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Newer Page 22 of 947 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Tokyo Hiking Mount Kuratake

1 November 2019

Au naturale hiking trail

Mount Takahata and Mount Kuratake from Torisawa to Yanagawa stations

SPLENDIFEROUS weather. No wind, no cloud, forecast max of 21C. You know what that means.

Todays hike was out on the Chuo line. This line was badly impacted by the recent typhoon but its all back to normal now, they pulled their finger out because they knew I was coming.
It took just over 100 minutes to get from Ueno to Torisawa station, the last bit on the local line from Takao to Torisawa has excellent views, but you have to stand at the door to appreciate them because old women will shut every single blind on the train.

Torisawa and most places along the Chuo line have a convenience store, this is compared to the Ome line which mostly do not. That is because the Chuo line is also a road that does not end in a dead end. That is my theory anyway.

Todays title, au naturale hiking trail, is in reference to the completely un-messed with trail. No steps at all! No seats anywhere. There were a few signs as you shall see, but mostly painted rocks. Generally at the start and near the summits someone has made an attempt to cut a few steps into the cliffs, there was absolutely none of that today. To celebrate I completed most of the hike au naturale also, until I started getting burnt.

The trail was quite eroded in many places, muddy, and in the lower bits lots of boulders and tree trunks had washed down cliffs onto what was the path. It was a case of follow the ribbons and make unexpected water course crossings. The lower parts on the way up and down were really hard going because of this, but there was never really much chance of getting lost. I also did not see a bear. I also did not see another person! Not for 5 hours. That was a little unusual.
This hike is quite well documented, featuring on at least two popular English language websites, and on a few best dayhikes near Tokyo lists, so where were all the people? I have no idea.

Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - Halloween is over. Time for Xmas. The celebrate, this boy band have put on their velvet lounge suits to advertise xmas cakes for 7-eleven. But that is

Halloween is over. Time for Xmas. The celebrate, this boy band have put on their velvet lounge suits to advertise xmas cakes for 7-eleven. But that is not all. Starbucks release their xmas range of snow globes and mugs today. They need barriers and crowd control! There were lines of Japanese women down the street at 6AM. Only 2 people at a time were allowed in store to browse and purchase. Luckily for me to be able to get a quick breakfast at the only place open at this time, a staff member was asking if anyone in the line was just wanting coffee and not to buy xmas decorations. I was the only one, but it meant I could go straight to the front.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - Here is the little village of Torisawa. As you can see from the above photo, they have a 7-eleven from where you can buy calorie mate and pocari sweat

Here is the little village of Torisawa. As you can see from the above photo, they have a 7-eleven from where you can buy calorie mate and pocari sweat. It was very bright sunlight all day.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - I think my mountains are the one towards the left and the one just off the left edge of the screen. Look at the horrible farmers smoke!

I think my mountains are the one towards the left and the one just off the left edge of the screen. Look at the horrible farmers smoke!


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - The gorge / ravine running along the Chuo line is not as impressive as the one running along the Ome line, but it is still impressive never-the-less.

The gorge / ravine running along the Chuo line is not as impressive as the one running along the Ome line, but it is still impressive never-the-less.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - Gorge in other direction, never as impressive in the morning light.

Gorge in other direction, never as impressive in the morning light.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - The hike starts at a swamp that is apparently a pristine reservoir full of mountain water. I wont be partaking of a drink.

The hike starts at a swamp that is apparently a pristine reservoir full of mountain water. I wont be partaking of a drink.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - Thats the path. It was hard going, and then got harder.

Thats the path. It was hard going, and then got harder.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - Signs are a welcome comfort, but note they do not show distance or time like on some other mountains.

Signs are a welcome comfort, but note they do not show distance or time like on some other mountains.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - And there it is, Fujisanyamadakedeska. Or as I like to call it, Mount Fuji. A lot more snow on it this year compared to the same time last year. Someo

And there it is, Fujisanyamadakedeska. Or as I like to call it, Mount Fuji. A lot more snow on it this year compared to the same time last year. Someone live streamed their death climbing it 2 days ago. And before I am told its not climbing season, THOUSANDS of people climb it every year out of season, even in January and February. There are organised tours every single day. Of course that does not make it safe, but people also die climbing it during climbing season. Given the amount of snow and ice on it right now, you could not do it without ice axes and crampons etc.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - I was panicking about how much snow there was on Fuji. Oh yeah, this is the summit of the first mountain for the day, Mount Takahata.

I was panicking about how much snow there was on Fuji. Oh yeah, this is the summit of the first mountain for the day, Mount Takahata.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - The view across the Chuo valley, assuming thats what it is called, has no Fuji but is also impressive. I have climbed quite a few of those mountains.

The view across the Chuo valley, assuming thats what it is called, has no Fuji but is also impressive. I have climbed quite a few of those mountains.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - Still not a lot of leaf color to go crazy over. This seems incongruous with the amount of snow on Fuji.

Still not a lot of leaf color to go crazy over. This seems incongruous with the amount of snow on Fuji.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - Time for the second ascent. Much more pleasant than the first one.

Time for the second ascent. Much more pleasant than the first one.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - Its me, at summit #2 for the day, Mount Kuratake, with another mountain in the distance behind me. Those are my awesome new orange technology socks. T

Its me, at summit #2 for the day, Mount Kuratake, with another mountain in the distance behind me. Those are my awesome new orange technology socks. They are still going well. It is not the same pair, I have more than one, but I have worn the same shorts and t-shirt for 3 different hikes now!


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - Here it is again, without me getting in the way of the view.

Here it is again, without me getting in the way of the view.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - The path down descended into rocks, streams and fallen logs. Hard going again.

The path down descended into rocks, streams and fallen logs. Hard going again.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - I managed to not get my feet wet, but it was a close call a few times! I think I crossed a stream no less than 20 times.

I managed to not get my feet wet, but it was a close call a few times! I think I crossed a stream no less than 20 times.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - This is probably the best picture of the day. It is, as you can see, an amazing huge rock covered in moss with the sun shining on it and trees growing

This is probably the best picture of the day. It is, as you can see, an amazing huge rock covered in moss with the sun shining on it and trees growing out of it. Very magical. A rabbit literally came out of my hat it was so magical.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - And then I emerged down the side of a sandy cliff onto a road and was somewhere near Yanagawa. The start/end point of the hike had collapsed from eros

And then I emerged down the side of a sandy cliff onto a road and was somewhere near Yanagawa. The start/end point of the hike had collapsed from erosion, a steep cliff had formed, I just slid down onto the road to end my hike. It appears there was another way 100 metres further down the road, judging by all the temporary pink ribbons and spray paint on the road.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - The road back passed this nice house growing delicious chillis. I pulled a couple off and chomped on them on my stroll back to the station.

The road back passed this nice house growing delicious chillis. I pulled a couple off and chomped on them on my stroll back to the station.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - I had been up there, somewhere.

I had been up there, somewhere.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - And now for the ravine shots from Yanagawa. Not bad, wires in the way.

And now for the ravine shots from Yanagawa. Not bad, wires in the way.


Japan-Tokyo-Hiking-Mount Kuratake - In the afternoon light the view back the other way is probably better. Thats all for now, probably wont go too far tonight.

In the afternoon light the view back the other way is probably better. Thats all for now, probably wont go too far tonight.


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