Winter Walking at Lake Okutama

A Short Getaway from Tokyo Even on a freezing cold morning it’s nice just to escape Tokyo even if just momentarily. Today’s walk starts from Miyama Bridge at the far end of Lake Okutama which I visited on a previous winter outing and when I hiked to...

Charge your Smartphone for Free

Self-Supporting Solar Stands If your smartphone battery suddenly finds itself out of juice and in desperate need of a recharge the Tokyo Metropolitan Government might just save the day. Over the past two years they have been busily installing...

The Misotsuchi no Tsurara Icicles

Chichibu’s Natural Ice Sculpture If you’re looking for a day adventure to get your nature fix during the winter months the Misotsuchi no Tsurara 三十槌の氷柱 (Icicles of Misotsuchi) could be just the ticket. Located in a remote pocket in Chichibu, Saitama...

7 Dark Tourism Destinations Around Tokyo

Tokyo Travel with a Dark Twist Like most major cities around the world Tokyo isn’t all beer, salarymen and skittles and has a definite dark side if you care to look. If you’ve checked out most of the traditional tourist attractions or are...

Shiraiwa Falls Hike

Mt. Aso 麻生山 – Mt. Hinodeyama 日の出山 – Tsurutsuru onsen つるつる温泉 . . Tarukubo Stream and Shiraiwa Falls Trail For those looking to gain some hiking experience, tackling the main ridgeline which runs between Musashi-Itsukaichi Station and Okutama...

Okutama Mukashi Michi Hike

Sogaku Ravine 惣岳渓谷 – Lake Okutama 奥多摩湖 . . Explore Okutama’s Historic Past From the late 18th century until the completion of the National Route 411 in 1945 the Okutama Old Road (Mukashi Michi むかしみち) was an integral part of Koshu Back Road...

100, 200 and 300 Famous Japanese Mountains

Japan’s Most Prominent Peaks For better or worse, Kyuya Fukada’s 1964 best seller “100 Famous Japanese Mountains” (日本百名山 Nihon Hyaku-meizan) has had a profound influence on modern alpinism in Japan. It has led to a decades long hiking boom...

Mt. Tanigawa 谷川岳

Okinomimi オキノ耳 – Mt. Mantaro 万太郎山 – Mt. Tairappyou 平標山 . . Crossing the “Mountain of Death” Let’s get this out the way first. I can’t stress it enough: if you decide to do this hike, plan carefully. The trail for the most part...

Classic Tokyo Hike: Mt. Takao to Mt. Jinba

Mt. Takao 高尾山 – Mt. Shiroyama 城山 – Mt. Kagenobu 景信山 . . Close-up View of Mt. Fuji from Tokyo Located on the outskirts of Tokyo and within one hours travel of Shinjuku makes Takaosan 高尾山 (Mt. Takao) a favourite year-round retreat for Tokyoites. The...

Yamabushi: The Mountain Priests of Japan

The Weird and Wonderful World of Yamabushi # 1. What is a Yamabushi? Yamabushi also known Shugenja are the mountain-wandering priests of Japan. Their name literally means “those who lie in the mountains” from kanji 山 (yama) mountain and 伏 (bushi) in...

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