Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hiking in Oku-tama

Okutama is in the west of Tokyo. There are many mountains and hiking trails. I hiked to Kumotori-san. It was cloudy.

奥多摩は 東京の 西です。 たくさん 山 と ハイクングの 道 です。 私は 雲取山に 行きました。 雲が ありました。

The hike starts with a 1000m climb. If you start at the opposite end of the hike (as my Lonley Planet Hiking in Japan book recommends) you can take a rope way up to the ridge.

Ready for some advice? Not that I made any mistakes, but you can learn from my mistakes. Mistakes I didn't make. Learning experiences...

Don't do a ridge hike in cloudy, overcast weather. The point of hiking up 3000 feet is to see the views. Although if you hike really really fast, then stop, you will see... things. So if you can't see the views, my advice is to create some good hallucinations.

Remember either:
  1. A watch
  2. A flashlight
Hiking in the dark is adventurous, and dangerous.

There are usually bus stops at the trail heads. Assume that when it's dark, the buses go to sleep. Because that's what they do. Hitch hiking is fine, but in over an hour walking on the road, only 2 cars passed my way.

More advice? Soba is delicious.

There are huts on the mountains you can sleep in. Some charge around 3000yen a night, others, dubbed "Emergency Huts" are free. You will also run across old dwellings, decaying in their unused old age. I found one, and while exploring it...

Yeah, baby toys. If you want to have your soul eaten by a ghost baby in the night, feel free to set up camp.

The emergency huts are actually really really nice. Room for about 10 people, and it smelled like cedar inside. No ghost babies either.

To get to 奥多摩 Okutama, take the 中央 Chuo line from 新宿 Shinjuku to 立川 Tachikawa, then take the 青梅 Ome line to 青梅 Ome, then take another line to 奥多摩 Okutama. There are lots of hikes in the area, visit the local information center, near the station, for information and maps. If you have a motorcycle, this area is prime riding!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, My name is ttmi.
One of my favorite place is OKUTAMA. I used to go there so many times. There is small falls up there. I really like to go there in summer because the place is not so hot and humid like down here. And water is so very beautiful and cold. It makes me feel so great.
If you have a plane to go there again,please try to go to see falls. Remember the falls is small but view around there is nice. As you probably know,there is a visiter center near the station,the people waking there helps you for sure.