Mount Ooyama (大山さん)

An hour train and a fifteen minute journey in order to reach, Mt. Ooyama was never top of our list of things to do near Tokyo. But with the weather so pleasant last weekend and the two of us wanting to be exposed to at least some amount of sunlight before we perish from vitamin deficiencies, we headed out to our unlikely destination.

Nearly a week down the line and having given it some thought, the truth is that it is probably the best mountain we have been to in Japan. Unlike Takao and Mitake, this mountain is relatively deserted, it being a rare occurrence that you happen upon anyone on the ascent or descent. There were a few groups of people at the summit, either drinking beer or smoking that well-earned cigarette, but it was otherwise very peaceful.

The major challenge on the way up was the snow and ice, remnants of the colder weather that haven’t quite given up on the mountain. There were a few occasions where all four of us nearly ended up horizontal. The descent was that much more difficult, gravity aiding the harsh conditions in an attempt to drag us rather embarrassingly to earth. There was one occasion where my walking boots would simply not grip any of the ground where I rested my foot, meaning I quickly made progress down a hill, the security of a desperately clenched tree being my only means to stopping myself from descending the mountain much faster, and rather more painfully, than I would have intended.

As you can see from the pictures, the scenery and the nature were quite beautiful. The deer were also nice to see. What doesn’t really come across in the photos is the solitude of the place. At one point we were inclined to stand still and listen, having noted the unusual lack of sound. We heard nothing – a silence that doesn’t exist in a city like Tokyo.

Sorry about the rushed nature of this one. Hope to have more time for the next one.

TTFN
Chris

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