Just outside my apartment...
... is a mountain with a white... thing on it. I figured it would be fun to hike up to that... thing. Various maps and atlases indicated that there was some sort of trail up the mountain, so I set out to find it. One crappy shopping bike and one Jurassic 5 album later, I got to a trail head.
The kanji on the bottom sign is pointing to the mountain I want to climb... I think. Let me stress that all of this is based on a whim and shoddy Japanese maps that don't actually recommend anything about this hike. The concept of "climb higher and you will eventually get there" was in effect.
The trail starts out light, going along family burial altars. Most hills in Japan have burial altars on them, so this was nothing new. But then the trail split, and the choice was left or right. Left, of course! When you do a lot of random exploring, you have to have a set choice for situations like this. No debate, no coin tosses, no random number generators. Anyways, I always choose left. Today I chose wrong...
As you can see, this is what I came up. You don't see a trail? If you doubt me, check the sign.
So it was rugged, to say the least. But rugged also directly correlates to the amount of nature you will encounter. And encounter I did!
A few snakes. This one totally stared me down. We're cool though.
Snake #2. Good luck on your snakey adventures, and thanks for not trying to kill me.
This giant spider had a fresh butterfly in it's web. There were TONS of spiders. On the path. I got a face full of web at least 20 times. Then I started carrying a big stick in front of me as a preemptive measure and things got better.
Then I came across... something. Something evil. I was in a very remote, very quiet part of my hike, and I heard a noise. I stopped to listen. Then I heard a growl. Like nothing I've ever heard before. I'm serious it sounded like a jaguar or something. I stopped moving. I heard a growl again, from what seemed like the other side of the trail. "God damn homey, my mind is playing tricks on me". I have no idea what it was. Wild dog, bear, maybe a wild boar. It's low, throaty growl let me know precisely where I should be... be the fuck out! I wasn't too scared though. I mean, I had my anti-spiderweb stick on me. I could totally fling some webbing at him.
Not soon after my encounter, I came across an overgrown gazebo and benches. This whole route was overgrown, and I don't think many people hike here. I didn't see any other person until the top.
I made it. Here's the white thing that you can see from the city up close. Some sort of sciencey thing. Either that or a giant metal soccerball. And here are some shots of the 360 degree view.
This is the town of Hiro I think.
The city I live in, Kure.
After soaking up the views, time to head down. Took a different way, a very well maintained (relatively) way that put me to the right of that fork I was at earlier. Dondake!
Something about water. The katakana reads "Sapoto. Torekkigu. Guruppu." Sport. Trekking. Group. I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. I guess people do trekking courses up here.
In other news... It's October! Will Batman make another appearance? I still have the suit... and the skills.
And on a random note, I love this comic. From www.gregnog.com's comic about his year working at an Olive Garden.
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