Hike to Mount Mikuni, Mount Shoto & Mount Jinba

For my last hike in Japan, I went back to the Lake Sagami area. I basically followed this itinerary, except that I took the bus at the beginning.

Starting at Fujino station (藤野駅) in Uenohara, I took the bus to the Kamazawa Iriguchi bus stop (鎌沢入口バス停). I then I went up Mount Mikuni (三国山) and the nearby Mount Shoto (生藤山). There was a good view of Mount Fuji (although a bit hazy) from there. I then followed the ridge until Wada Pass (和田峠) and went up again to reach the summit of Mount Jinba. I then followed the first part of the trail to Mount Takao but actually went down to Lake Sagami starting from Myo Pass (明王峠).

Above, tea farm.

Above, Mount Fuji from the summit of Mount Mikuni.

Above, Mount Fuji from the summit of Mount Shoto.

Above, at Wada Pass.

Above, stairs to the summit of Mount Jinba.

Above, looking back at Mount Shoto and Mount Mikuni.

Above, the horse statue of Mount Jinba.

Above, even hazier Mount Fuji.

Above, miso oden.

Above, on the way to Myo Pass.

Above, on the path to Lake Sagami.

Above, Yose Shrine.

Above, Lake Sagami.

Above, Chuo Expressway.

Above, at Sagamiko station.

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Hike to Mount Mitsutoge, Mount Kachi Kachi & Lake Kawaguchi

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a hike to Mount Mitsutoge (三つ峠山), in the Fuji 5 Lakes area. I basically followed the same path as detailed on this page: Starting from Mitsutouge station (三つ峠駅) on the Fujikyuko line, I first walked to the summit of Mount Mitsutoge. There was a great view of Mount Fuji from there (although clouds were forming). Then I went down the mountain by walking to the Mount Kachi Kachi Ropeway (カチカチロープウェイ) and then on to Lake Kawaguchi.

Above, Mitsutoge station in the morning.

Above, there was a section on a paved road to reach the trailhead.

Above, trailhead.

Above, Daruma-Ishi stone (達磨石).

Above, Mount Fuji with more clouds.

Above, 88 Buddha statues on the way to the summit.

Above, the area is a popular rock-climbing spot.

Above, hut at the summit.

Above, summit of one of the 3 peaks of Mount Mitsutoge.

Above, the actual highest point of Mount Mitsutoge: Kaiun-yama (開運山).

Above, passive relays for radio waves.

Above, summit of Kaiun-yama.

Above, view of Kaiun-yama from the third peak of Mount Mitsutoge.

Above, smiling dog on the way down to Mount Tenjo (天上山) and Mount Kachi Kachi Ropeway station.

Above, first glimpse of Lake Kawaguchi.

Above, a snake.

Above, small shrine at the summit of Mount Tenjo, just above Mount Kachi Kachi Ropeway station.

Above, more clouds on Mount Fuji.

Above, rabbit shrine at Mount Kachi Kachi Ropeway station.

Above, rabbit and tanuki. They look very cute at first glance but they reference the Japanese folktale called “The Farmer and the Badger“, a grisly story of treachery, murder, cannibalism and revenge. The story takes place on Mount Kachi Kachi.

Above, Lake Kawaguchi from the viewpoint.

Above, rabbit setting the tanuki on fire.

Above, sleeper on the way down to Lake Kawaguchiko.

Above, finally at the lake.

Above, view of the ropeway from the lake.

Wisteria Festival at Kameido Tenjin Shrine

A wisteria festival (藤まつり; fuji matsuri) is currently taking place at the Kameido Tenjin shrine (亀戸天神), in eastern Tokyo, and will last until early May. I was there a couple of days ago: Purple wisteria flowers were dangling from trellises surrounding the pond, which was crawling with turtles.

Hike from Sounzan to Mount Kami & Mount Komagatake in Hakone

A couple of weeks ago, I went back to Hakone, this time for a hike. Starting in Hakone-Yumoto, I rode the Tozan train and cable car until Sounzan. There, I took the trail to Mount Komagatake (駒ヶ岳; 1327m), passing through the summits of Mount Kanmurigatake and Mount Kami (神山; 1438m) along the way. The view of Mount Fuji from the trail and at the summit of Mount Komagatake was really spectacular. I then took the Komagatake Ropeway Line to get down to Hakone-En and Lake Ashi.

Above, on the cable car to Sounzan.

Above, ropeway to Owakudani.

Above, ropeway station at Owakudani.

Above, Mount Fuji.

Above, most of the trail was still covered with snow.

Above, torii on the trail to the summit of Mount Kanmurigatake (actually a detour).

Above, at the summit of Mount Kami.

Above, ascent to the summit of Mount Komagatake.

Above, ropeway station.

Above, summit of Mount Komagatake.

Above, Hakone shrine at the summit.

Above, view of the coast.

Above, looking towards Izu.

Above, Lake Ashi.

Above, on the way down to Lake Ashinoko.

Above, ropeway station at Hakone-En.

Above, on the shore of Lake Ashi.