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Newer Page 300 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Shizuoka Hiking Mount Ryuso

26 October 2017

Mountain goat

Spotting a serow while hiking Mount Ryuso near Shizuoka

As soon as I woke up and looked out the window and saw how blue the sky was, I knew what I had to do, today WOULD be a mountain day, even if the bus never comes and I have to run to the mountain from the city.

I read stories about bears, no one seems to get eaten, not outside of Hokkaido anyway, but I still dont want to see one. Whilst I did not see a bear today, I was startled by a goat! See evidence below!

After a convenience store breakfast due to there being no breakfast included with my room and no cafe open before 8am nearby, I headed to the bus stop located in the main bus terminal, so I could yell at someone when no bus turns up, and to my shock and horror it left on time from the right place.
You can bet I followed our progress closely on GPS, because boarding the right bus is only half the issue, too often they wander off where they feel like going to today rather than the advertised route, this is hard to do when rails are involved.

After about an hour, I figured out I was at my stop, in amongst amazing tea plantations, see the photos below. At the top of the tea field a little old lady was excited to see me, she spoke some english and told me her family owns all the tea in the valley, and she likes Americans, which she added to the end of each sentence even though I am Australian.
Anyway, I told her it was a nice day to run over the top of Mount Ryuso and off I went.

Information on the internet for this mountain is very hard to come by, one guy writes about it often in English but gives no details on how to get there etc.
It would help to know that there are actually 2 peaks with the more prominent one called Monjudake.
There is also a road around the back of the mountain to a temple which gets you nearly to the top, but where would be the fun in that?
Late last night when trying to work out the best way to get to a starting point I remembered the excellent Japanese social hiking website/app yamap. It is awesome. You can download HUUUUGGGEEE jpgs of all areas of Japan, and sure enough there was one specifically for Mount Ryuso. The entire site is in Japanese only but you can use the map to choose which jpgs to download. There are also trip reports from users for every peak, with GPS plots. I cant recommend this service enough.

My selected path went from Ushizima, which you should be able to find on the map, its well signposted from there, and the path is easy enough to follow. It was however apparent I was first up this way today, as there were giant spiders and webs covering the path, I ran through a few and had to carry a forward protruding stick some of the way.

There are of course great views of Fuji from a few places, and I believe the path I was on goes all the way from the temple in the middle of Shizuoka city to Fuji summit without crossing a road! The temple on the top of Fuji is actually the annex to the Shizuoka main temple / shrine, or so they say so in the train station information display in Shizuoka.
Once on the top of the peak with a view, there were lots of people, old people. They had all hiked from the temple on the other side in the valley.
I decided that rather than go back down the way I had come, I would study my bus map, GPS, assorted other maps and signs and head off down the temple way.

This proved an excellent choice, the path and scenery was much nicer, but then when I got back to the road I had about 5km to the bus stop, then the bus dramas began, THE BUS NEVER CAME! DIE BUS DIE.

Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - The breakfast of champions. Before leaving for Japan, my nightly running routine has really gone well, new records every week. One of the keys is to e

The breakfast of champions.
Before leaving for Japan, my nightly running routine has really gone well, new records every week. One of the keys is to eat a banana just before starting.
I am sure everyone is more interested in the bread thing, which is like a soft flat bread with chocolate layered in it and chocolate chips embedded in the top.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - I had a bit of time before the bus left, heres the local castle wall. I think the castle is gone. I might go look tomorrow.

I had a bit of time before the bus left, heres the local castle wall. I think the castle is gone. I might go look tomorrow.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - Just check out the clear skies and sunshine, I was super excited to head to the mountain.

Just check out the clear skies and sunshine, I was super excited to head to the mountain.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - This bridge was my landmark on the GPS to get off the bus. So I celebrated by taking a photo up the valley, my mountains are to the right of here, don

This bridge was my landmark on the GPS to get off the bus. So I celebrated by taking a photo up the valley, my mountains are to the right of here, dont worry there will be lots of photos.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - First I headed up through the amazing tea plantations, almost hyperventilating with excitement. I dont think I have ever seen tea before? Not like thi

First I headed up through the amazing tea plantations, almost hyperventilating with excitement. I dont think I have ever seen tea before? Not like this anyway. I think this is where the matcha powder I enjoy with liquid fructose and skim milk comes from.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - This is about where you leave the service road for the tea workers and hit the trail proper. Just look at all those mountains across the valley.

This is about where you leave the service road for the tea workers and hit the trail proper. Just look at all those mountains across the valley.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - The lower sections were damp, slippery and very green and full of giant spiders. I dont think Japanese spiders can hurt you but they are seriously the

The lower sections were damp, slippery and very green and full of giant spiders. I dont think Japanese spiders can hurt you but they are seriously the size of my hand.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - After a relentless hour or so, you come to a giant electricity tower, which serves a purpose, the trees have been cleared so I can see Fuji.

After a relentless hour or so, you come to a giant electricity tower, which serves a purpose, the trees have been cleared so I can see Fuji.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - Here is the goat. I leapt into the air when I saw it, sitting right in front of me.

Here is the goat. I leapt into the air when I saw it, sitting right in front of me.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - Shizuoka is down there, a long way in the distance. These photos are really hard to make work. Generally people take 2 exposures and do some clever ma

Shizuoka is down there, a long way in the distance.
These photos are really hard to make work. Generally people take 2 exposures and do some clever masking things in photoshop. I dont have time for that nonsense.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - Another electricity tower allowed me to look back down towards where I had come from. I couldnt believe how green everything was.

Another electricity tower allowed me to look back down towards where I had come from. I couldnt believe how green everything was.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - And now I am at the summit of Monjudake peak, looking down on about a million people.

And now I am at the summit of Monjudake peak, looking down on about a million people.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - Its me!

Its me!


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - There were a few more people than this at the summit, boiling their instant noodles and sipping tea. Many groups seemed to know each other.

There were a few more people than this at the summit, boiling their instant noodles and sipping tea. Many groups seemed to know each other.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - A nice view of the back side of the mountain, not the valley side, not the Fuji side, the illusive third side!

A nice view of the back side of the mountain, not the valley side, not the Fuji side, the illusive third side!


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - This is the actual highest point, a sign says so, also theres some stone markers and a seating area. Thats all the features of the summit, one feature

This is the actual highest point, a sign says so, also theres some stone markers and a seating area. Thats all the features of the summit, one feature it lacks is a view.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - Terrible lighting for my shot with Fuji today. I dressed all in black in case I needed to fight ninjas. They must have heard I was coming and fled.

Terrible lighting for my shot with Fuji today. I dressed all in black in case I needed to fight ninjas. They must have heard I was coming and fled.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - One last Fuji for today.

One last Fuji for today.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - After a pretty short descent down a trail with stairs which everyone else used to get to the summit, I arrived at the temple / shrine. It wasnt a grea

After a pretty short descent down a trail with stairs which everyone else used to get to the summit, I arrived at the temple / shrine.
It wasnt a great temple, but you can drive here and park your cars to shorten your hike to less than an hour. Again, wheres the fun in that? ITS ABOUT THE JOURNEY.
Dont just park your car and walk up a staircase so you can have some noodles with a view.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - The temple even has a vending machine, which is actually impressive, I used it. Its a really long drive back to civilization, I know because I ended u

The temple even has a vending machine, which is actually impressive, I used it. Its a really long drive back to civilization, I know because I ended up walking it....


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - At certain points today the light became magical. I have not increased the saturation of the green color on this photo!

At certain points today the light became magical. I have not increased the saturation of the green color on this photo!


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - The path from the temple to civilization was pretty smooth, and I could run most of it, there were a couple of landslides to climb around where trees

The path from the temple to civilization was pretty smooth, and I could run most of it, there were a couple of landslides to climb around where trees and rubble had covered the path.
There was also this dodgy looking construction. I held the rope.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - Photos never properly convey how steep something is, from here it looked REALLY steep to me. The two peaks at the back are Mount Ryuso. We are getting

Photos never properly convey how steep something is, from here it looked REALLY steep to me. The two peaks at the back are Mount Ryuso. We are getting towards the end of todays photos, stay with me!


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - I still had this distance to go! It did join up with the temple road again after a while, but it was quite a long way. But such amazing scenery and we

I still had this distance to go! It did join up with the temple road again after a while, but it was quite a long way. But such amazing scenery and weather, so I didnt mind.
Also I re hydrated thanks to the vending machine, so I was good.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - Luckily I used the vending machine, because this old shack is no longer serving pepsi to thirsty hikers. Similar abandoned buildings seem to be a feat

Luckily I used the vending machine, because this old shack is no longer serving pepsi to thirsty hikers.
Similar abandoned buildings seem to be a feature of all hikes in Japan. In the olden times, there were more hikers, and people drank Pepsi.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - I made it back to civilization, and ten minutes before the bus was due, so lucky, it only comes every 2 hours.....

I made it back to civilization, and ten minutes before the bus was due, so lucky, it only comes every 2 hours.....


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - ....Still waiting, its late. OF COURSE IT NEVER CAME. The one due to come up the mountain never came either. The timetables clearly said they were val

....Still waiting, its late. OF COURSE IT NEVER CAME.
The one due to come up the mountain never came either.
The timetables clearly said they were valid for October 2017, thats what it is now, and yet, no bus.
I HATE THE BUS. Whats the point? I now had an extra 10km at least to the city.


Japan-Shizuoka-Hiking-Mount Ryuso - About 10km later I got to a bus depot. I had my bus map in my bag. So of course, I charged into the office there, and said, WHAT HAPPENED TO BUS 63? T

About 10km later I got to a bus depot. I had my bus map in my bag. So of course, I charged into the office there, and said, WHAT HAPPENED TO BUS 63? Thats the number of the one that should have been doing the run up and down the valley.
This guy spoke English and told me patronage is low so its not running. THEN WHY HAVE THE TIMETABLE YOU USELESS IDIOT?
I bet the city is paying these guys to run a bus service, and they are confident they wont get caught NOT EVEN BOTHERING TO RUN IT.
I hope the lazy assholes deciding to not even bother running the bus get eaten by bears.

You might think my use of capital letters today is anger, dont be fooled, I had a fantastic day, and its really no big deal that my 20km trip became 30km because of the bus issue. I just enjoy pointing out failure, its my main hobby.


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