Otama Walking Trail: Hike from Kori to Okutama

The Otama Walking Trail is a nice and easy 8km trail in Okutama, in western Tokyo. It follows the valley formed by the Tama River from Kori station to Okutama station. I had already followed the section of the trail in Hatonosu Valley last autumn but I came back for the whole trail in spring. It took me about 3.5 hours to reach Okutama.

Above, Kori JR station.

Above, the trail is well marked, with English signs. It is possible to get lost though…

Above, this is the start of a forest trail to Hatonosu.

Above, Tama River.

Above, observation point. There is a trail that goes to the shrine of Mount Mitake branching from there.

Above, at Hatonosu.

Above, on the Shiromaru Dam. Starting there, the forest trail was closed so I had to cross the dam and walk on the Ome Kaido road until I found a bridge a little after Shiromaru JR station, in order to cross the river again and rejoin the trail. The road does not have a pedestrian walkway unfortunately.

Above, fish ladder. Normally it can be visited from April to October but it was closed for repair when I was there.

Above, Ome Kaido.

Above, bridge to the trail on the other side of the Tama River.

Above, at Unazawa.

Above, after Unazawa, I followed the road until I reached Okutama station since I wanted to be there in time to catch a bus to Lake Okutama. However, there is another forest path which starts near the high school and ends at the Tama River close to the station.

Above, Okutama.

Kamakura Hiking Trails part 1: Gionyama Hiking Course / Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Kamakura is surrounded by the ocean in the south and by wooded hills in all other directions. Attractive hiking trails lead through the woods along these hills and connect Kamakura’s numerous temples and shrines.

I started in the morning at the railway station and made my way to Myohon-ji Temple and the nearby Yakumo Shrine, where the Gionyama Hiking Course starts. The trail ends not very far east of the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, which I visited next. I then walked on the road until Zuisen-ji Temple, stopping on the way at Egara Tenjin Shrine and Kamakura-gu Shrine. The Tenen Hiking Course (which I already did in the other direction) starts there. This will be for Part 2.

Above, gate to Myohon-ji Temple.

Above, statue of Nichiren.

Above, Yakumo Shrine.

Above, the Gionyama Hiking Course starts on the right of the torii.

Above, squirrel.

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.

Above, on my way to Zuisen-ji Temple.

Above, stairs to Egara Tenjin 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.

Above, torii to Kamakura-gu Shrine.

Above, flower garden inside Zuisen-ji Temple.

Above, meditation place inside Zuisen-ji Temple.

Snow at Mount Takao: Trail #6 / Konpiradai Trail

Mount Takao has many trails to and from the summit. This time, I took trail #6 to get to the summit. There was still a lot of snow left. On the way down, I started on trail #3 then followed the paved road (trail #1) until Konpiradai, where I took a trail through the forest. I then walked to the Takao Keio station.

Above, Biwa waterfall.

Above, I was surprised by the quantity of snow left.

Above, at the summit.

Above, trail #3. I did not follow it all the way because of the snow.

Above, there were much fewer people than usual.

Above, tunnel north of Mount Takao.

Above, trail #1.

Above, at Konpiradai (金比羅台).

Above, view of Hachioji from Konpiradai.

Above, plum tree in blossom. There is currently a plum festival in this area (Mount Takao Plum Festival).

Above, orange pagoda. It can be seen from the Takao train station. I walked there to check it out but it was already closed (4pm) when I arrived.

Tenen Hiking Trail in Kamakura

The Tenen Hiking Trail connects Kenchoji Temple in Kita-Kamakura with Zuisenji Temple in the east of the city, leading mostly along the ridge of the hills. I had come back to Kamakura intending to do the 3 hiking trails listed on that page but it was not great because of the melting snow that made the trail very muddy. I ended the day in Enoshima instead.

Above, at Kenchoji Temple.

Above, on the path to Hansobo Shrine, behind Kenchoji Temple.

Above, Tengu statues before the shrine.

Above, view of Kenchoji Temple from the observation deck.

Above, on the trail.

Above, view of Yokohama and the Landmark Tower in the distance.

Above, summit of Mount Ohira. At 159m, it is the highest point of Kamakura.

Above, at Zuisenji Temple.

Above, plum tree in blossom.

Hike to Mount Iwatakeishi & Mount Bounoore

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

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.