Yama to Kogen Chizu: 2021 Edition

MAPPLE Special Online Maps Campaign for 2021 The map images and contents of this article have been obtained with the permission of the publisher (Shobunsha). Come February or March each year Shobunsha Publications a.k.a. MAPPLE release an annual...

Reading “GSI” Topographic Maps

GSI Topo Maps: A Beginner’s Guide In this previous article I described in some detail the finer points of reading “Yama to Kogen Chizu” topographic maps, this time we turn our attention to the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI)...

COVID-19: To Hike or Not To Hike

Japan’s Second COVID State of Emergency: A Piece of Advice TL;DR State of emergency declared in Tokyo and neighbouring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa (the state of emergency was expanded to 11 prefectures on January 13). The...

Mt. Raiden 雷電山

Enoki-toge 榎峠 – Nago-toge 名郷峠 – Mt. Sanbosan 三方山   Duration: 4 hours   Distance: 10.9 km   Elevation change: 244 metres   Highest point: 494 metres   Difficulty:   Start: Ikusabata Station (Ome Line)  ...

Mt. Kintoki 金時山

Kintoki-jinja Shrine 金時神社 – Mt. Nagao 長尾山 – Otome-toge 乙女峠   Duration: 3.5 hours   Distance: 6.3 km   Elevation change: 517 metres   Highest point: 1212 metres   Difficulty:   Start: Kintoki Jinja Iriguchi...

Mt. Kobotoke-Shiroyama 小仏城山

Umenokidaira 梅ノ木平 – Odarumi Pass 大垂水峠 – Mt. Takao 高尾山   Duration: 6 hours   Distance: 17.7 km   Elevation change: 480 metres   Highest point: 670 metres   Difficulty:   Start: Takaosanguchi Station (Keio...

KS Ultralight Gear KS50 Backpack Review

Perennial Favourite Among Lightweight Backpackers KS ultralight gear is one of a growing number of cottage companies serving the needs of ultralight backpackers both here in Japan and around the world. It’s run by French expat Laurent Barikosky who...

Mt. Hiwada 日和田山

Kitamuki-Jizo 北向地蔵 – Mt. Monomi 物見山 – Mt. Takazasu 高指山   Duration: 3.5 hours   Distance: 9.2 km   Elevation change: 270 metres   Highest point: 380 metres   Difficulty:   Start: Musashi-Yokote Station (Seibu...

Autumn Colours in Tokyo’s Hinohara Village

Guns, Momiji, and Waterfalls If you’re in search of abundant nature Hinohara Village on the outskirts of Tokyo is a good place to start. Each year I make more than a few trips to the metropolis’s only village to escape the city and enjoy fresh air...

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