Parc Kellerman

Parc Kellermann is a public park located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. It was created between 1939 and 1950 on the former bed of the Bièvre river.

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Hike to Mount Takahata & Mount Kuratake

In May, I went on a hike to Mount Takahata (高畑山) and Mount Kuratake (倉岳山), in Yamanashi prefecture.

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

I started at Torisawa station (鳥沢駅) in Otsuki, on the Chuo Main Line. The 2 mountains are on the other side of the valley from Mount Ougi and Mount Momokura. In better weather, the summits would have offered a great view on Mount Fuji. I still got a glimpse though. After Mount Kuratake, I followed the ridge until I reached Mount Daimaru (大丸). I then followed the trail down the mountain until Shiotsu station (四方津駅), in Uenohara. When I came in the morning, I was intrigued by a large tunnel-like inclined structure next to that station: It turns out is is called the Commore Bridge and is a 200m elevator/escalator combination leading to an area called Commore Shiotsu. I went up there while waiting for the train back to Tokyo.

This page can serve as a reference to reach the trailhead (at the end, it goes a bit further after Mount Daimaru than what I did).

Above, Torisawa station in the morning.

Above, the tunnel to cross the tracks.

Above, on the other side of the rail tracks.

Above, the start of the trail. It looks closed but the door on the right is actually open.

Above, view of Mount Ogi on the other side of the valley.

Above, summit of Mount Takahata.

Above, Mount Fuji with a few clouds.

Above, summit of Mount Kuratake.

Above, Mount Momokura.

Above, Mount Ougi.

Above, Mount Takatsukayama (高柄山).

Above, Commore Bridge at Shiotsu.

Above, inside the Commore Bridge. The escalator is only open during rush hours so I took the elevator.

Omiya Bonsai Village

While I was in Omiya for hanami, I also took the opportunity to visit the Omiya Bonsai Village. It is an area north of Omiya Park known as one of the most outstanding bonsai cultivating areas in Japan. This is where the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum is located, as well as numerous bonsai nurseries. A large bonsai festival (大盆栽まつり) is also held every year from May 3rd to May 5th.

Above, on the way to the Bonsai Art Museum.

Above, bonsai nursery.

Above, bonsai trees at the Bonsai Art Museum.

Autumn dusk at Hama-Rikyu Garden

Hamarikyu Garden is a public park in Chuo, Tokyo. It is located at the mouth of the Sumida River and surrounded by a seawater moat filled by Tokyo Bay. It was remodeled as a public garden park on the site of a villa of the Shogun Tokugawa family from the 17th century.

This concludes 2013. Happy new year!

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a large park in Tokyo that blends the French, English and Japanese styles of gardens.

Above, the Shinjuku Gate.

Above, the skyscrapers of Nishi-Shinjuku can be seen from the park.

Above, the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building.

Above, there was a chrysanthemum festival going on.

Above, pond in the Japanese traditional garden.

Above, more chrysanthemum.

Above, in the Taiwan Pavillon (Kyu-Goryo-Tei).

Above, in the French formal garden.

Above, in the English landscape garden.

Above, the greenhouse.

Above, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building from afar.

Above, the Sendagaya Gate.

Okutama Mukashi Michi: Walk from Okutama Station to Lake Okutama

Okutama Mukashi Michi (literally “Okutama’s Old Road”) is a 9km path that roughly follows the Tama River from Okutama Station (the last stop of the Ome Line) to Ogouchi Dam and Lake Okutama. It used to be the main road in the area, until 1945 when the new road, which had been constructed originally for transporting material for the construction of Ogouchi Dam, became open to the public. Nowadays, the Mukashi Michi is a popular walking course that goes through mountain trails and paved roads, passing by suspension bridges, shrines and waterfalls along the way and offering a great view on the surrounding mountains, especially now with autumn colors near their peak.

Here is an official map of the trail in English. There is also a large map right outside the train station and there are regular markers on the trail itself. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete. For the way back, there are regular buses running from Lake Okutama (schedule).

Above, the Information Office, a 2min walk from the station. They give out pamphlets (in English) with maps.

Above, the new road.

Above, red Japanese Maple leaves.

Above, view of Tama River from the Shidakura suspension bridge.

Above, on Dodokoro suspension bridge.

Above, view of Ogouchi Dam and Lake Okutama.