Tuesday, 24 November 2009

To Mount Mitake We Hike!

On ther 6th day of our Japan vacation, we decided to go for a hike on Mount Mitake. I guess hiking is a good way to burn all the excess calories we put in, eating good food in Japan!

I actually received an invitation to an Raya (Eid) do in Yokohama from a blogger friend that day but regretfully we had to decline because of this hike. I had hoped to meet the nice Sis later on our trip, but as fate would have it, it wasn't to be. Maybe next year, if "ada rezeki". :-)

Back on our hike.

Mount Mitake is located upstream along the Tama-gawa River that flows through western Tokyo, and is a part of Chichibu Tama National Park. A popular site among people looking for a break from the city, Chichibu Tama National Park covers more than 1250 square kilometers of forested mountains, hills, gorges and some rural towns in the prefectures of Yamanashi, Saitama, Nagano and Tokyo.

Mount Mitake can be reached in less than two hours from central Tokyo, located four stops before Oku-Tama on the Ome line and accessible from Mitake station.

The mountain is a haven for wild birds, various kinds of plants, and even some wild animals. If you are lucky, maybe you can see them! We weren't. ;-)
Mitake Station. A friend, looking at this photo mistakenly thought it is an entrance to a temple.
There was a make-shift counter set-up in front of the station the day we were there, selling package tickets priced at 1,500yen per adult that covers return bus trip and cable car to Mount Mitake. Not too sure how much a child ticket would be, because we were not required to buy one for Raimie.

We didn't know what the counter was for at first, but seeing that others just swarmed the counter we became curious and joined in. Sometimes, it doesn't hurt to follow the herd, you know. In this case, we saved a bit of yen. :p
Our bus and cable car tickets. Five stubs, two for bus rides and two for cable car trips and the last stub for our receipt. And you get that illustrated map too. Quite handy.
Taking a bus, we crossed the street as the bus stop located across Mitake Station. We were at first quite intimidated by the long line for the bus, with the queue snaking from the bus stop all the way to the nearby bridge but I guess due to the Silver Week holiday, the buses trips were increased so hikers did not have to wait long for a bus. That being so, the line became long pretty quickly and buses got packed in no time at all.

Otherwise, there would be 2 buses at every hour. One way fare is 270yen and you pay as you board the bus.

You can enjoy the river view while waiting for the bus.

The bus trip took about 5 minutes from Mitake station to the cable car station at the foot of Mount Mitake. A steep walk from the bus stop to the cable car station so prepare yourself to be a little out of breath to get to the cable car station. ;-) That and a bit of stairs climbing. Time for some workout for your gluteal muscles! Gasp!

There was a bit of jostling to get into the cable car, what with everyone trying to get the front seats of the cable car to better enjoy the view because although everyone was queueing for the cable car, we weren't sure where it'll stop exactly so quite a few had to jostle to enter the first door. If you think Japanese doesn't know how to shove and push, think again! I sure got shoved aside while trying to vie for the coveted place right beside the cable car driver.

Inside the cable car

The view along the way was awesome but I bet it would be much much more wonderful once the autumn foliage is in its full splendour. We were there too early for that but still, we enjoyed our hike tremendously.

The autumn foliage should be nice to see by the time this post is up, no?

More photos of our hike soon.

21 comments:

  1. Ouch! you were shoved? Oh well, everybody does that anywhere =P

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  2. @Ayie,
    We were first in line, and there are a few others behind us and when the cable car arrived, everyone were kinda scrambling to make sure they are positioned to enter via the front most door. Hence the jostling and pushing. Other than here, I never experience any pushing in a queue in Japan.

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  3. Lina when I first read the title I thought it said Mount Mistake!

    The rack railway reminds me of Penang and a similar one there.

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  4. @Mike,
    One glance and one can read it as a Mount Mistake! :D

    Thanks for dropping by! :)

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  5. It is me or is the cable car slanted?

    Ooooh a natural river while waiting.. wow shouldbe refreshing place :)

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  6. Shoving around?! They must not be the locals gosh!

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  7. @ladyviral,
    Yeah, the cable car is slanted.

    Hahaha... don't know whether they are locals or not but I think I'd be worse off if I was vying for the spot if I was in Malaysia. :D

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  8. it must have been a wonderful experience being able to conquer Mount Mitake. i'm so envious of you.

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  9. autumn is my fave seasonof the year. the fall colours are incredibly gorgeous.

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  10. What? The Japanese shoved? I thought that shoving thing was peculiar to Malaysians! haha!

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  11. I would love to hike up Mount Mitake! The cable car reminds me of Penang Hill! : )

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  12. You are in your element and so good to hear it coming out in your writing. Make the most of it and take it slowly.

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  13. @Life Ramblings,
    It was a great experience. The hike wasn't so bad or too strenous so even kids and elderly people (whom we saw quite a number of) can enjoy the hike.

    I have yet to see the full splendour of autumn colour. We were always either too early or too late for it. (The bane of travelling off peak season). :D

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  14. @foong,
    That's what Mike (comment #2) said too about the cable car.

    About the shoving, this was the only time we experience it in Japan.I guess everybody was so excited getting into the cable car and securing a coveted spot. ;)

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  15. @Martin,
    Thanks! I'll try and take it slowly. :)

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  16. I didnt know about this place. It is quite beautiful.. and it made me laugh. yes, Japanese do know how to shove and push! lol!

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  17. @TTA,
    aaahhh... So, Japanese are human after all. :D

    The place is indeed beautiful and it wasn't too far from Tokyo, for those thinking of visiting from there.

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  18. haha awesome. I googled mount mitake because I might be going next week and your blog came up :D

    You took the cable car up instead of climbing up?

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  19. @floatingcamera,
    Yup, took the easy way i.e. cable car up. I don't think my son would agree to long bouts of climbing. XD

    Planning to hike up there? I saw plenty of families did that, and the path sure looks nice from my secured place in the cable car. ^-^

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  20. Yeah hope to. Waiting on the confirmation to go next week!!

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  21. @floatingcamera,
    Cool! Can't wait for awesome photos from you of Mount Mitake.

    And you've somehow inspired me to go dig my archive and look for some photos to post up again. :)

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