As the days go by, the desire to leave Mount Fuji out of my itinerary increases. I haven’t trained as much as I had intended to, and I’m not gonna come out with a flood of excuses for the slacking off. Its plain simple: I’ve been lazy, and am finding it difficult to gather motivation. Yeah I am getting to the gym more than my “usual”, but I think I still ain’t doing enough. I’ve been doing bits on the elliptical and stationary bike or playing with Zombies, 5K on non-class days, and the only classes I’ve been attending are StretchFit & yoga. Can’t help thinking that I should be doing something more intensive… aerobics, kick-boxing, maybe? Or I should really be out there climbing Bt Timah (yes, this pittance of a hill is the highest natural point in Singapore) on the weekends.
While I have doubts regarding my fitness level to handle Mt Fuji, I know for sure that J isn’t going to make it. It’s been 2 weeks since the Gunung Datuk climb, and I have been trying to get her out walking… to no avail. Either she gives a non-committal response, or is “not free”. Oh, and when I finally got her to agree to walk (last week) the 10km Southern Ridges this Sat, she sends a whatsapp msg yesterday saying her legs still hurt and will probably give it a pass. Her legs still hurt. What. The. F**k.
Pretty certain the ‘leg pain’ is either a white lie, stemming from her being lazy… OR… it’s a medical condition, which I & E have suggested that she go to the doc to have it looked at. Clearly it’s not just the DOMS – I had the DOMS and I was good enough to head to the gym after the third day. Obviously she brushed off the later, claiming that she has had that ‘problem’ since she was a kid that the doc attributed to “growing pains” – any strenuous activity will cause that kinda pain in her leg. Sounds like bs to me, but whatever.
I apologize for sounding like a b!tch right now, but I honestly need to get this off my chest before I lose my patience & say something to J that I’ll regret. I am effing close to cancelling the entire trip & stating why. Everyone I’ve spoken to is asking me to just dodge it, cos at the rate it’s progressing, her (lack of) fitness will make the hike a disaster & I’ll not enjoy myself. Cancelling will likely offend her, considering it was me who suggested it to begin with + she bought hiking boots specifically for the trip. Worst case scenario, I might have to /wave the friendship goodbye… so am hoping that it wouldn’t happen. That being said, I hope she never finds this blog. Ever.
Anyway, yes, Mount Takao (高尾山) & Mount Jinba (陣馬山).
I was looking for alternatives to hiking Mt Fuji and chanced upon this article from TimeOut Tokyo: Tokyo’s Best Mountain Hikes. The ‘recommended mountains’ are: Mt Takao (599m), Mt Jinba (857m), Mt Mitake (929m), Mt Oyama (1,252m), Mt Nabewari (1,273m) & Mt Kumotori (2,017m) – which is also part of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains List. Am still in the preliminary stages of my research but atm, Mt Takao seems like a pretty good option considering its location from Tokyo and it being the lowest of all mentioned.
(image from Keio website)
Mt Takao has 8 different hiking trails. Loops aside, the 3.8km Omotesando Trail (Trail #1) seems to be the simplest option. Why? Cos… “The trail is paved all the way to the entrance of the temple.” That will make it more of a long walk than an actual hike, but hey, I suppose I shouldn’t be asking for too much? Though I am confident that even my 62 y/o parents will be able to make it up this one in the estimated time of 1.5hrs with relatively no issues, I think it might still pose a challenge for J & E. Thankfully for them though, there is cable car & lift that will take them halfway up the mountain! They should be able to make it to the summit from halfway… right?
Though I dearly want to experience the goraiko from Mt Fuji’s summit, based on the photographs I’ve seen while googling, Mt Takao is certainly NOT going to be disappointing! Just look at this…
(image from wikipedia)
Can you imagine how that will look at sunset on a clear day? Plus, depending on the hiking route taken, there are various other sights, including a Buddhist Temple, on the way to the top. Gee, the more I look at it, the more I’m inclined to pay Mt Takao a visit. Looks possible to spend the entire day there, summiting via Trail #1, doing the two loops (Trail #2 & #5), staying past sunset then taking in the night scene, and finally heading back down via chair lift or hiking back down with help of a flashlight (maybe via Trail #6 but not too sure how safe is that one in the darkness). In this case, J &E can just take the cable car, meet me at the cable car station & just hang around while I attempt both loops. LOL
That being said, what tempts me more is starting off early, heading up Mt Jinba, then attempt the 18.5km Mt Takao / Mt Jinba Trail… ending up at Mt Takao for the sunset & night view, then descending via Trail #1. Estimated time is 5.5hrs but knowing myself, I’ll probably take 7hrs inclusive of photo-taking (cam-whore) breaks. That’ll add up to perhaps 9-10hrs of hiking in total? Ooh yeah, the trail will also take one to the summits of Mt Shiro and Mt Kagenobu as well – that’s 4 mountains in a day… Sounds more like it eh? 😀
(image from Takao Tozan Dentetsu Official Site)
Naturally I wouldn’t expect either J or E to hike up Mt Jinba or do the Takao-Jinba trail with me, but it might just be possible that they can meet me at the summit of Mt Takao for dinner, sunset and then head down the mountain + back to Tokyo together. Sounds more attainable than Mt Fuji, eh?
Ugh but I really hate the thought of going all the way to Tokyo & not attempt Mt Fuji at all… and if we are not to attempt Mt Fuji, it’s a little meh to travel to Fujiyoshida just to go to Fuji-Q Highlands? But taking those 2 out of the itinerary would make me not that eager to go anymore L I mean, the city of Tokyo is great. Have always wanted to go to Japan. But the highlight of the trip, for me, would be the outside city experience. I live in a city FFS, if I wanna experience that entire hustle bustle, I could simply just go to work? LOL Furthermore, if I’m not gonna climb Mt Fuji, there really is no reason to visit Japan during the climbing season. I might as well plan my travel for a later date and experience the beauty of Fall – the changing colors of the tress & all – instead? Heck, or might as well go earlier (or next year since now is a little too much of a rush) for cherry blossoms viewing?
The window for me to make up my mind is closing. NATAS Fair 2013 is just around the corner, and with the pre-NATAS ticket promotions, it would be ideal to purchase our tickets by the end of the month. I really know not what to do.