Archive for January 10th, 2010


New Year Hike

My next hike with friends was to Takagoyama on a glorious day bathed in sunlight. At several vantage points, we had a fine view of Mount Fuji. This is surprising because Mount Fuji is more than 100 km (60 miles) as the crow files from the hike location. Mount Fuji, if I’m not mistaken, is the only tallest mountain (about 3000 m) in Japan and can be seen from various distant locations, and even from certain locations in Tokyo!

Mt. Fuji (1)

Snow-capped Mount Fuji towering over the Yokohama-Kawasaki-Tokyo coastline from a vantage point during the hike

I was told that on a clear, cloudless day, the view of Mt. Fuji from Takagoyama was breathtaking. I was happy nonetheless, to have a fairly good view. Here is another shot from the top of a hill during the hike.

Mt. Fuji (2)

Another view of the snow-capped Mt. Fuji

The glorious views from different points during the hike kept us all in good spirits. As we climbed chatting with each other happily, I picked up some plants this time that I was almost about to tread on. I took care to ensure that there were an adequate number of plants in the vicinity, and those that I picked were at unobtrusive locations. One plant taken away from the forests would not affect the environment nor cause other hikers to miss the plant; besides, I intend to propagate them and give them away to friends (There! I got that out of my mind and I can sleep easy now 🙂 )

Wild berry

Wild berry

Picked this plant with the root from a dense bush and promptly planted it in a planter after returning home. The berry is edible and has a pleasant slightly sour taste.


Aoki (Japanese Aucuba)

Gives red berries in winter and has leaves similar to that of the holly. The entire hill was covered with Aoki trees – it appears that the leaves of this plant were used as cattle feed in winter a long time ago.


Shrine built into the sheer rock at the peak of Mt.Takagoyama

We reached the peak after about three hours and found a delightful shrine built into the sheer rock face. There were mats in the shrine for weary hikers that we spread on the floor. Some of the experienced hikers wanted to do an other steep climb of about 20 minutes from the shrine to a vantage point giving a clear view of the surrounding hills. I accompanied them and got some more shots of Mt. Fuji and the surrounding hills.

Yet another view of Mt. Fuji

Yet another view of Mt. Fuji



We got back to the shrine and got out our packed lunches. We had a great time sharing food and I especially enjoyed some of the Japanese pickles made from various vegetables that were passed around by friends. After resting for about 30 minutes, we started the descent. 


We came across a small waterfall and passed lots of maple trees – the leaves of most of the trees had already dropped off. The path was covered with red maple leaves and I felt like walking on a plush carpet. I managed to find one small unobtrusive maple, and  took it home and planted it.

I am sure that once winter has passed, these plants will grow. Until then, I have placed them indoors and am watering them carefully. 


Maple – planted in a planter




Here are some updates:

Persimmon  apple
 cyclamen hibiscus

Clockwise from top: Persimmon, apple, cyclamen, hibiscus

One of the persimmon seeds germinated, and one apple seed too. I’m delighted. I’ll do my best to nurse them through winter. I’m pretty sure once spring arrives, they’ll grow tall and healthy. I also bought a cyclamen from the nursery and hope to see it through to spring and next year too. Of the two Hibiscus seeds, the second one has also rooted – so that’s a 100% success rate.

Until the next post, have a great day!

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