Thursday, July 31, 2008

Around Japan with Drew

Recently, I had the pleasure of hosting my friend Drew Sobey for almost a month. Though the times sometimes grew rough and I got upset at him for apologizing excessively, we had an amazing time together traveling to new parts of Japan. Here are some of the photo highlights.

Asakusa lights up at night.

Getta wish slippers on Mt. Takao.

The Eye at Shinjuku station.

Maiko-Chan in Kyoto.The forbidden picture of the 100 golden buddhas.Niko Temple in the Rain.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Climbing Mount Fuji

Despite what some people may tell you, climbing Mount Fuji is not a walk in the park. Drew and I began our upward battle from Fuji 5th station at 10pm after a grueling 2hour bus ride where the lights never went out. The plan was to ascend slowly and summit just before the sunrise as waiting at the top can get very cold. The climb up Fuji goes in segments dictated by the various stations one passes on the way up. From 5th to 6th is a no brainer up and down simple sloping terrain and lulls the climber into a false sense of security. From 6th to 7th is a rude awakening where climbers must shimmy up boulders, hand over foot. The difficulty of this is compounded by the fact that you are climbing at night with a headlamp as your only source of light. From 7th to the top is a slog of a trek along switchbacking trails of loose gravel. The climb is not a horrible difficult one technically, but its monotony and slow pace can be extremely taxing.
Just below the summit, light began to filter over the skyline and we passed the tori gate and plopped down just in time to see the first light.
Drew and I celebrate at the top of Japan as the Sun peeks over the clouds.
A view from above of the Fuji 10th station.
Mount Fuji's highest point and the tori gate that is filled with travelers' coins for good luck.
Hikers make their way around the Fuji Crater.

What many people forget is that what goes up must come down. If the climb up Fuji doesn't get you, the climb down just might. The steep and rugged trail with its loose footing can wreak havoc on the knees. Bring a walking stick and take it easy.