Dreaming of Mountains…

With the Coronavirus closing down all of the trails (and almost everything else) in Japan for the last two months, I’ve missed seeing spring burst through the mountains.

I’ve missed the cherry blossoms.

Sakura in Tokyo, but the photo isn’t from this year.

The irises, the azaleas

Wild Azaleas on Mt. Akagi, 2018

And the start of the hydrangeas (many of which are still in bloom).

I am aware that I am fortunate, that flowers and mountains are the things I miss the most. Many people have suffered, and are suffering far more than I–and it saddens me daily to think about the condition of the world right now (for many reasons, coronavirus being only one).

Now that the state of emergency has lifted here in Tokyo, there may be a brief window to head to the mountains before the heat and humidity of summer fall over the mountains like a hot, wet blanket and the hiking season pauses until September.

With only a few days left until the restriction on crossing prefectural borders lifts here in Japan, I’m tentatively starting to unfurl my climbing plans. I hope next weekend will see me in the mountains. Like everyone here, I will wear a mask to travel, and head out early to help avoid and prevent crowds, but even so . . .

To misquote Carroll: The time has come, the mountains said, to talk of many things. Of trees and trails and birds and bees, and cicadas that sing…

It’s time to hike – and time to revive this blog with more photographs of hikes to come. I hope you’ll join me on these new adventures!