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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Odake San

Not hard to get out of Tokyo people, you just hop on a train and after, in this case, 2 hours you are in small rural forest/hill/mountain towns with great hiking trails. About 7 years ago I brought my hardtail Mongoose here thinking I would be able to puch the bike up and then trash it hard down, free and easy. Well, I ended up carrying the thing up…and on many parts down as well. I wouldn't say this trail is "technical" but you need all four limbs from time to time to make progress. This trail goes between Mitake Village (929m) to Okutama town via Odake San (1267m). Absolutely beautiful and the trail still iced over at parts where the sun hadn't reach, not too hard to walk onwards in a steady tempo. That is if you don't carry a whole armload of camera gear will say. Brought my Hasselblad, Tripod (Carbon Manfrotto, still heavy), my DSLR gear and a protein bolstering lunch pack. Way too much to hike with but since time was on my side and no people on the trail I could take it really easy and zone-out real good, head off the trail down in the darker parts of the forest or up some untouched ridge to shoot. Most trees lining the trail has number plates. The trail is 12km long and is supposed to take between 3-5 hours, I did it in 7. When you are not walking either straight up or down between the "peaks" you are on narrow ridges, with a nice warm breeze coming in from below. Spring time and the air just filled with pollen from the huge Cedar plantations surrounding the Kanto plains. The one reason the Japanese stay away from the trails this time of the year, 99% of the Japanese are sitting red eyes, with running noses, sneezing their days away inside when the pollen season starts this time of the year. 

Seize the Moment!

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