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Newer Page 413 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Mitsutoge Kawaguchiko Hiking Shimoyama

18 October 2016

I saw it!

Hiking Shimoyama from Mitsutoge to Kawaguchiko

Today was long, I got lost, but I got to see Mount Fuji. I have never seen it before. I did not climb it, if I tried I would be arrested and deported as its not climbing season, so all I can do is climb nearby mountains and peer at it.
My day started early, I had a 6:30AM limited fancy express with added expense to Otsuki, where I changed to the local train that goes to the Fuji 5 lakes region.
Most people go to Kawaguchiko, but I got off 4 stops earlier at Mitsutoge and then climbed various mountains including Mitutouge, Kinashiyama, Shimoyama and Tenjo. I feel there were other peaks because I got badly lost at one point which added at least 2 hours onto my journey.

Anyway, it was a great and very tiring hike, some 35,000 steps and about 7 hours from getting off the train to getting back on.
There was a lot of wildlife on the journey to frighten me, see pictures below, I dont know what the creature is that I saw, its part pig, part bear, part deer.

On the way back, the train ran someone / something over! We came to a screeching halt, I was in the front car, and the driver leapt up, apology bowed, literally leapt from the train and sprinted along the track.
The conductor girls then ran up and down the carriages and made announcements in Japanese. But then the driver got back on, furiously bowed about 20 times, and we left again, total delay about 10 minutes.
So I have no idea at all what happened. The whole time I could see an old man outside my window planting things in his garden, he seemed completely uninterested.

The other thing, this was supposed to be a popular hiking route, best way to see Fuji, yet I only saw 2 other humans all day until I came back to the cable car station where there were hundred. The two I saw were serious rock climbers.
Where are Japans hikers? The weather was perfect. Laziness!

On the way down the slope, I slid on my ass in muddy sections twice, which gave me an entire ass region covered in mud. No one sat next to me on the train.

Also I wrote this quickly cause its early evening and I have to head out now and find dinner after I wash a thick layer of sweat, sunscreen, dirt and sports drink off myself. If what I wrote is nonsensical, I shall update it later.

Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - On my way to the station this morning, I took the greatest photo of my life without even trying. Perfect light, and a huge bird flying over.

On my way to the station this morning, I took the greatest photo of my life without even trying.
Perfect light, and a huge bird flying over.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Time to change trains at Otsuki. That is not Fuji.

Time to change trains at Otsuki. That is not Fuji.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - The station at Mitsutoge is even smaller. There isnt even a shop here, I had to stock up on liquids from vending machines. I was prepared for this and

The station at Mitsutoge is even smaller. There isnt even a shop here, I had to stock up on liquids from vending machines. I was prepared for this and had brought all my change with me.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - First glimpse of Fuji, I was in luck so far, not completely covered by cloud. Lots of people travel half way around the world, take the direct train f

First glimpse of Fuji, I was in luck so far, not completely covered by cloud.
Lots of people travel half way around the world, take the direct train from the airport to here, only to be surprised that a big mountain is sometimes covered by clouds. I have read about people demanding refunds.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - No Fuji for me, I was going up there and along that entire ridge line. It was further than I thought and then I got lost!

No Fuji for me, I was going up there and along that entire ridge line. It was further than I thought and then I got lost!


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Wildlife sighting number 1, a rabid monkey. It showed me its teeth as it crossed the road. I think it was smiling.

Wildlife sighting number 1, a rabid monkey. It showed me its teeth as it crossed the road. I think it was smiling.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Wildlife sighting number 2, a huge colorful spider, there are thousands of them!

Wildlife sighting number 2, a huge colorful spider, there are thousands of them!


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Some hours later, heres another spotting of Fuji. Its shorter to type Fuji than the mountain or mount Fuji, so I will just keep typing Fuji. I am very

Some hours later, heres another spotting of Fuji. Its shorter to type Fuji than the mountain or mount Fuji, so I will just keep typing Fuji. I am very efficient.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - This is apparently quite famous, a few statues wearing a bit of red cloth. I was underwhelmed. Japan-guide thinks this is better than Fuji.

This is apparently quite famous, a few statues wearing a bit of red cloth. I was underwhelmed. Japan-guide thinks this is better than Fuji.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - I still had to get up there, I was struggling to understand how I would manage to actually do that without rock climbing gear...and skills.

I still had to get up there, I was struggling to understand how I would manage to actually do that without rock climbing gear...and skills.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - I dont think the view is worth dying for. Fix your lookout platform Japan!

I dont think the view is worth dying for. Fix your lookout platform Japan!


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - A great view of the town below. Starting to get pretty high now. Apparently just on 2000 metres.

A great view of the town below. Starting to get pretty high now. Apparently just on 2000 metres.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - What the hell is this. Its huge. I still dont know after carefully examining the pixels. I thought it was a bear at first. I stopped to take photos th

What the hell is this. Its huge. I still dont know after carefully examining the pixels. I thought it was a bear at first. I stopped to take photos though.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Still not sure how I am getting to the top. These are the only 2 guys I saw in many many hours of hiking. I wont be following them up.

Still not sure how I am getting to the top. These are the only 2 guys I saw in many many hours of hiking. I wont be following them up.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - More view, nice clouds.

More view, nice clouds.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Turns out my route to the top was to walk around the back of the peak a bit and then go up a series of dodgy looking ladders lashed together in an are

Turns out my route to the top was to walk around the back of the peak a bit and then go up a series of dodgy looking ladders lashed together in an area prone to landslides.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Now at the summit, theres a place you can stay but its not very touristy at all, and seems to be abandoned. I thought I heard banjo music playing. The

Now at the summit, theres a place you can stay but its not very touristy at all, and seems to be abandoned. I thought I heard banjo music playing. There are no people but there are vicious dogs chained up!
This dog did not like me at all.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - The view from the top was very impressive.

The view from the top was very impressive.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - I couldnt find anywhere to put my camera to do a proper photo, plus the dogs were going mental, so this is all I could manage.

I couldnt find anywhere to put my camera to do a proper photo, plus the dogs were going mental, so this is all I could manage.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Fuji is still there. It went into and out of cloud a few times during the day.

Fuji is still there. It went into and out of cloud a few times during the day.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Most of the way down now after re finding the correct route, here is Lake Kawaguchiko. You can pay $1000 a night in peak season for a capsule room to

Most of the way down now after re finding the correct route, here is Lake Kawaguchiko. You can pay $1000 a night in peak season for a capsule room to stay here.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Still there.... thats the last Fuji Photo I promise. Also Fuji Photo is an actual company, presumably started to take photos of Fuji.

Still there.... thats the last Fuji Photo I promise. Also Fuji Photo is an actual company, presumably started to take photos of Fuji.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Finally reached the top cable car station. But no, they are not getting my money, I will walk down!

Finally reached the top cable car station. But no, they are not getting my money, I will walk down!


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - But I was happy they had vending machines serving ice creams for $1

But I was happy they had vending machines serving ice creams for $1


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - The town below has lots of amausement parks and similar things to keep everyone amused. I just need a mountain.

The town below has lots of amausement parks and similar things to keep everyone amused. I just need a mountain.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Low down shot of the lake. Theres actually 5 lakes, but I kind of think its 1 big lake with 5 areas to visit and spend more money along the one big la

Low down shot of the lake. Theres actually 5 lakes, but I kind of think its 1 big lake with 5 areas to visit and spend more money along the one big lake with 5 names.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - Whilst changing trains after apparently running someone over, I had about 15 minutes to spare, so heres a bonus photo Otsuki.

Whilst changing trains after apparently running someone over, I had about 15 minutes to spare, so heres a bonus photo Otsuki.


Japan-Mitsutoge-Kawaguchiko-Hiking-Shimoyama - And heres another of the main street, they even had a convenience store, how convenient!

And heres another of the main street, they even had a convenience store, how convenient!


NewerPage 413 of 968OlderFull Trip Report