Hiking Kumotoriyama

24-25 April 2010

This spring I was extremely busy getting used to my new job at the University of Tokyo, so when my friend asked whether I wanted to climb the highest mountain in the Tōkyō province, I thought it was the perfect break to refresh a little.

We planned it as a 2 day trip, starting from the Chichibu (Saitama province) side, and finishing at Okutama (Tokyo Province). It was still early in the year, and although Tokyo had almost no snow, the mountain areas are pretty snowy, and even a few days before we went there it had still snowed a little.

In the Japanese Alps I never see any wildlife except birds (in contrast to the Swiss Alps), so I was really pleased to see a deer here (and later some more).

♩♬♬When it snows, ain't it thrilling,
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play, the Eskimo way,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Normally when I'm going on big hikes here in Japan, there are typhoons coming or going, and the weather is half good and half rainy. This hike is up KUMOTORIYAMA, which literally means "the cloud attracting mountain", bacause its peak is always in the clouds. Something very special must be going on, because the whole hike was perfect weather! Nice and fresh, because it was still early in the season, and a few high clouds, but spectacular views from the top. According to my fellow climbers, who climbed the mountain several times before, this is really unusual.

Also the second day the weather was perfect

With lots of nice views of Mt. Fuji

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