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. 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.

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.

Saruhashi Bridge in Otsuki

At the end of the hike to Mount Ougi and Mount Momokura, I went to have a look at the so-called Monkey Bridge (猿橋; Saruhashi), which gave its name to the area of Otsuki surrounding it. It is a wooden bridge spanning the Sagami River and also one of the three unusual bridges of Japan. This page has some details on its construction (and the list of unusual bridges). After the bridge, I went to the nearby Saruhashi Park before going to the train station and back to Tokyo.

Above, on the other side of the Chuo Expressway bridge.

Above, view of Sagami River and Saruhashi Park.

Above, the Monkey Bridge.

Above, view from the bridge.

Above, stairs to the viewpoint in the canyon.

Above, at Saruhashi Park.