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Japan Shizuoka Shrine Kunozan Toshogu Hiking

27 October 2017

Train to mountain stroll ropeway beach bus

Today I took a train, walked through the city then strolled up a small mountain, took in the view of Fuji, hopped on a short ropeway ride across an inaccessible ravine, marvelled at a temple, walked down a thousand stairs, went to the beach and caught 2 buses.
I was back in my hotel by 1pm.

According to every website, the main tourist thing to do in Shizuoka is to catch a tour bus to the top of Nihondaira and look at the view, then catch the ropeway and look at the temple and descend the steps you are supposed to walk up not down.
The top of this small mountain is very developed there is an absolutely enormous hotel on the edge of a cliff facing right at Mount Fuji.

I was determined to walk the whole way from the nearest train station, but you cannot! The ropeway company has made damn sure you cannot get from the top of the peak with the view to the temple without taking their ropeway. There are giant barbed wire fences and guards.
The top also has a lot more construction going on, more view hotels are needed, because you see, this is one of the 'Three new views of Japan'. Really, thats a thing, with its own big wikipedia article and everything.

So I had to take a ropeway rather than climb across a ravine between peaks, but the walk up to the main peak from the city was great. Hardly any people despite being pretty easy, only about 90 minutes from the station to the top at an easy pace, and amazing scenery in the forest.
I had a high confidence there would be no bears.

The ropeway station and construction mean its actually really hard to look back at Shizuoka from the top, which seems idiotic, I could glimpse the view occasionally, but it seems like they have tried to not let you see that?
As for the ropeway experience, it was cheap, and a very short ride, but despite the wait of no more than 10 minutes, a number of elderly Japanese people cut in front of me, generally they would ask to go past to go to the bathroom, then rejoin the line in front of me.
Once a couple of people did this, and others noticed, they also developed a sudden need to go go the bathroom, and perform the 'piss n cut' manoeuvre. I see you, you know what you did, now lose sleep and feel shame.

The temple here is called Kunozantoshogu, it has a small entry fee, I paid. It is a real temple, still in original condition apart from the barriers erected to stop people plummeting down the steep steps, according to wikipedia it contains - 'the deified spirit of Tokugawa Ieyasu'
The so called 1000 steps from the beach up to the temple which I walked down not up are more of a ramp than steps. And I saw no one at all walking up them, then once at the bottom, I had to find a bus, and the real adventure began.

Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - Another beautiful day in Shizuoka. Since I am now old I find myself talking about the weather a lot. Before you know it I will start calling all young

Another beautiful day in Shizuoka. Since I am now old I find myself talking about the weather a lot. Before you know it I will start calling all young people lazy and talking about how music is just noise (pick your cliche of choice to insert here).


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - On my journey to the start of the hiking trail from Kusanagi station I came across the neighbourhood recycling centre. I studied their multi compartme

On my journey to the start of the hiking trail from Kusanagi station I came across the neighbourhood recycling centre. I studied their multi compartment bin and shipping container setup wiith roller doors. No really I did, and took photos, and emailed them to people with recommendations. Thats how I holiday.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - At first I thought this was the start of the trail, it sure looks like it. But its not, its just basic sort of a temple, and the path behind it just l

At first I thought this was the start of the trail, it sure looks like it. But its not, its just basic sort of a temple, and the path behind it just leads to old people playing grass golf, or grolf as I have decided to call it.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - The start of the trail is once again in tea fields, complete with Fuji view, perhaps number 4 famous Shin-View?

The start of the trail is once again in tea fields, complete with Fuji view, perhaps number 4 famous Shin-View?


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - The light in the forest during the walk up to the peak was amazing, again. I stopped a number of times to appreciate the surroundings without worrying

The light in the forest during the walk up to the peak was amazing, again. I stopped a number of times to appreciate the surroundings without worrying about sneak bear attack.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - Once I got to the summit area hotel zone, there were many cats. This one was my favourite, he looks as angry as I always do.

Once I got to the summit area hotel zone, there were many cats. This one was my favourite, he looks as angry as I always do.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - Appreciating the famous view of Fuji. Theres less and less snow, during the typhoon or maybe the day I travelled to Shizuoka when it rained, there mus

Appreciating the famous view of Fuji. Theres less and less snow, during the typhoon or maybe the day I travelled to Shizuoka when it rained, there must have been a lot of snow on Fuji, but it seems to have mostly melted.
I remember at the same time last year, there was none, and I thought it was stupid that you are not allowed to climb it apart from in July and August.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - The summit marker, lined up with Fuji. The missing tile really bothers me more than it should. I suspect this is where everyone takes a photo, and eve

The summit marker, lined up with Fuji. The missing tile really bothers me more than it should. I suspect this is where everyone takes a photo, and every single one has that missing tile, beautiful Shizuoka, slightly busted.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - Like I said in my convoluted description above, they seem to have gone to great lengths to prevent photos of the Shizuoka city, no idea why. This is t

Like I said in my convoluted description above, they seem to have gone to great lengths to prevent photos of the Shizuoka city, no idea why. This is the best I could do, standing on something I shouldnt be standing on. A small man with a light up baton approached. I tooke 3 big steps and out ran him.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - After trying repeatedly to find a service road, path, hole in the fence, I finally gave up and decided theres no way but the ropeway. They took five o

After trying repeatedly to find a service road, path, hole in the fence, I finally gave up and decided theres no way but the ropeway. They took five of my hard earned dollars to fine me for wanting to walk.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - The view out of the ropeway car was ok, but it was the same view only better once I got off of it.

The view out of the ropeway car was ok, but it was the same view only better once I got off of it.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - Here are some school kids coming back from visiting the temple. Theres thousands of them with color coded hats. They know to remove their hats and bow

Here are some school kids coming back from visiting the temple. Theres thousands of them with color coded hats. They know to remove their hats and bow at the enshrined deified spirit monster that lives within.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - A bit more temple / shrine. The grounds were ok, nothing spectacular.

A bit more temple / shrine. The grounds were ok, nothing spectacular.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - I suspect the children were very excited to see this. For whatever reason this temple has a heap of model toys on display, receiving a blessing from t

I suspect the children were very excited to see this. For whatever reason this temple has a heap of model toys on display, receiving a blessing from the high priest for their glue and paint work.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - This is one of your red colorful temples. Theres a few varieties of Japanese temples. Wooden ones are worth more, check for concrete and steel with wo

This is one of your red colorful temples. Theres a few varieties of Japanese temples. Wooden ones are worth more, check for concrete and steel with wood cladding though, thats your equivalent of veneer in what appears to be solid hard wood furniture.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - Here, have some view. I am shooting directly into the heart of the sun here.

Here, have some view. I am shooting directly into the heart of the sun here.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - The view down the coast was ok, theres a lot of greenhouses right alongside the beach. I wonder if theres seaweed drying inside? Not sure why else you

The view down the coast was ok, theres a lot of greenhouses right alongside the beach. I wonder if theres seaweed drying inside? Not sure why else you would want greenhouses so close to the sea.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - Here is the bottom of the path that leads down the hill from the temple. People write about the thousand step journey as the greatest achievement of t

Here is the bottom of the path that leads down the hill from the temple. People write about the thousand step journey as the greatest achievement of their lives. It should take no more than 10 minutes and is more like a wheelchair ramp.
Just another way the human race has descended to the point of imminent failure.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - The stunning beauty of Japanese beaches. Obviously preparing for a North Korean invasion with so many concrete fortifications. I didnt step out onto t

The stunning beauty of Japanese beaches. Obviously preparing for a North Korean invasion with so many concrete fortifications. I didnt step out onto the 'sand' in case they have also added landmines.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - Actual proof miracles do happen, the bus arrived at the advertised time. I was GOBSMACKED....

Actual proof miracles do happen, the bus arrived at the advertised time. I was GOBSMACKED....


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - But then after a short ride, as the only passenger, I got thrown off at a random point in the middle of nowhere! Fortunately some other people turned

But then after a short ride, as the only passenger, I got thrown off at a random point in the middle of nowhere!
Fortunately some other people turned up here soon after and my confidence grew that another bus to take me a bit further would come, and sure enough it did.


Japan-Shizuoka-Shrine-Kunozan Toshogu-Hiking - So happy was I with the bus situation, I rewarded myself with a cake lunch. But thats not the exciting bit, the matcha latte was superb. If you really

So happy was I with the bus situation, I rewarded myself with a cake lunch. But thats not the exciting bit, the matcha latte was superb.
If you really believe the tea used in it was from the local tea fields you have been hiking around the last couple of days, then it must be true.


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