Azalea Festival at Shiofune Kannon-ji Temple in Ome

While I was in the Ome area, I went to see the azalea festival at Shiofune Kannon-ji Temple (塩船観音寺). The temple is surrounded by a huge azalea garden with a giant statue of Kannon watching over it.

Above, bell. It is possible to ring it for 100 yen.

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Hike from Lake Naguri to Ome: Mount Bonoore, Mount Iwatakeishi & Mount Takamizu

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently went hiking in Naguri (名栗), in Saitama Prefecture. It is a popular hiking area with many trails to choose from. For myself, I followed a trail to Ikusabata station, in Ome  City (Tokyo), passing through Mount Bounoore, Mount Iwatakeishi and Mount Takamizu. Here is a map of the trail (in reverse direction).

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

Starting at the pagoda of Hakuunsan Torii Kannon (白雲山 鳥居観音), I took the trail to Konpira shrine (金比羅神社跡). From there, I went down the mountain to reach the paved road that leads to Lake Naguri (名栗湖) and the Arima Dam (有間ダム). Starting on the south-east side of the lake, I followed the Shirayazawa (白谷沢) trail to Gonjiri Pass (ゴンジリ峠): The trail goes through a gorge carved out by a river. From the pass, I went on to Mount Bonoore (棒ノ折山). I then doubled back to the pass and walked through Mount Iwatakeishi (岩茸石山) and Mount Takamizu (高水山). On the way down, I passed a temple then got out of the forest and followed the paved road to Ikusabata station (軍畑駅) in Ome City.

Above, waiting for the bus to Naguri at Hanno station.

Above, the Hakuunsan Torii Kannon.

Above, stairs to the Konpira shrine in front of the pagoda.

Above, the shrine.

Above, paved road to Lake Naguri. The closest bus stop is Sawarabi-no-yu (さわらびの湯).

Above, the dam.

Above, Japanese hikers in standard uniform.

Above, Lake Naguri.

Above, start of the Shirayazawa trail.

Above, Gonjiri Pass.

Above, summit of Mount Bounoore.

Above, view of Lake Naguri in the distance.

Above, on the way to Mount Iwatakeishi,

Above, azalea.

Above, summit of Mount Iwatakeishi.

Above, view of Mount Takamizu.

Above, on the way to Mount Takamizu.

Above, small shrine at the summit of Mount Takamizu.

Above, Mount Takamizu Temple.

Above, snake on the road.

Above, in front of Ikusabata station, in Ome City.

Hike from Okutama to Mount Otake & Mount Mitake

A couple of weeks ago, I went to western Tokyo for the Mount Otake hike that I had already done last October. This time, however, I went in the other direction: I started in Okutama (奥多摩) and went up to Mount Otake (大岳山) and then on to Mount Mitake (御岳山). Unfortunately, the Rock Garden there was still closed because of the snow. I then took the cable car down to the valley. This page has directions and details for this trail (in the other way) in English.

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

Above, in front of Okutama station.

Above, looking in the direction of Atago shrine (愛宕神社).

Above, the Sanbonsugi (Three cedars) of Hikawa.

Above, Hikawa shrine.

Above, path to Hikawa Gorge, behind the cedars.

Above, Tama River.

Above, statue near the start of the trail to Atago shrine and Mount Otake.

Above, stairs to Atago shrine.

Above, Atago shrine.

Above, there is also a paved access road that is not as steep as the stairs (on the right).

Above, Ogouchi Dam and Lake Okutama in the distance.

Above, summit of Mount Nokogiri.

Above, summit of Mount Otake.

Above, Mount Fuji.

Above, Ohtake shrine on the way to Mount Mitake.

Above, torii and waterfall at the Rock Garden.

Above, the rest of the trail was closed because of the snow.

Above, Mount Hinode.

Above, Mitake Village.

Above, wasabi roots at the cable car station in Mitake Valley.

Above, Tama River in Mitake Valley.

Above, Mitake station.

Hike from Yoshino Baigo Plum Park to Mount Hinode & Mount Mitake

After the plum festival at Yoshino Baigo, I went on a hike to Mount Hinode and Mount Mitake. I then took the cable car to get down to the valley.

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

Above, the trail starts in the hill across the street from the entrance to the park. Another option is to go up the paved road until the torii.

Above, view of Ome City.

Above, mountain shrine with a view.

Above, there was still some snow left.

Above, at the summit of Mount Hinode.

Above, view of Mount Mitake.

Above, a shiba inu dog at Mount Mitake.

Above, stuck under the stairs to Mitake shrine.

Above, Mitake shrine.

Above, torii on the way to the cable car station.

Above, area in front of the cable car station.

Above, Mount Hinode.

Above, road to Mitake Valley. The next bus from the cable car station to Mitake station was in 40min so I walked there instead. It takes about 30min to the station.

Above, Tama River.

Plum Festival at Yoshino Baigo in Ome

The Yoshino Baigo Plum Festival in Ome City is taking place until the end of March. It features more than 1,000 plum trees displaying white and pink flowers, which makes it the largest plum festival in Tokyo. The closest station is Hinatawada on the Okutama line.

Above, I had come previously during the first days of the festival, but barely any tree was blooming then.

Hike to Mount Iwatakeishi & Mount Bounoore

A few weeks ago, I went back to Mitake to continue the trail to Mount Bounoore (aka Mount Bounomine) I had planned to do then but abandoned due to the fog.

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

I basically followed the plan outlined here (with map). I started at Mitake station in the morning. After some time in the valley, I started on the trail to Mount Iwatakeishi (岩茸石山; 793m). The last time I was there, I could not see anything because of the fog but, that day, the view was great. Then I continued to Mount Bonoore (棒ノ折山 or 棒ノ嶺; 969m), passing Mount Kuro (黒山) along the way. I then went down to Hyakkenja-ya Camping Ground (百軒茶屋) and walked the mountain road all the way down to Kawai station.

Above, at Mitake station.

Above, at the trailhead.

Above, summit of Mount Sogaku.

Above, view from the summit of Mount Iwatakeishi.

Above, view of Mount Takamizu.

Above, on the trail to Mount Bounoore.

Above, the red fruit of the plant called Mamushigusa or Japanese Cobra Lilly (Arisaema Serratum). It is quite toxic.

Above, the tip of Mount Fuji.

Above, view of Lake Naguri (名栗湖), an artificial lake created by the Arima Dam.

Above, summit of Mount Bonoore.

Above, trail on the way down to Hyakkenja-ya.

Above, field of wasabi.

Above, Obata River at Hyakkenja-ya.

Above, mountain road on the way to Kawai station. There are buses that go to the station but they are not very frequent.

Above, bridge on Tama River, seen from Kawai station.

Hike from Hatonosu Valley to Mount Mitake & Mount Hinode

After enjoying the Hatonosu Valley, I decided to hike the trail to Mount Mitake and Mount Hinode.

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

Apart from a brief section near the beginning, it is a regular and gently sloping mountain path. Also, I barely met anyone along the way, which was nice… Once I got to Mount Mitake (御岳山), since there was still some daylight left, I continued until I reached the summit of Mount Hinode (日の出山), just a short distance away. After that, I went back to Mount Mitake to take the cablecar and then the bus to Mitake station.

Above, this section is part of the Otama Trail, in the direction of Kori.

Above, view of Hatonosu.

Above, this is where the trail separates from the Otama Trail.

Above, settlement in the mountain. When I reached there, I realised I had actually missed a fork in the trail (at the paved road). Fortunately, I had not strayed too far.

Above, ladybug.

Above, nice autumn colors in the mountains.

Above, arriving at Mount Mitake.

Above, view from Mount Mitake.

Above, trail to Mount Hinode.

Above, warning against bears. Like many hikers in Japan, I wear a bear bell for safety.

Above, at the summit of Mount Hinode.

Above, view of Mount Mitake from Mount Hinode.

Above, back at Mount Mitake.

Above, red Japanese Maple leaf.

Above, on the cablecar down to Mitake Valley.

Hike from Ikusabata to Mitake through Mount Takamizu & Mount Iwatakeishi

Earlier this week, I went on a hike in Ome City, in the western part of Toyko. Heading north of Ikusabata Station on the Ome line, I took a trail through the forest, passing through the summits of Mount Takamizu (高水山, 759m), Mount Iwatakeishi (岩茸石山, 793m) and Mount Sogaku (惣岳山, 756m) before going down to Mitake, where I spent some time strolling on the banks of Tama River.

Here is the path I walked (download KML):

Above, at Ikusabata Station.

Above, start of the forest trail.

Above, fog in the trees.

Above, Mount Takamizu Temple.

Above, small shrine at the summit of Mount Takamizu.

Above, “view” from the summit of Mount Iwabukiishi (aka Iwatakeishi).

Above, small shinto shrine on the way down from Mount Sogaku.

Above, arriving at Mitake.

Above, Tama River seen from the bridge in front of Mitake Station. Leaves were starting to show some autumn colors.

Above, kayaker training in the river.

Above, spider on the bridge.

Above, path east towards Sawai and Ikusabata.

Hike from Mount Mitake to Mount Otake & Okutama

Earlier this week, I went on a hike in the mountains in the western part of Tokyo:

  • First, I took a JR train to Mitake station on the Ome line (from Shinjuku, I had to switch at Tachikawa)
  • Then I took a bus to the lower station of the Mount Mitake cable car. It is not all that far from the train station so it is also possible to walk there
  • Then I took the cable car up Mount Mitake (929m), in the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park. The summit has a Shinto shrine, which I visited
  • I then walked through the forest in an area called the Rock Garden, a trail next to a river
  • Then I went up Mount Odake (1266m). The summit offered a great view on Mount Fuji
  • Finally, I went down the mountain via Mount Nokogiri, until I reached Okutama, in Nishitama District, the westernmost area of Tokyo

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

Above, in the morning, in front of Mitake JR Station.

Above, funicular up Mount Mitake.

Above, trail to Mitake Shrine.

Above, Mitake Shrine.

Above, trail to the Rock Garden.

Above, Nanayo Waterfall.

Above, Ayahiro Waterfall.

Above, trail to Mount Odake.

Above, a snake.

Above, trail to the summit of Mount Odake.

Above, Mount Fuji from the summit of Mount Odake.

Above, trail to Mount Nokogiri.

Above, summit of Mount Nokogiri.

Above, road to Okutama.

Above, Okutama.

Above, Tama River in Okutama.

Above, waiting for the train back to Tokyo (Ome Line).