Japan has amazing bakeries–from high-end French patisseries to “choose-it-yourself” wonderlands filled with dozens of varieties of sweet and savory breads (some available year-round, and others seasonal). Although I often forgot to pack a good lunch during my early climbs, I quickly learned to pop into a bakery the night before and pick up something tasty for the trail.Read more
The Bells of Daibosatsu
The mountains of Japan have a healthy population of Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus), and although they don’t hunt hikers, people do occasionally suffer injuries (and, more rarely, death) after accidentally startling a bear on mountain trails. As a result, most Japanese hikers wear small bells that jingle to warn bears of their approach.Read more
To the Summit of Daibosatsu!
With apologies for the tardy post (this week got away from me), the hyakumeizan total now stands at two! Only 98 more to go . . . Last Sunday I took a two and a half hour train ride from Tokyo to Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, in Yamanashi Prefecture, to attempt an ascent of 2,057-meter Daibosatsu. Although Kyūya Fukada’s One Hundred Mountains of Japan describes the shorter, 40-minute ascent from a nearby pass (the location of the highest bus stop where hikers can depart), I started from the mouth of the trail, more than a thousand meters lower on the mountain.Read more