Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gora & Tokyo

Allright - yesterday I bagged two small peaks near Gora, then Sunday I visited the Tokyo book and music district.

Gora and Beyond - Taking the train from Yokosuka to Gora (a long ways away), I was determined to go hiking and get a couple of peaks. I did. From Gora, I hiked up along the road to around Kowakidani, found a trail system, hiked past the Chisuji Falls then up the mountain to the summit of Mt Sangen, then the summit of Mt Takanosu. The peaks were pretty small and the view wasn't very spectacular, but it was fun hiking through tall bamboo reeds and visiting with friendly Japanese hikers.

The main challenge to this hiking was finding the trails. I had no idea where I was headed after getting off of the train in the small town of Gora. I asked around and received directions that I could only vaguley understand since no one spoke English. Finally, I did receive some directions from a young couple also walking along the road and sightseeing. After asking them, I could see they weren' 100% certain of the directions, but I spotted a group that looked like they were going hiking so I followed them and ended up at a trailhead.

It seems like I am always wandering around Japan, not sure of an exact destination, but finding it anyway, and being surpised by chance encounters with friendly Japanese and with events that I could never have planned for.

The next day I visited the Tokyo Ochanomizu book and music district. I counted about 15 guitar stores, all on two blocks, and I visited every one of them. My lasting impression - even the Japanese recognize American guitars as the world's finest - all of the high end acoustic guitars for sale were American. While wandering around Ochanomizu I discovered three large Temple complexes. At one such temple "city" Japanese pauperazzi were swarming around a half dozen scantily clad Japanese models , the models posed inside temple grounds (sorry, no pictures here, I had forgotton my camera).

Check out the hking ipictures below. CLICK ON PICTURE TO GET A LARGE VIEW.

View from Mt Sangen

Bamboo Forrest along trails to Mt Sangen and Mt Takanosu

Summit of Mt Sangen

Summit of Mt Tokanasu

Trail Sign

Trail to Mt Sangen (a few roots in the way)

Bamboo Forest Video


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