Ikimashō – Let’s go! A new phrase I learned at Japanese class today was completely appropriate for how I felt! I have heard so much about Mt. Takatori and I was ready to explore myself. Mt. Takatori is an abandoned stone mine rising approximately 139m. The trailhead is less than a mile from our front door. It was definitely a climb and doable in sneakers. Although, next time I’ll wear bug spray!! Here are a few pictures from the beginning climb. From all the green, you can tell there is not much sign of fall! 

Google map wasn’t helpful on this journey. I learned about this trail from friends. They advised me not to rely on Google map and instead gave me various clues to look for and warned me that not everyone finds the “rock climbing wall” or “Buddha” on their first try. Mission accepted! 

Here was the first sign they had described for me. At the JR sign go – hmmm did they say left or right… crap! Logic prevailed. JR is a train and obviously, I want to go up the mountain not down to a train station. Off I go and then I find – the Temple. First I noticed the bell at the entrance. 

From there, I saw a flight of stairs. As I ascended thes steps, I felt like I was really in Japan. Everything is green and moss covered and there is a shrine… Or maybe in the left overs from an Indiana Jones movie set. It was pretty surreal. 

I continued up more steps to the Temple. 

It might be one of the most beautiful Temples I have seen. Tucked away at the top of the mountain. So remote and natural. 

Onward & upward. Past the bamboo forest. 

Up the stairs to the seemingly glowing rock. 

Past the rock moss pool. 

Until I have my first glimpse of the amazing view. 

And then it is back to the set of the Indiana Jones movie. Like I said, it’s an old stone mine. These tracks don’t look old! 

I was beginning to wonder if I had turned wrong and then I saw the rock climbing wall! 

I explored a bit more and found yet another set of stairs! Up I went to the very top to find yet even better views! 

Look closely. Can you see Buddha? Or even Dave’s office!

Look closely. Can you see it – Mt Fuji in the haze.

Way way way in the distance – Tokyo!

Back down the stairs and around more rocks. Past the spiders and snake! What! Yep. A snake. Almost turned around at this point. But, I had to see the Buddha. I asked myself, “what would Buddha do?” Let the snake be a snake. Do no harm to the snake. Continue on your hike, you will. Ok, maybe that’s what Yoda would do. None the less, it worked. I found my Zen master at the top of the mountain. 

A selfie to prove I was there… and how sweaty I was. Glad I wore long sleeves! The bugs were ridiculous!! 

One last picture to show the size of the stone statue. 

From this point, I had two choices to get home. Walk the 1.5 hour trip back or walk 20 minutes to the train station and take the 15 minute train ride home. I was so hot & sweaty – I selected the train ride. Despite the embarrassment of being slightly unpresentable on the train. Honestly, I didn’t want to find another snake!! 

It was a fun afternoon. It will definitely go on the Julia tour itinerary. I can’t wait to hike again with Dave soon. And again, once the leaves start to change. I told Dave this evening I would LOVE to see sunrise from the top… hmmmm

PS. Sign of the fall to come. Japanese maple sapling after my own fall desiring heart!