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Japan May 2010
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Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Page 2

Day 4 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Lost on twin peaks

Hiking Mount Ougiyama and Momokurayama near Torisawa station

First proper hike and I already managed to get lost, lost enough to require a 1 hour back track after following the wrong path to an abandoned grave of the last guy that went the wrong way. More on that later.
I almost missed the train, again. Some services are still not running due to the great typhoon of 2017. As always, I looked up how to get to my destination on Hyperdia, and left plenty of time to transfer at Shinjuku. Then I got on the train and it didnt move.
Then various announcements were made and everyone got off. Now what! I didnt want to miss my chosen express train out to the middle of nowhere.
So I went one stop in the wrong direction and got on a different train to Shinjuku, I was sure I had missed my next train, but luckily that was late too, I ran onto it just as the doors closed 6 minutes late.

The journey today took me to quite near Mount Fuji, actually the last station I changed at is where the fuji railway to Kawaguchiko starts from.
Its worth mentioning that I changed at Shinjuku onto the SPECIAL RAPID LIMITED EXPRESS AZUSA 7, which went past my destination where I then changed again at Otsuki, and then caught the local train 2 stops back to Torisawa. Train nerds are hyperventilating with excitement at this.

Anyway, once I got off, I had to find the start of the trail, which fortunately today was very well signposted. I suspect thats because you have to go under the expressway along someones driveway, and then cut through the golf course country club waste collection area.
I also passed a few old guys looking after their farms, by spraying enormous amounts of pesitcide whilst having coughing fits, the air was thick with posion, these guys are making sure bees dont make a comeback in Japan anytime soon.

Finally, I was now on the trail proper, and I was excited. I had selected a trail that would go up one peak, along a ridge, down for a while then up another peak, then down to a different station. To fit all this in I had already run to the trail start, because it was a forecast 7 hour journey.
Getting up to peak number 1, Ogiyama, was through pine forests, and up numerous temporary waterfalls. Again today the water had decided the hiking trail was the best path. Fortunately it was rocky in these areas so I could keep my feet dry.
There were a few views of Fuji on the way up before it predictably clouded over when I got to the top.
Then the fun began.

I headed along the ridge, following a path, which became quite dark and overgrown, then hard to follow, then there were huge obstacles and I was no longer sure if there was a path. I looked at my GPS and compared it to the maps of other hikers. I was on the wrong ridge. I then noticed an old grave, at least I presume thats what it was, time to backtrack!
My total detour was about 2 hours, time to run again to make up some time!
I was really expecting at this point to never get to peak number 2, thinking I would just follow the same way back down, but then I decided to have a look over a ridge and I saw a heap of pine trees marked for chopping down.
Sure enough, in amongst them was the actual trail! Now I could get to peak number 2. The trail along the ridge was quite flat so I could run, seeing only 3 or 4 other people as I went, then it got really steep at the end, steep enough to put on gloves and scramble to the top for a good 30 minutes pulling myself up using trees and rocks (but no ropes or chains today!)

Then, despite having seen no more than 6 people all day, there was a group of 50 at peak number 2, Momokurayama.
The trail down from here was much smoother apart from another tricky waterfall section, before I knew it I was back at the next station, Saruhashi, and launched Hyperdia to plan my limited express journey home.

Again though, the train was an experience, despite not being crowded an old man decided to cut his finger and toe nails on the train. Then clean his ears with cue tips, then stick a tissue up his nose and see what he could fish out. The final act was to use that same tissue to scrub his seat back tray, spreading a thin layer of what came out of his nose for the next person to enjoy.
And before my mother says 'he must have been a Chinese', no, he was Japanese, wearing a sleeveless vest, a ping golf hat, carrying a briefcase and reading a Japanese newspaper.
I am convinced Japanese people have lost control of their low level body functions that regulate their noses and coughing reflex. I blame WiFi, genetically modified foods and vaccines.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Torisawa station, mountains on all sides.

Torisawa station, mountains on all sides.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I was never really sure where I was going, but I think the peak on the right is peak 1, and then all the way on the left is peak 2. Or I am facing the

I was never really sure where I was going, but I think the peak on the right is peak 1, and then all the way on the left is peak 2. Or I am facing the wrong way and my entire journey is behind me.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - As mentioned, good signage, lots of confidence I wouldnt get lost, I was wrong.

As mentioned, good signage, lots of confidence I wouldnt get lost, I was wrong.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - One of the farmers has this old Nissan rusting away, ready to be restored, never.

One of the farmers has this old Nissan rusting away, ready to be restored, never.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I ran past this nice valley filled with little houses, and was poisoned by old guys killing everything with a mixture of ricin and nerve gas.

I ran past this nice valley filled with little houses, and was poisoned by old guys killing everything with a mixture of ricin and nerve gas.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Then I hit the pine forest, fun times ahead.

Then I hit the pine forest, fun times ahead.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There were lots of these seed pod red plant things along the trail. Quite tasty, but also a little bit mouth burning.

There were lots of these seed pod red plant things along the trail. Quite tasty, but also a little bit mouth burning.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Then I climbed a waterfall for a few hundred metres.

Then I climbed a waterfall for a few hundred metres.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - After the waterfall, I was rewarded with my first glimpse of Fuji! So spiritual, many blessing, peace with North Korea if Kim can see Fuji!

After the waterfall, I was rewarded with my first glimpse of Fuji! So spiritual, many blessing, peace with North Korea if Kim can see Fuji!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Too early for peak color, so this is early color, still yellow, no red, but mild levels of color hysteria experienced.

Too early for peak color, so this is early color, still yellow, no red, but mild levels of color hysteria experienced.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Then there was one magical red tree. I took a knee to appreciate or protest, apparently taking a knee is to protest, or propose. I proposed a protest

Then there was one magical red tree. I took a knee to appreciate or protest, apparently taking a knee is to protest, or propose. I proposed a protest to the tree by taking a knee.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Peak number 1, crappy grey weather today ruining glorious Fuji, show some respect weather!

Peak number 1, crappy grey weather today ruining glorious Fuji, show some respect weather!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Its me in my Chinese construction worker pants!

Its me in my Chinese construction worker pants!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - My head is bigger than Mount Fuji.

My head is bigger than Mount Fuji.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The start of the ridge path to peak 2 was well defined, and flat, so I ran.

The start of the ridge path to peak 2 was well defined, and flat, so I ran.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Then I got lost and it got dark and scary.

Then I got lost and it got dark and scary.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Would I find my way back to the path or be consumed by the trees?....

Would I find my way back to the path or be consumed by the trees?....


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - ....thankfully I found this useful sign which told me everything I needed to know.

....thankfully I found this useful sign which told me everything I needed to know.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I was pulling myself up by hand to peak number 2 when I heard all kinds of commotion, its packed full of people!

I was pulling myself up by hand to peak number 2 when I heard all kinds of commotion, its packed full of people!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The view, I tried to make it a bit clearer by messing with lightroom sliders, it was pretty dark by now.

The view, I tried to make it a bit clearer by messing with lightroom sliders, it was pretty dark by now.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - More view.

More view.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - More of my giant head.

More of my giant head.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I had well and truly earned my calorie mate today, in total my hike was 7 hours, including the lengthy detour.

I had well and truly earned my calorie mate today, in total my hike was 7 hours, including the lengthy detour.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - About halfway down and you can see the cities in the valley, and some impressive roads and bridges.

About halfway down and you can see the cities in the valley, and some impressive roads and bridges.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - It got dark and scary again, but this time the path was real! Clearly others had used it often, including the 50 people having a tea party at the top.

It got dark and scary again, but this time the path was real! Clearly others had used it often, including the 50 people having a tea party at the top.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This is where the road starts at the end of the trail. These vending machines have a fantastic view. I tried to make the photo look old timey somethin

This is where the road starts at the end of the trail. These vending machines have a fantastic view. I tried to make the photo look old timey something or rather.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Then I had to go under a huge bridge again, I stopped to appreciate, then thought it would fall on me if there was an earthquake so I got out from und

Then I had to go under a huge bridge again, I stopped to appreciate, then thought it would fall on me if there was an earthquake so I got out from under it.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Then I had to cross what the hike description I followed said was a stream. Today its a raging torrent. A great day, I typed all this really fast so t

Then I had to cross what the hike description I followed said was a stream. Today its a raging torrent.
A great day, I typed all this really fast so theres probably mistakes, I will re read later, now I need some dinner!


The new shiny Tokyo

The streets abd fiid if Kichioji

Tonight I went to Kichijoji, which is quite west but not nearly at the western edge of the Tokyo Megalopolis.
I liked it a lot, I had never been there before. My research on the way there told me it was famous for being where Studio Ghibli is, which is a theme park for people that like anime from the Ghibli studio, and also for having a small zoo.
I however spotted it from the train window earlier today on my way back from the mountains, and saw lots of shiny things, and decided to go back there for dinner.
As it turns out, it is one of the nicest places in Tokyo I have been, very much like Ginza, extremely clean, not overly busy, massive.

Right now I am using my in room washer / dryer, which is very exciting, because its free. Its enormous and has no English and a thousand menu options, some of the characters are the same as Chinese which helps, although one of them clealy says Apple, and another says amusement park. So I suspect Japanese washer dryers can be used for drying apples into apple chips (which I love) and for sticking children inside to spin them like an amusement park ride.

In other news, tomorrow I go to Shizuoka, I have not been there before, the North Korean interactive nuclear missile map suggests its out of range from a direct strike on Tokyo, so thats good.

And now, I am fantastically tired, a feeling I love, struggling to keep typing and finish sentences.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The street outside the station in the terrifically neat and tidy Kichijoji.

The street outside the station in the terrifically neat and tidy Kichijoji.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Tomato Ramen! Not the same one as the chorizo tomato ramen soup with garlic bread in Shinjuku, but stil, thats what I want! Not yet though, I need to

Tomato Ramen! Not the same one as the chorizo tomato ramen soup with garlic bread in Shinjuku, but stil, thats what I want! Not yet though, I need to walk around some more before things close.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - A very neat and tidy street with nicely manicured trees.

A very neat and tidy street with nicely manicured trees.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - A giant Uniqlo. So very many puffer jackets.

A giant Uniqlo. So very many puffer jackets.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There is also a network of covered shopping streets, almost closing time though.

There is also a network of covered shopping streets, almost closing time though.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This one has more of a soothing blue light theme.

This one has more of a soothing blue light theme.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There is also a giant Yodobashi, complete with top level food court, not today though, tomato ramen beckons.

There is also a giant Yodobashi, complete with top level food court, not today though, tomato ramen beckons.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And here it is, I selected a vegetarian option with eggplant and heaped coriander. It looks just like tomato soup but theres actually ramen underneath

And here it is, I selected a vegetarian option with eggplant and heaped coriander. It looks just like tomato soup but theres actually ramen underneath. Each bowl has the equivalent of 20 ripe tomatoes - very good for prostate health.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Then I was in camping goods street, and this awesome place caught my eye. Second hand hiking gear. Some of the jackets they sell for $100 secondhand a

Then I was in camping goods street, and this awesome place caught my eye. Second hand hiking gear. Some of the jackets they sell for $100 secondhand are $500 new, and looked like they had only been worn once. I bought nothing, my Chinese construction worker pants and a $10 Uniqlo tshirt is all I need.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And here is a long exposure heavily edited shot of the pond in the zoo near the Ghibli studio. Lots of people were jogging around here, and 3 girls we

And here is a long exposure heavily edited shot of the pond in the zoo near the Ghibli studio. Lots of people were jogging around here, and 3 girls were playing tubas. It sounded horrible.


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

adriana on 2017-10-24 said:

Kichijoji looks like my kind of place. for your vocabulary increasing, covered shopping arcades of the traditional sort like the one in your photos are called shotengai and are my favourites. Sho in shotengai pronunciation like shou in shoulder.


mother on 2017-10-24 said:

Not many mistakes. Looked up the name of the mountain in my kanji dictionary - it means folding fan mountain. Bet the people at the top of the mountain were just as surprised to see a gaijin turn up at their picnic.


David on 2017-10-24 said:

I re read this on the train on my way to dinner, a few mistakes need correcting, will do so later tonight. I don't need them to be individually pointed out thanks.



Day 5 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Snot pump

Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shizuoka

Now I am in Shizuoka, and today we have reached peak mucus.

The day started off normally enough, although there are persistent light showers, and yes talking about the weather is boring, but it gets exciting at 3 minutes to 9.
You see in Japan, being late for work has consequences, I dont know what they are, but there is a mad panic as 9am approaches and people run in front of moving buses in the rain so they dont have to be caned or perhaps be the bosses foot stool for the day for being a few seconds late.
The rain adds an increased level of difficulty to running across the road, because you must cover your head, so the black hair dye doesnt run and ruin your outfit and reveal your terrible shameful secret.

I wandered around taking it all in and having a couple of coffees until it was time to go to the Shinkansen. I had purchased my discount ticket as recommended by the internet, to save money, which has special conditions in Japanese only writing.
Once I arrived at Tokyo station, I went to the manned gate, showed my ticket, no, not this booth, go to northern gate. So out into the rain and around the station I go.
Guy at northern booth also says no, go to eastern booth, he draws me a map, so I go to eastern booth. Eastern booth guy says map wrong, go back to northern booth, tell him northern booth is right booth.
So back into the rain again, and back to the northern booth. The same guy was still at the gate and checked his watch and decided to let me in. At which point I asked him if he enjoyed sending me off into the rain to amuse himself. He understood perfectly what I meant and yelled something at me, so I yelled back at him GO ZEY EEE MUSSSS!!!! and held my glare.

Anyway, I still made my train with time to spare, thats when the fun started, it was quite full with snotty Japanese folks coughing, sneezing and draining their mucus glands generally into tissues. Nothing new there, my new theory is that the entire population has spent so long leaning forwards staring at phones that the equilibrium that controls their snot valves in their noses has been destroyed.
Thats when a guy 2 rows behind me started snorting and choking at once, on his own snot. So he gets up and gets a thing out of his bag that is a face mask with a hose attached to it and a couple of bottles. I am not kidding. It looked like a breast pump women use to milk themselves like cows!
He then attached this thing to his face and pumped what I presume was saline or similar up his nose and it flushed all the snot out, all whilst on the train! I couldnt make this up if I tried.

I arrived in Shizuoka covered in a thick layer of Japanese lung contents and headed for my hotel, but google had other ideas.
The map kept deciding I didnt really want to go to my hotel, and moving the pin to one of three other hotels, this became amusingly infuriating as I walked around in circles in the rain.
Eventually I found what I thought was the place, the lift area had no sign though, but mentioned the 2nd floor had 'meeting garden area'. I went up the lift and sure enough, its a hotel lobby.
Then the woman there tried and tried to explain to me that the main entrance is closed from 12 noon, I think she meant midnight, and that I must use the other door, which I have no idea where it is.
The best part was now the manager came out, and said to me, firmly with hand out stretched as to say STOP, 'NO PARTY, you must not have party, if have party you will NO RETURN'.
Again I had to use my overpowering glare of death to let this hotel clerk know that his life involves comparing names on passports to names on bookings and taking credit card payments for a living.
So, now I need to go find some people for a party.

Boring photos today, but the stories were decent?

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The grey and wet streets of Ikebukuro. Classic chrome film simulation to add noir.

The grey and wet streets of Ikebukuro. Classic chrome film simulation to add noir.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Owls.

Owls.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I am addicted to this milk tea stuff. I think its made from sweetened condensed milk with added sugar. Its hot, they routinely heat up plastic bottles

I am addicted to this milk tea stuff. I think its made from sweetened condensed milk with added sugar. Its hot, they routinely heat up plastic bottles of tea and coffee in Japan, both in stores and in vending machines.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Practicing my glare, I got to use it a lot today. If you are going to try to assert your authority over me, I will shoot laser beams out of my eyes an

Practicing my glare, I got to use it a lot today. If you are going to try to assert your authority over me, I will shoot laser beams out of my eyes and your fate will be sealed for eternity.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - On my epic hunt for my hotel I had to stop for a coffee of sorts, its actually a mocha and matcha tea latte cino something something super. But the ph

On my epic hunt for my hotel I had to stop for a coffee of sorts, its actually a mocha and matcha tea latte cino something something super. But the photo is here for the spoon.
At first I thought the spoon is genius, you never have to put it down on the table / tray and make a mess.
Then I realised its useless, you cant actually drink your coffee with the spoon hanging off the cup like that.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Here is my room. It is called Hotel Citio Shizuoka. The hidden lobby is grand and large, the rooms are also decently sized, especially as this is a si

Here is my room. It is called Hotel Citio Shizuoka. The hidden lobby is grand and large, the rooms are also decently sized, especially as this is a single room.
Its $60 a night, connected to the main station, and the internet maxes out my laptop.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The view is not as good as my last room, but sometimes you are lucky to get a window at all, it even opens to let in the noise and rain. The rain shou

The view is not as good as my last room, but sometimes you are lucky to get a window at all, it even opens to let in the noise and rain.
The rain should be gone again tomorrow, it has been timed well, so far it rained the day I arrived, when I cant do anything due to epic tired, and the day I changed cities when I spend most of the day on the train.


Bus confusion

Understanding the bus routes of Shizuoka

I would like to offer my sincere apologies for the lack of interesting photos today and also this evening. I offer no excuses and promise to do better in the future.
With that out of the way, onto Shizuoka.
The area where I am staying is probably the main area, although the city layout is a little confusing, my area is right where the world Daidogei championships are held every year, whats that I hear you ask? Street performing or as we call it busking.
Unfortunately I am a week to early too experience the marvel of jugglers, people dressed as statues, and every other kind of act where the performer spends 30 minutes teasing the crowd before performing his 20 second act.

I actually spent a lot of the evening in the bus information centre. I wish everywhere was a train, that would be far easier, everywhere in the world buses are confusing.
There are a few places I might go to tomorrow depending on the weather and how my legs feel, but all of them require a bus, so its more likely I will go wherever the bus takes me and work it out from there without knowing how I will get back.
Generally speaking, it is far easier to get back to a place than to get to a place, as all buses end up at a train station, because trains are superior, thats why trains never depart from the bus station.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Some of the streets around Shizuoka look like Kyoto, with the street verandah things, only its not very busy and a lot of places shut at 6pm.

Some of the streets around Shizuoka look like Kyoto, with the street verandah things, only its not very busy and a lot of places shut at 6pm.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I dont know what these lanterns are but they are in the streets all over the city. More power cords in the rain draped through gardens.

I dont know what these lanterns are but they are in the streets all over the city. More power cords in the rain draped through gardens.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This is the Shizuoka station. It is a massive connected complex of shops and restaurants, probably 100 eating places in and under it. I suspect this h

This is the Shizuoka station. It is a massive connected complex of shops and restaurants, probably 100 eating places in and under it. I suspect this has taken a lot of the foot traffic away from the older part of the city.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - For dinner I wanted curry, but managed to combine it with soup. Its chicken and tomato curry and green vegetable soup. Both were delicious. Curry shou

For dinner I wanted curry, but managed to combine it with soup. Its chicken and tomato curry and green vegetable soup. Both were delicious. Curry should always come with soup.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - If you look closely, you might think this is croquet, but its not. I saw them playing this near Ome out in the mountains the other day also. Its a for

If you look closely, you might think this is croquet, but its not. I saw them playing this near Ome out in the mountains the other day also.
Its a form of golf, but all putting. You start a decent distance away from the 'hole' and hit the croquet ball hard, you hopefully get it near the hole which is a metal hoop sitting on top of the grass. Then you have a couple more putts to get it over the metal lip of the hoop so that it stays inside.
It looked like fun to me, I am guessing it is very old people friendly.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Here is the map, its nearly as big as my bed and you need a magnifying glass to read it. I went to the bus stop at the train station to make sure I kn

Here is the map, its nearly as big as my bed and you need a magnifying glass to read it. I went to the bus stop at the train station to make sure I know where to stand and wait, and noted that the buses arriving dont show the number of the route they are on. Handy. At least they take Icoca / Suica, a few times on previous trips I got on a Japanese bus and there are about 11 different combinations of how to get on, if you should take a ticket, pay on boarding or pay on getting off, exact change required for unknown cost of journey etc.
When you take a train you just swipe and get on, then swipe again when you get off.


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

mother on 2017-10-25 said:

The game is gate ball popular with the silvers (elderly) if you hadn't guessed. All the places we went to in February also boasted big department store/mall complexes by the stations leaving the old shotengai practically deserted. Very disappointing. I want both.


David on 2017-10-25 said:

you are fast, I only just updated the site.
I took the kodama, which is why its cheaper, so it took about 90 minutes, stops all stations to let the various nozomi services pass

I think that makes the trip 90 minutes instead of 60


mother on 2017-10-25 said:

Enough snot stories! How long did it take on the shinkansen to Shizuoka?



Day 6 - Thursday, 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.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Its me!

Its me!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - One last Fuji for today.

One last Fuji for today.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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....


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.....


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - ....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.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 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.


Shimizu ghost town

Taking a train from Shizuoka to Shimizu for dinner

Its not that theres nothing to look at in the evenings in Shizuoka, theres probably a lot, but tonight I felt like going to the next town over.
Shimizu is not really a different town as far as I can tell, it is more like the shipping port of Shizuoka, about 10km away. To get there you have your choice of 2 trains, the JR train and the tiny little local line which starts at Shizuoka and ends at Shimizu.
So now I can say I have ridden the entire length of the Shizuoka Tetsudo line and not everyone can say that.

I arrived in Shimizu with no prior knowledge of what was there, I chose the destination based on the train line, and the apricot colored shading on google maps that tells you where there is food and shops.
Theres not really much of either of those, Shimizu is a ghost town.
There are old shopping streets, the main one is even called Ginza. There are a few Ginza's around Japan and now I dont know if they are named after the luxurious street in Tokyo or if it literally means main shopping street. I am sure my mother will be along to tell me soon enough.

The selection of restaurants was alarmingly low, most places were 6 seat bars, not very inviting, you need to be accepted by the locals to even enter so you can breathe their smoke and all cough together.
However I was determined to not go back to Shizuoka and make an easy choice from the 100 or so eating places in and around the station there. Eventually I found a Chinese restaurant serving Japanese food, just like in Australia!
Inside this restaurant, of which there is a photo below, I sat at the bar which had ash trays but thankfully no one smoking. There was a giant tv next to my head at head level, turned up loud, showing the amateur Japan hiphop competition, which was as terrible as it sounds.
During this they had some interesting ads, including one for trinkets to fill in the holes in your crocs, so you can now have a foot full of cartoon characters.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The tiny train to Shimizu. The train and the track was quite old, and when it made a turn it did not slow down and it was quite sudden, everytime peop

The tiny train to Shimizu. The train and the track was quite old, and when it made a turn it did not slow down and it was quite sudden, everytime people went flying, people that ride it every day.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Ginza, Shimizu edition. Nearly everything was shut apart from school uniform shops? Other than that a team of people were hanging up halloween decorat

Ginza, Shimizu edition. Nearly everything was shut apart from school uniform shops? Other than that a team of people were hanging up halloween decorations, and all the street furniture had hidden speakers playing crap music turned up really loud.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Covered shopping street, also shut apart from small 6 stool bars. One exception, on the left of this photos is a scale model builders shop, open until

Covered shopping street, also shut apart from small 6 stool bars.
One exception, on the left of this photos is a scale model builders shop, open until 10.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Actually this place was also open, but I dont know what it is, a permanent halloween haunted house? Or have they rented this storefront just for the m

Actually this place was also open, but I dont know what it is, a permanent halloween haunted house? Or have they rented this storefront just for the month leading up to Halloween? I will never know.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The area with the most vibrancy is Shimizu was the JR train station and bus station area, it has a mcdonalds and a lawson convenience store! There wer

The area with the most vibrancy is Shimizu was the JR train station and bus station area, it has a mcdonalds and a lawson convenience store!
There were lots of school kids hanging about, looking bored. They could have been at home practicing their hip hop.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Here is the kitchen area of the restaurant I selected. Its mainly a huge pile of junk with a very tiny food preparation area in amongst it all. The si

Here is the kitchen area of the restaurant I selected. Its mainly a huge pile of junk with a very tiny food preparation area in amongst it all.
The sign out the front said it was a Chinese restaurant, and there was Chinese writing on the plastic menu, but it was all Japanese food, including ramen.
The blurry thing in the foreground is the tv remote. I probably should have turned the tv down or changed the channel.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I chose Yakisoba. It was ok, oily but quite flavourless. I liked that it had a lot of things in it which I had to taste to identify.

I chose Yakisoba. It was ok, oily but quite flavourless. I liked that it had a lot of things in it which I had to taste to identify.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This one is here for my girlfriend/defacto/partner/notmywife, you cant buy omurice in Australia or anywhere in the world thats not Japan/China/Korea,

This one is here for my girlfriend/defacto/partner/notmywife, you cant buy omurice in Australia or anywhere in the world thats not Japan/China/Korea, which is annoying cause we love it. But in Japan they have ready meals at family mart with multiple kinds of omurice to choose from.
I suspect whilst I am overseas a lot of canned food is consumed in my absence at home.
This/description/had/a/lot/of/slashes.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And this one is here for my benefit, these are my shoes, the only shoes I brought with me for this trip, and they are awesome. So far I have not had t

And this one is here for my benefit, these are my shoes, the only shoes I brought with me for this trip, and they are awesome.
So far I have not had to tape my toes at all!In a few years time I will wonder what shoes I wore on that trip where I had no foot issue, Altra Lone Peak 3.0 size 10.5.
I wear Altra shoes exclusively, these ones are trail running shoes and have rubber lugs on the bottom, that have been working well, I clean the shoes after I have been in the mountains.
I also have another pair of Altras in a different style at home for long distance road running, also awesome.
They feature a huuuuge toe box for my stupidly wide feet, and are 'zero drop' which means the heel is the same height as the toe, which encourages forefoot striking rather than heel striking.
They cannot be found in any store in Australia, I have to order online, which is annoying.
Thats probably enough about my shoes, now I need to go to bed early.


There are currently 4 comments - click to add

on 2017-10-26 said:

Do you think your shoes are of benefit to people with very short Achilles?


mother on 2017-10-26 said:

Yes I did remember when I was writing my comment last night. As for Ginza, it means sliver mint which was what was originally on the Ginza in Tokyo. You might already know the Chinese character for silver which is probably the same as in Japanese. Still can'at get over how clear your photos are.


David on 2017-10-26 said:

You made exactly that comment on my last Japan trip when I saw something similar in the hills around Kawaguchico.
That one was significantly larger than this one.
I mentioned that comment to you recently, and you denied all knowledge of it.
I presume you will now deny all knowledge of the comment, and our recent discussion about you denying all knowledge about your previous serow comment.


mother on 2017-10-26 said:

What you saw was a Japanese serow which is a cross between a goat and antelope and is a national symbol. they were nearly extinct fro hunting so are now protected. Some more really good photos today - your skills are improving.



Now there is a page 3, go there immediately for more nonsense.

Contents

Day 0 - Saturday, 23 March 2019
  Retrospective
Day 1 - Saturday, 21 October 2017
  26 hours door to door then more
  I want to murder your children
Day 2 - Sunday, 22 October 2017
  The journey is still not quite over
  Typhoon Lan
  Saturation point
Day 3 - Monday, 23 October 2017
  Fortunate train cancellation
  Wasted ramen opportunity
Day 4 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017
  Lost on twin peaks
  The new shiny Tokyo
Day 5 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017
  Snot pump
  Bus confusion
Day 6 - Thursday, 26 October 2017
  Mountain goat
  Shimizu ghost town
Day 7 - Friday, 27 October 2017
  Train to mountain stroll ropeway beach bus
  Second opinion
Day 8 - Saturday, 28 October 2017
  Drowning in a sea of tissues
  Artful rain dodger
Day 9 - Sunday, 29 October 2017
  Rain concentrator
  Better than forecast
Day 10 - Monday, 30 October 2017
  Equal best ever scenery
  Its not Halloween
Day 11 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017
  Thwarted
  Halloween was Saturday
Day 12 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017
  The temple run
  Lost in expansion
Day 13 - Thursday, 2 November 2017
  My trusty old friend is a shining light
  Umeda me a hamburg steak
Day 14 - Friday, 3 November 2017
  Primordial typhoon deer attack
  Resurrection
Day 15 - Saturday, 4 November 2017
  The wind arrived
  Surprisingly great
Day 16 - Sunday, 5 November 2017
  First everybody then nobody
  Pyramids of Sannomiya
Day 17 - Monday, 6 November 2017
  The turn for home
  You would never ever get wet
Day 18 - Tuesday, 7 November 2017
  Exposed
  Short visit to big city
Day 19 - Wednesday, 8 November 2017
  Castle in the fog
  I have seen all of it
Day 20 - Thursday, 9 November 2017
  Decline
  Resurgence
Day 21 - Friday, 10 November 2017
  Clinically clean
  Ready for action
Day 22 - Saturday, 11 November 2017
  All the views
  Here are your shops
Day 23 - Sunday, 12 November 2017
  I have returned
  Ueno to Shinjuku is not far
Day 24 - Monday, 13 November 2017
  Central mountain route
  Surprise downpour whilst tired
Day 25 - Tuesday, 14 November 2017
  Value extraction
  Night of the long exposures
Day 26 - Wednesday, 15 November 2017
  Between the tracks
  The last supper
Day 27 - Thursday, 16 November 2017
  Narita procedural update
  The end