, wait" in Japanese and we'd have to go back to them.

Me and my new friend
Allan managed to get a good picture of him

We split up at the end of the trail, they were going for the cable car and we were heading for the (dreaded) trip down in the chair lift.
But sadly/luckily, the chair lift had closed at 4 pm, so we had to run back to the cable car and take that down instead.
I'm glad there were a bunch of people standing in front of me, looking out the side window was scary enough.
Our friend, however, was completely fearless, he was all the way up front, looking out and making conversation.

We took the train to Shinjuku and did some shopping at Tokyu Hands.
We were so tired, but it was such a great day and we didn't want it to end.
We had a late dinner on the 6th floor of some building in Shinjuku, a pasta restaurant of the kind where you'd never meet another tourist.

We were back home around midnight, and it wasn't until i was transferring our pictures, that i noticed that the old mans audience were in fact our two new friends.
Funny.
More days like this one, please.

4 comments:

  1. Yay, glad to hear you enjoyed your little trip and made some new friends. :-) It's been absolutely beautiful, hasn't it?

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  2. cute!

    and did you get back to the flute man's audience? was that your friend? maybe i missed it.. im very tired...

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  3. Ihh et dejligt indlæg. Fuld af glæde, yay og smukke billeder! Skønt!
    Og se bare hvad jeg siger; du er slet ikke så tosset til børn som du bilder dig ind!

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  4. wow , looks like you had a wonderful day! such beautiful scenery :) chair lifts are great fun!xxx

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