Although I believe I have had input in planning how our days are going to be spent, hubby emphatically said he wasn’t going to put any ideas forth today and it was all up to me what we did. “Plan our day” he commanded.
So, I gleefully rubbed my hands together and said “I have the perfect day planned!”
I love the busy hubs like Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya but I’ve seen them now and wanted some tranquility and peace.
Today, we were going to climb Mt Takao!
I had looked at a couple of sites and this is a direct quote from one of them.
Alight at Takaosanguchi Station (not Takao Station, which is the stop before) and you’ll be facing the front of the mountain. Don’t be tempted by the cable car or chair lifts at the foot of the mountain – taking either of these will cut short your walk and it’s really not a difficult climb.
Did you get that? Apparently, this is not a difficult climb.
First things first, get on the right train.
We got into a “women only” train carriage by accident but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the other passengers….
True to the website’s word, when we got off the train, we were right at the start of the walk.
I had had to talk hubby into this walk and I sold it by saying it was going to be a gentle walk up. Nothing like Mt Lofty! I said that because I knew that’s what he was thinking.
With pursed lips he followed me up and it got pretty steep right away.
“It must be just like this at the start” I said trying to calm him, “It’s going to taper off soon I’m sure. Look, it’s getting flatter over there isn’t it?”
But no, it wasn’t.
Up and up we went. These Japanese are a strong bunch though. I saw people of all ages, and from all walks of life doing this walk.
At one point I saw a young mum trying to push a stroller up there. Her husband gently pushed her back every now and again to help.
I said to hubby “Why wouldn’t he just take the stroller?” and hubby said through gritted teeth, “I don’t know, maybe it was her effing idea to come up here” I feel like there was a covert message for me there but I left it…
And look what else we saw!!! Dog shoes! This dog also had a cap on.
After a good hard slog and after constantly telling hubby “I’m sure we’re almost at the flat bit” we were at the point where the Cable Cars get to.
He stared longingly at it but it didn’t really make a difference because as it turned out we had done the hard bit.
We stopped so hubby could catch his breath and regain some humanity and got some refreshments. I just loved these little honey/sesame stick things!
I found an information centre and the lady told me it was only a gentle slope up now to the peak and Visitor Centre. I told her to hold it right there and brought hubby over and asked her to repeat what she’d just said as I was sure he wouldn’t have believed me.
I also asked her about the way down. She said it was a bit gravelly but Elementary School kids do it all the time so it was fine.
With that information in hand we set off for the peak.
We reached the top!!
I can’t quite read the expression on hubby’s face…
Now I don’t know what these Japanese people are made of but that “bit gravelly” description was NOT what I would have called it.
In fact I’m sure this trail would NOT have even been allowed in Australia!!!
Here are a few pics I took when it was safe enough to get my camera out.
Those last two pics show what it was like for the majority of the walk down.
Hubby turned out to be quite the hero. We were walking behind a group of elderly people when a woman slipped and went down a steep embankment. It was quite terrifying!
Two men in front of us tried to help and they quickly went down too.
Hubby got down to help and was holding on to a thin trunk of tree. He slipped but was holding on so was able to pull himself up, then grabbed the ones who’d fallen.
Once up, it was like nothing happened.
Must be a cultural thing. Barely a thank you and off on our way we went.
So there you go, because I forced him up the hill, he saved a woman. You’re welcome.
We were hungry by the time we got back to the station but decided to wait until we were back in Shinjuku before eating.
Is this enticing anyone? It wasn’t for me.
Back in Shinjuku and what should we find but Shakeys!!!
Hubby and his family have a history with Shakey’s having once owned several in Canada.
We’ve now been in three different Shakey’s in Japan (not just this trip)
It might not be local food but it was comforting so we went for it.
They give you all you can eat for ninety minutes. I estimate hubby and I ate enough for lunch and dinner combined in about twenty.
After that we strolled the streets of Shinjuku with about eight or nine million other people for a while before returning to our apartment.
I don’t think I’ll be planning any more itineraries this holiday….