Hiked Hakone’s Mt Kintoki today with the wife and D1. Perfect weather for it and the view of Fuji was spectacular, but I’m spent. 🇯🇵🗻

    View of Mt Fuji from Mt Kintoki.

    Yamanashi Daibosatsurei Hike - 100 Mountains of Japan

    On Saturday 28 Oct 2023, my daughter K and I drove out to Yamanashi prefecture, for a ~10km hike at Mt. Daibosatsu (“Daibosatsurei” 大菩薩嶺 2057m). The hike took about 6 hours, with about 650m of ascent and descent from parking 4 down by the lake. A fantastic day, and the 6 hours of driving was well worth it. Daibosatsurei Background “Daibosaturei” is one of the “100 Mountains of Japan” (after Kyuya Fukada’s book), located in Yamanashi Prefecture in the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park (in the “Kai” part), straddling Koshu City and Kitatsurugun, and feeding the Tama and Fuefuki rivers.

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    Got back safe from Daibosatsurei. Pretty tired, it was a 3 hour drive each way and a 6 hour hike, and it was super crowded. Oh, and it hailed suddenly. 🥶📷🥾

    Daibosatsukou from part way up Daibosatsurei.

    Tomorrow I’m hiking 大菩薩嶺 Mount Daibosatsu with K, and while it looks like the weather will hold, summit temp is supposed to be about 8℃ so we’ll layer. It’s a 2,057m peak in Yamanashi pref; one of the “100 famous mountains” of Japan. 🇯🇵🥾

    These are the same salt candy tablets that daughter 1 gave me, that really helped me out of a jam on this hike, when I left my food in the parking lot! 📷🥾🧂

    Photo of “in” salt candy tablets

    Hakone Myojingatake Hike - from Saijoji to Miyagino

    On Sunday 3 Sept 2023, I did a 6hr solo point-to-point hike in Hakone, ascending 903m up to Myojingatake (明神が岳, 1169m) from Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple (大雄山最乗寺 aka Doryoson), and descending 719m to Miyagino (宮城野) on Rt. 138, traveling over about 9km. From there I took the bus down to Kami-to-no-sawa (上塔ノ沢), then walked to an onsen for a scrub and a soak. When I hiked up Myojogatake, I had intended to go up Myojingatake as well, but I was tired that day and opted out.

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    Old Tokaido Hike in Hakone

    On Monday 18 Sept 2023, on Respect-for-the-Aged day, I did a 5hr solo point-to-point hike in Hakone, up the “old Tokaido” and “old Hakone Town” roads, ascending 752m and descending 119m over 10.7km. This was not up a single mountain per se, but was plenty tiring going up a very long slope, as the humidity is still hanging around even in September. The hike started in Hakone Yumoto, then followed the road then trails all the way up to Lake Ashi.

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    Tanzawa Oyama Hike

    On Sunday 27 August 2023, I challenged myself to an approx 5:45hr 6.8km solo hike in the Tanzawa range on a hot and humid day (it suddenly rained at the end), ascending about 905m up Mt. Oyama starting in the shopping district around 7am, climbing up via the “Onna-zaka” (women’s slope) route to the summit, then descending about 630m down via Miharashidai to the “Shimosha” shrine area, and finally down by cable car.

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    I published a new page with links to my annotated custom Google “My Maps” maps, for Japan hiking in Hakone, Tanzawa, Kamakura / Zushi, and Takao. I hope they might be a good starting point for people wanting to start hiking Japan in my area. 🥾🗺️

    I translated some information about Japan’s mountain grading system into English, which you can check out here. The idea is to be able to consistently grade routes for the physical stamina and technical skill needed, so trekkers can plan vis-à-vis their fitness, thereby reducing risk. 🗻🥾

    Mt. Myojogatake - Hiking Hakone

    On Saturday 12 August 2023, I did an approx 4hr 6.7km solo hike in Hakone on a humid day, ascending about 570m to Mt. Myojogatake (明星ヶ岳 みょうじょうがたけ 923m) from the Miyaginobashi bus stop, heading towards Mt. Myojingatake past the giant kanji cut into the mountain side for the o-bon festival, then down toward the Miyagino Annaijo bus stop. Mt Myojogatake is one of the stops on the gairin “outer rim” (外輪 がいりん) of Hakone, and you might meet trail runners attempting to complete that brutal course.

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    Mt. Sengen and Mt. Takanosu - Hiking Hakone

    On Sunday 30 July 2023, I challenged myself with a ~10 km solo day hike in Hakone on a hot summer’s day, ascending the Yusaka trail from Hakone Yumoto station, ascending 850m over about 7km to Mt Sengen 802m (浅間山 せんげんさん) and Mt Takanosu 834m (鷹巣山 たかのすやま) with the (nonexistent) Takanosu Castle ruins, then descending 400m to the highlight, Chisuji Falls (千条の滝 ちすじのたき) at the 8.5km mark, and proceeding another couple of km over roads to Gora.

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    Kintoki Hike in Hakone

    On Saturday 22 July 2023, I challenged a solo day hike up Mt Kintoki (金時山 きんときさん) in Hakone, on a perfect day for hiking, and was rewarded with incredible views from the summit. This mountain has maybe the best view of Mt Fuji, too. It was a good physical challenge for this 57 yr old who mostly jogs and walks the dog. My legs held up better this time compared to my first adventure up Mt Kurobi in Gunma, probably because I’ve tried to be more active since then, doing several less-challenging hikes in the meantime.

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    Nagoe Kiridoshi Hike from Zushi to Kamakura

    On Saturday 15th July 2023, I did this solo hike and jog from JR Zushi to JR Kita-Kamakura, via the “Nagoe Kiridoshi” (名越 “Nagoe” place name 切 “Kiri” cut 通 “Doushi” route or way), one of the seven ancient passes cut into the mountains surrounding Kamakura to make it easier for people and horses to pass. The news said the heat was going to be brutal, so, wanting to be out early, I packed the evening before buying some energy and protein bars at the local supermarket, and was up at 4:30am to get a quick shower and apply sunscreen and insect repellent.

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    Kamakura Alps Trek 12km from Kounandai

    On Sunday 2nd July 2023, I challenged myself with this ~12km solo hike from JR Kounandai to JR Kamakura, via the Kamakura Ten’en Hiking Trail in the “Kamakura Alps”. After delivering the pamphets and papers from the chonai meeting the night before to our group’s mailboxes, I set out at about 6:30 am on the scooter, and parked at a 24 hour lot at JR Ofuna. From there, I took the train two stops up the Negishi line to Kounandai, bought a couple of protein bars at the combini, and exited.

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    Kurobi Hike in Gunma

    On Saturday 3rd June 2023, I had my first real mountain trekking experience. It was fantastic with perfect weather, but I got to discover how out of shape I really am. We went up Mt. Akagi, aka Mt. Kurobi, in Gunma Prefecture; one of the 100 famous mountains of Japan (English) or 百名山 “hyakumeisan”. During the trek, I asked our guide why Akagi’s considered a “beginner mountain”, and she said it’s because there are not many areas where you’d risk death.

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