With the JLPT behind me, I have realized that I have spent much time indoors lately, so I needed to go out. And what better place than one of the mountains nearby, a splendid opportunity to awe the wonderful colors of autumn. Yes indeed, even in December, here in Japan it is still like early autumn weather in central Europe.
So Randy (Holland), Loic (France), Junko (Japan) and me (Planet Rubikon) prepared for a nice hiking trip and headed out for 伊勢原 (Isehara), from where you can reach 大山 (Ooyama) easily by bus. We were equipped with jackets, gloves and bonnets, but soon had to realize that the weather is so nice and warm, that we won't need them :)
There is a little cable car, going half way up to the 1252 meters of the big mountain (大 = big, 山 = mountain). We were in the mood for cheating, and I haven't entered a cable car in over 10 years, so we boarded the ride to half the height and continued with our feet from there.
the red cable car
and the old one
We were indeed lucky, the autumn colors called 紅葉 (kouyou) or (o momiji) in Japanese were in full "bloom". The landscape was wonderfully filled with tones of yellow, red, orange, brown and trees that remain green. Like a sea of colors. I tried to capture some impressions of it on pictures, but it is never the same as standing there, looking up the surrounding mountains. Japan is especially fond of 紅葉 and people often make trips to marvel about the wonderful colors. I wonder if I never realized the wonders about autumn in Germany, or if autumn is indeed different here. That is the nice effect of traveling different cultures, you always can broaden your horizon and suddenly realize and learn about new wonderful things, that existed since you were born.
amazing isn't it? like painted
The path to the top of the mountain is quite nice, it is not too difficult, so you have plenty opportunity for exchanging interesting stories with your fellow hikers and develop interesting subjects in conversation. But it is just not easy enough to become boring. For example, as you can see below on the picture, sometimes, we found obstacles in our way and wondered if this really would be the right way, finally climbing over those fallen trees.
obstacles in our way
the trees reach until the top
The top of the mountain is not especially special ^_^. There is a little ラーメン Ramen shop some places to sit, a toilet and of course some opportunities to look around the landscape surrounding 大山. We could see our workplace with it's 117 meters being a small mountain amongst its fellow buildings as well. We could see all the cities around us from birds view and all the other smaller mountains. Only threatening 富士山 Mt. Fuji was still higher than we were, looking down on his smaller sister over here.
the view from the top, you can see all the other mountains and cities around
and with Randy's high end camera, you even can see our work place (the tower)
After eating our お弁当 (Lunchbox), I brought Spaghetti with tomato sauce :), we slowly started to climb down again. After resting for a while it has become a bit chilly, and the sun also was shun by clouds, so we were glad now bringing our coats away. By the way, you remember my coat being taking from Mt. Fuji goblins? So I had to get a new one. Luckily I found this. Jamaica/Reggae Second Hand Fair Trade clothing store on the way from Youth Heim to the station. So I was able to find a nice cheap second hand coat for the coming winter.
Equipped like this, we made for the way down, for which you can take an alternate route and different it was. Were we walked between autumn colors our way up, we walked in Mordor our way down. The trees were already bereft of all their leaves and the lands looked barren. The way down is a bit tiresome, because of thousands of stairs, which are hard to take and weary your legs.
the way down was painted in colorless grey
But eventually we made it back half way down and after some democratic vote took the cable car once again down to the 麓 Fumoto the foot of the mountain. After a nice dinner back in Atsugi, we headed home and rested our weary legs :)
Still marveling about autumn colors dancing in his head
More impressions from Ooyama, the big mountain