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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This is the massive 5 ton “shimenawa” at the Kagura-den ceremony hall, at Izumo Ohyashiro shrine in Shimane Japan. It’s stunningly impressive and is well worth the trip. 🇯🇵⛩️

Photo of the great shimenawa at Izumo Ohyashiro

A little fire shall not be a disruption to the git ops. 📷🔥🫷

Jokey sign telling ppl to git push before leaving in case of fire

If you study Nihongo, you might be interested in this table of typical “goroawase” word play I compiled; things like “4649” standing for “yoroshiku”. 🔰

Maru the Shiba ate very little for the past week and was acting depressed and acting out. Today he’s “back” though; he ate with gusto and was his usual self playing around, showing affection. Sigh of relief. 📷🐕

Photo of Maru the Shiba resting on Papa’s leg on the swing

The Yumoto to Ashinoko hike is a 10km uphill trek over roads, steps, and a lot of cobblestones, ascending 750m. It’s historically interesting because a lot of it is the old Tokaido road, which is like the photo. 📷🥾 (longer post here)

Cobblestones make up the old Tokaido road

Many stations in Japan have no barrier on the platform, so you need to take care not to tumble over the edge. Especially with cutting-edge trains like this Shinkansen flying through. 📷🇯🇵🚄

Photo of the Shinkansen bullet train

Going to hike 10km this AM from Hakone Yumoto to Ashinoko lake, via the old Tokaido. It’s an all uphill hike over some road at the start, then trail, ascending about 800m overall. 🥾

Self improvement 📷🌭

Kitschy hotdog mascot dousing itself with ketchup

Our daughter worked on Hachijo island, and one of the highlights to visiting was seeing how they weave the beautiful mustard and ochre color “kihachijo” fabric used in kimono and accessories. 🥰📷👘

Photo of looms used to make kihachijo fabric.

Sad foot spa kappa. 😅📷

Kappa statue for a foot spa

“Freshly picked” tomato-kun from mascot fantasyland. 📷🍅

Blow up tomato mascot

I marched snare in drum corps from 1981-1985. This is 27th Lancers in 1985. I’m 3rd snare from the left in the dark top. We were so intense. 📷🥁🔥

27th Lancers quads and snares, 1985

Ono farm ice cream is really good, and I like the colorful cow mascot a lot. 📷🐄

Colorful Cow mascot sculpture

The baby shoes of one of our daughters. Time passes so quickly by. 🥹

Red baby shoes

Oof! Maru, I was gonna use that! 😂📷🐕

Dog biting a cardboard box

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’m going hiking Monday on ‘respect for the aged’ day, and hope the weather is good. Just have to decide the destination. 🥾📷

Photo of rocky ascent at Mt Kurobi in Gunma

Even if you can read it, the red letters impart a feeling of warning. This is a sign on a trail at Oyama indicating slip/fall risk. Indeed it was a bit precarious. 🥾📷⚠️ post for this hike

Danger sign on Oyama in Tanzawa

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. 🥾🗺️