Hike to Mount Mikuni, Mount Shoto & Mount Jinba

For my last hike in Japan, I went back to the Lake Sagami area. I went to Mount Mikuni, Mount Shoto and Mount Jinba, basically following this itinerary, except that I took the bus at the beginning.

Continue reading Hike to Mount Mikuni, Mount Shoto & Mount Jinba

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Hike to Mount Oyama, Mount Sannoto & Mount Tonodake in the Tanzawa Mountains (part 2): From Yabitsu Pass to Okura

Continuing the spring hike to the Tanzawa Mountains. Check Part 1 for the map of the path. This is essentially the same path as for the hike to Mount To and Mount Tanzawa, except in the other direction.

Above, start of the trail to Mount San-no-to.

Above, Mount Oyama from the summit of Mount Sannoto.

Above, view of Mount To in the distance, from the summit of Mount Sannoto.

Above, on the way to Mount Tonodake.

Above, view of Mount Sannoto.

Above, summit of Mount To.

Above, hazy Mount Fuji.

Above, on the way to Okura bus terminal.

Above, Mount Sannoto and Mount Oyama.

Above, Okura bus station.

Hike to Mount Oyama, Mount Sannoto & Mount Tonodake in the Tanzawa Mountains (part 1): From Hinata Yakushi To Yabitsu Pass

In May, I went back to the Tanzawa Mountains, in Kanagawa: I hiked Mount Oyama, Mount Sannoto and Mount To.

Here is a map of the full path I walked that day (download KML):

This time, I started at Hinata Yakushi (日向薬師), in Atsugi, east of the mountains. I took the bus from Isehara station and got off at the last stop then started walking. I went through Mount Oyama (大山), Mount Sannoto (三ノ塔) and Mount Tonodake (塔ノ岳). From there, I walked down the mountain to take the bus at the Okura (大倉) bus terminal. It was a great day, although it was foggy at first. Mount Fuji was even visible from Mount To.

In this post, I will show photos of the path through Mount Oyama, until Yabitsu Pass. Check out Part 2 for the path through Mount Sannoto and Mount To.

Above, at Hinata Yakushi.

Above, pagoda at Johotsugan-ji Temple.

Above, Sekiun-ji Temple.

Above, start of the trail to Mount Oyama.

Above, view of Oyama Afuri shrine.

Above. Mount Oyama lost in the fog, seen from Miharashidai.

Above, Oyama Afuri shrine.

Above, start of the trail to the summit of Mount Oyama.

Above, fog at the summit.

Above, the fog lifted while I was at the summit.

Above, on the way down to Yabitsu Pass (ヤビツ峠).

Above, in better weather, Mount Fuji can be seen from here.

Above, at Yabitsu Pass.

Above, to get to the start of the trail to Mount Sannoto, I took an alternate trail in  the forest (at the back of the parking lot) instead of the paved road.

Above, the trail did not arrive exactly where I needed to go so I had to double back using the paved road.

Hike from Hinohara Village to Lake Sagami: Mount Usuki, Mount Ichimichi, Mount Daigomaru & Mount Jinba

After visiting the Hossawa Falls, which was actually a detour, I turned east to reach Mount Usuki (臼杵山) and continued to Mount Ichimichi (市道山). Those are two of the “Three Togura Mountains” (戸倉三山). After Mount Ichimichi, I walked south to Mount Daigomaru (醍醐丸) then went down to Wada Pass (和田峠) before climbing the stairs leading to the summit of Mount Jinba (陣馬山). I then walked part of the trail to Mount Takao but went down the mountain at Myo Pass (明王峠) in the direction of Lake Sagami (相模湖), passing Yose Shrine (与瀬神社) along the way. I then took the train back to Tokyo from Sagamiko station.

Continue reading Hike from Hinohara Village to Lake Sagami: Mount Usuki, Mount Ichimichi, Mount Daigomaru & Mount Jinba

Sagami River Koinobori Matsuri

The day before Children’s Day (May 5th), I went to Suigotana (水郷田名), in Sagamihara City (Kanagawa prefecture), to visit the Sagami River Koinobori Matsuri. Koinobori are carp-shaped wind socks traditionally used to celebrate that day. During the festival, over 1,200 koinoboris are hoisted up to blow in the wind (which fortunately was very strong that day).

Kamakura Hiking Trails part 3: Daibutsu Hiking Course

After the Tenen Hiking Course and Kencho-ji Temple (see part 2), I walked directly to Jocho-ji Temple, where the Daibutsu Hiking Course trailhead is located. This trail goes to the most famous sight in Kamakura: The Daibutsu (Great Buddha) statue at Kotoku-in Temple. It also passes through Genjiyama Park and near the Zeniarai-Benzaiten Shrine.

Here is a map of the path I walked (download KML):

Above, gate to Jocho-ji Temple.

Above, Hotei (god of happiness) statue inside Jocho-ji Temple.

Above, start of the Daibutsu Hiking Course.

Above, at Genjiyama Park.

Above, Kuzuharaoka shrine.

Above, torii at the entrance to Zeniarai-Benzaiten Shrine.

Above, this is the fountain where worshipers can wash their money. It is said that money washed there will double.

Above, end of the trail, near the Daibutsu.

Above, the famous Daibutsu.

Kamakura Hiking Trails part 2: Tenen Hiking Course

After the Gionyama Hiking Course (see part 1) and visiting Zuisen-ji Temple, I made my way to the trailhead of the Tenen Hiking Course, which goes to Kencho-ji Temple, in Kita-Kamakura.

Here is a map of the path I walked (download KML):

Above, start of the Tenen Hiking Course, near the entrance to Zuisen-ji Temple.

Above, summit of Mount Ohira.

Above, at Hansobo shrine, inside Kencho-ji Temple.

Above, tengu statues protecting the shrine.

Above, gate to Kencho-ji Temple.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine / Egara Tenjin Shrine / Kamakura-gu Shrine / Zuisen-ji Temple

Kamakura is famous for its large number of buddhist temples and shinto shrines. The biggest is the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮), located at the center of town. It is dedicated to Hachiman. On the same day, I also visited Egara Tenjin Shrine, Kamakura-gu Shrine and Zuisen-ji Temple (which I had already visited earlier).

Below, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

Above, alley to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. They were decorated with lanterns for the Kamakura Festival.

Above, ginkgo-shaped ema.

Above, sacred ginkgo tree.

Above, lost turtle.

Above, Hata-age Benzaiten sub-shrine.


Below, Egara Tenjin Shrine.

Above, stairs to the shrine.

Above, a statue of a brush: the E-hude-zuka.  It is covered with kappa etched by manga-ka, who come to the shrine to retire their brushes.

Above, Doraemon kappa.


Below, Kamakura-gu Shrine.

Above, torii of Kamakura-gu Shrine.


Below, Zuisen-ji Temple.

Above, flower garden inside Zuisen-ji Temple.

Above, meditation place inside Zuisen-ji Temple.