Mt. Fuji -- Part Three

The day was perfect for hiking, it was a bit hot and humid, (did I say sweaty?!?) but overall it was clear and no major weather lied ahead for the start of our hike.

The start of the hike was great, everything is sooo green and lush, I was getting nervous because as soon as we passed the grand entrance to the trail, the trees and bushes got bigger and bigger. I almost felt like Little Red Riding Hood, with a strange feeling of losing myself into the woods until we landed on to a sign which pointed the way. (Yes I know go up to find the peak, right?)

Okay I think I understand now, that if you take this trail as shown by this line here, you can reach the peak!!! If you click on this picture above, half of the sign is in english. Its all good!

We finally got some elevation going on here, after we cleared the trees, and bushes we turned around a view of the horizon was beginning. The bushes and trees quickly became scarce. The terrain is getting very rocky, not much of a big deal on level ground but can be a little tricky during steep encounters.

Nothing can be seen but just a sea of green. The color is very vivid, it reminds me a lot of Oregon.

Sixth Station was reached, which was kind of cool. Nothing much there except a little shack, and a couple guys posted up to sell stamps. We got our first marking on our hiking stick here, it was actually pretty cool, they have these stakes like what would be used to brand a cow, it was red hot and burned the stage mark onto our sticks the price was decent I guess, nothing is free in this world, 500Yen.

Nakajima-San posted up looking pretty!!!

Nishimoto-San, cute as always!!

The comic relief guy, Morikawa-San

Miyaki-San, usually laid back....

Sixth stage accomplished. Two more to go!!! So I figure I better get my Pocari Sweat together. Not sure if anyone knows "Pocari Sweat" but this is the best invention, it is better than gatorade I think.

The name was chosen by the manufacturers originally for the purpose of marketing the product as a sports drink in Japan, where people generally do not mentally translate names appearing in English and are therefore not bothered by the connotation. It was largely derived from the notion of what it is intended to supply to the drinker: all of the nutrients and electrolytes lost when sweating. (The first part of the name, Pocari, means "like a cloud floating in the sky" or "a situation in which a cloud is floating in the sky" in Japanese, and has a connotation of lightness, buoyancy, and ease. "Sweat" was apparently intended to suggest diligence and its fruits - the idea intending to connote to the user that Pocari Sweat works to make one feel fresh and relaxed. However, some Japanese apparently drop "Sweat" from the name in common usage.

Still trucking on. Our goal is to reach the lodge which should be between Stage Eight and Nine. From the the maps and guide, it is about a six hour hike (beginners) to that point.

A glimpse of the lodges are shown here, of course we are still on stage six area we are looking for Stage eight so still got a ways to go. Stage Seven is just beyond this section. The trail actually goes through most of these lodges which is kind of neat to peak inside and see how they look.

Looks like it is time for another break!!!

To be continued....


Mt. Fuji -- Part Two

To continue where I left off.

Hey folks I am back from a very nice week long vacation. It was Ohbon week in Japan. Basically a collection of holidays that lasted a week so I vacationed with the rest of them plus a great buddy of mine from the Bay, Luis showed up so we burned the midnight oil in Tokyo!!! I know I have neglected the site for a week - ish but I am back in full gear now!!!

Well after a short bus ride we arrived at Stage Five campground. I was shocked on how many people were there, from what I hear many people just go this far, any thing higher than this would require hiking shoes.

Many shops were here, so I perused around for a bit before we got together for lunch. It is always good to get a good meal before a hike. We managed to get some hiking sticks, all of us got one with bells and flag, plus our first stamp which is for Stage Five. The guy at the store also gave us a quick lesson on how to hold the stick while climbing up and down the mountain. You hold the stick slightly under shoulder height while climbing up and when climbing down you hold the top of the stick. (this advice paid well during the hike by the way!!!)

Well after lunch, we finalized our plans and gear and now the journey to the top begins......

To be continued.....


Mt. Fuji -- Part One

The last couple weeks have been very busy for me but I haven't forgot about my multi-part series on the trip to Mt. Fuji!!!!

It was a group of six co-workers that showed up for the trip early Saturday morning. We were to meet at the office at 6am. It was going to take about 4 hours to reach the foot of the mountain.

I was very careful to make sure I didnt take too much or not enough. I had rain suit/windbreaker, with two extra pairs of socks, shirts, and underwear. I also brought some snacks and plenty of water, with gloves, a hat and of course my ipod for tunes.

Thanks to the courtesy of Hitachi High Technologies Japan we managed to use the company van for the trip.....hooray hooray......freeeeee!!!!!! We rounded up the folks and packed up for the road trip.

Many hours later, fighting traffic and all, we finally got a glimpse of the journey ahead. The Saturday we went was a beautiful clear although hot and humid day. From the looks of the mountain I am sure the climate would change when we near the peak of this dormant volcanoe.

Two girls from the job who went on the trip from left to right, Nishimoto-San and Nakajima-San, just a cheesy plug for their favorite rice chips. What was interesting is that the bags started inflating more and more as we increased in elevation (less air pressure) until they popped by themselves!!!

Finally we made it to stage three of the mountain. There are ten stages total with stage ten being at the peak, we started gearing up, before we take a bus to stage five of the mountain. From left to right are the other members, Miyaki-San, Furiki-San, and Morikawa-San.

I was too sexy to put on my gear yet so I waited until stage five......besides 100% humidty a bit much for me to cover up yet..........Next stop Stage FIVE!!!

to be continued stay tuned...........