Just an hour outside of Tokyo you'll find some great hiking trails up in the low mountains. Woke up at 5, got to the end station which is called Takaosanguchi i.e. Mt Takao Entrance, and started up with an extra 20kg dummy weight in my backpack (two dumbbells wrapped in jeans and sweatshirts), pressing down with serious force. I used to come here before my last Himalaya project to get used to new boots and packs and to not get a workout in this morning felt wasteful. Bought a "home" pickled daikon on the way down from an old woman at the start of the trail. Tasted clean and fresh, forest.
Funny, this place always make me long for higher altitude, ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) and EBC (Everest Base camp) is always lingering in my mind and a return journey to both of them will be done one day later down the trail. The hardship and near death experiences is long forgotten and only the good parts has been sorted out to become a good base mind for trips to come. Mt.Kailash in Tibet is also a string pulling forcefully. The holiest of mountains. Man, the list goes on and on…the dreaded Eiger in central Switzerland and Matterhorn would be great just to see and spend some time around. I can see myself bivouac for weeks below and among these European peaks. I'm no mountain climber and not a spiritual guy and never longed to be either, but you who have spent some time amongst the giants know that there is a strong pull at these location that is hard to explain. For now this humble +500m peak will have to do, just dream on and strive to make it a reality, usually works.