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Mt. Mitake & Rock Garden Hiking ( Day Hike / Japan Okutama, Tokyo)

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Views: 1520
Date:
20 Jul, 2013(Sat) [Day Trip]
Members:
tatsuca , and 1 members
Weather:
Cloudy, 20-22 degrees centigrade, but cooler than I had expected.


How to reach:
  Transport: Car/Motorcycle Cable/Ropeway
Parked at Takimoto St. at the foot of Mt. Mitake, and used the cable.
About Mt. Mitake:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3036.html

Search (Google Transit): [Edit MyLocation] *Required to sign in
   Go by: Train, Car
   Return by: Train, Car

Map / Graph:
   Google Earth Topo (US only) GPX file Export route map

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Route Details:
   9:45 Mitake Cable Car Takimoto St.
9:51 Mitake Cable Car Summit St.
11:05 Nanayo-no-taki fall
12:15 Ayahiro-no-taki fall branch
13:05 Mitake Cable Car Summit St.
* A liitle slower than the guidebook course time.

Route Infomation:
   [Rating for middle-aged beginner hikers, like myself]
* The keys used in my logs are in: http://mountrec.com/modules/diary/629-detail-455
- Difficulty: "2. You may use a hand or two" level. There're a couple of ropes installed on the way to Nanayo-no-taki fall, but there shouldn't be any problem for average hikers.
- Acrophobic? "1. Don't worry" level. If you don't have a problem with Ohedo-Tokyo subway's steep stairways, there shouldn't be any problem, either.
- Get lost? "2. You may want a map" level. The trail is well maintained and there are enough direction boards, but if you don't understand kanji characters, there may be some problems especially when you want to visit the peak of Mt. Mitake, the Big Japanese zelkova tree, or other tourist spots off the main route.
- Photogenic? "2. OK, not bad at all" level. The Rock Garden is good enough to enjoy typical Japanese rocky gulch sights with trees and mosses, but there's not much grand view of distant mountains nor wild flowers as other famous sight-seeing hiking courses.

Photos: View in slideshow
The cable car Takimoto station was crowded with hikers or picnickers at 9:45 on Saturday morning. I chose this course for my daughter's third hike as an apprentice "yama-girl" literally a mountain girl.
View Detail

The cable car Takimoto station was crowded with hikers or picnickers at 9:45 on Saturday morning. I chose this course for my daughter's third hike as an apprentice "yama-girl" literally a mountain girl.
The tram look like this. This is an tandem cable car system with two trams hooked up to one cable and going back and forth. It took about six minutes and going up about 425m elevation difference or 1.1Km distance.
View Detail

The tram look like this. This is an tandem cable car system with two trams hooked up to one cable and going back and forth. It took about six minutes and going up about 425m elevation difference or 1.1Km distance.
There is a short lift from the summit station of the cable car to the top of a hill next to Mt. Mitake. Hikers usually don't use this, but today for the first time we used it to have some slack time to meet with my daughter's evening schedule.
View Detail

There is a short lift from the summit station of the cable car to the top of a hill next to Mt. Mitake. Hikers usually don't use this, but today for the first time we used it to have some slack time to meet with my daughter's evening schedule.
From the top of the lift station, you could command the city of Tokyo including the Tokyo Sky Tree on sunny days, but today is not the day. (We chose this course knowingly the weather is not good, but ok for a valley hike.)
View Detail

From the top of the lift station, you could command the city of Tokyo including the Tokyo Sky Tree on sunny days, but today is not the day. (We chose this course knowingly the weather is not good, but ok for a valley hike.)
This is would-be one of the attractions of Mt. Mitake, rengeshoma, or Anemonopsis, monotypic genus in the family Ranunculaceae. But they are still in buds.
View Detail

This is would-be one of the attractions of Mt. Mitake, rengeshoma, or Anemonopsis, monotypic genus in the family Ranunculaceae. But they are still in buds.
Will look like this in August. A picture copy left by Wikimedia Commons.
View Detail

Will look like this in August. A picture copy left by Wikimedia Commons.
But hydrangeas are still in full bloom, and you can find them all over the course.
View Detail

But hydrangeas are still in full bloom, and you can find them all over the course.
Japanese mountain lilies with nearly 10-inch diameter flowers are also in full bloom and very fresh.
View Detail

Japanese mountain lilies with nearly 10-inch diameter flowers are also in full bloom and very fresh.
Giboushi, a kind of plantain lily.
View Detail

Giboushi, a kind of plantain lily.
Ooops, I mixed up a picture of a Tokyo's old downtown. Or rather, a street to Mitake shrine near the top of Mt. Mitake.
This reminded me of the street to Mont Saint-Michel when I first visited here.
View Detail

Ooops, I mixed up a picture of a Tokyo's old downtown. Or rather, a street to Mitake shrine near the top of Mt. Mitake.
This reminded me of the street to Mont Saint-Michel when I first visited here.
A sacred gate to Mitake shirine. I chose pictures with fewer tourists than the actual to avoid trouble of blurring tourists' faces.
View Detail

A sacred gate to Mitake shirine. I chose pictures with fewer tourists than the actual to avoid trouble of blurring tourists' faces.
Okatoranoo, or a loosestrife.
View Detail

Okatoranoo, or a loosestrife.
Hydrangea again.
View Detail

Hydrangea again.
The trail to the Rock Garden looks like this. A typical Japanese hiking trail through planted Japanese cypresses or cedars.
View Detail

The trail to the Rock Garden looks like this. A typical Japanese hiking trail through planted Japanese cypresses or cedars.
Nanayo-no-taki fall. One of the destinations of this trip. You have to go down 10 minutes to this fall from the trail and come back to continue hiking to the Rock Garden. (You can skip this part if you don't feel like it.)
View Detail

Nanayo-no-taki fall. One of the destinations of this trip. You have to go down 10 minutes to this fall from the trail and come back to continue hiking to the Rock Garden. (You can skip this part if you don't feel like it.)
A big mushroom near the fall. About 5 inches in diameter.
View Detail

A big mushroom near the fall. About 5 inches in diameter.
Getting back to the trail. A picture in the Rock Garden; a typical sight of a narrow, forested Japanese valley.
View Detail

Getting back to the trail. A picture in the Rock Garden; a typical sight of a narrow, forested Japanese valley.
Another picture with my daughter's camera. Canon's engineers seem to prefer vivid colors. Mine is Ricoh's one, which I feel is more natural or real.
View Detail

Another picture with my daughter's camera. Canon's engineers seem to prefer vivid colors. Mine is Ricoh's one, which I feel is more natural or real.
Another attraction, Ayahiro-no-taki fall. There were many students picnicking today. Probably the summer vacation of colleges has just begun.
View Detail

Another attraction, Ayahiro-no-taki fall. There were many students picnicking today. Probably the summer vacation of colleges has just begun.
Ja-no-hige, ryu-no-hige, Ophiopogon japonicus, literally whiskers of a dragon/snakes, is a species native to far east Asia.
View Detail

Ja-no-hige, ryu-no-hige, Ophiopogon japonicus, literally whiskers of a dragon/snakes, is a species native to far east Asia.
Hotarubukuro, Spotted Bellflower can be found along the trail.
View Detail

Hotarubukuro, Spotted Bellflower can be found along the trail.
A kin of Chinese mustard, I guess.
View Detail

A kin of Chinese mustard, I guess.
An empty shell of a cicada. Not many were heard. And there are few flies or flower flies in this mountain unlike Mt. Kimpo . I wonder what makes the difference??
View Detail

An empty shell of a cicada. Not many were heard. And there are few flies or flower flies in this mountain unlike Mt. Kimpo . I wonder what makes the difference??
We came back to the foot of Miyake shrine,
View Detail

We came back to the foot of Miyake shrine,
took 13:15 cable car service, and
View Detail

took 13:15 cable car service, and
came back to the Takimoto station.
My daughter says it was an appropriate hike, so I interpret we can go a little higher level hike next time.
It was a little too easy for me, but was another nice walk for me. Thanks.
View Detail

came back to the Takimoto station.
My daughter says it was an appropriate hike, so I interpret we can go a little higher level hike next time.
It was a little too easy for me, but was another nice walk for me. Thanks.
  
Notes:(by tatsuca)
  

* Beware, this comes with background music. Please mute if your boss is around.

This is another yama-girl introductory hike for my daughter, ms.tatsuca1, following Utsukushi-ga-hara , Kagonoto-yama. Although this is my third visit to the Rock Garden, I chose this course because it is easy enough for the "beginnest" hikers like my daughter.

This course may be too easy for average hikers, but I still recommend this course if you like Mt. Takao. I think Mt. Takao, Mt. Ohyama in Tanzawa, and this Mt. Mitake are three recommendable hiking spots for foreign hikers, because the access from Tokyo metropolitan area is relatively easy, and it takes only a half day for the hike, and you can choose various routes according to your strength and interest. OTT, these three have a cable car service probably because the mountain top shrines are splendid and there are many non-hiking tourists, young and old, visit the mountain top shrines. So this can give you choice of making your hike a little easier or tougher as you like.

Anyway, for me as a middle-aged Tokyoite hiker, this was a little too easy, but a good walk to check my daughter's level and we could have some confidence that we could go to some higher level hike the next time.
(A twin daughter, ms.tatsuca2, is still in NYC for her business trip and could stay in the lower level which is a little concerning, though.)

[Rating of the overall course for middle-aged beginner hikers, like myself]
* The keys used in my logs are in: http://mountrec.com/modules/diary/629-detail-455
- Required Stamina: "1. Too easy," level for average hikers, but good for picnicking.
- Difficulty: "2. You may use a hand or two" level. There're a couple of ropes installed on the way to Nanayo-no-taki fall, but there shouldn't be any problem for average hikers.
- Acrophobic? "1. Don't worry" level. If you don't have a problem with Ohedo-Tokyo subways steep stairways, there shouldn't be any problem, either.
- Get lost? "2. You may want a map" level. The trail is well maintained and there are enough direction boards, but if you don't understand kanji characters, there may be some problems especially when you want to visit the peak of Mt. Mitake, the Big Japanese zelkova tree, or other tourist spots off the main route.
- Photogenic? "2. OK, not bad at all" level. The Rock Garden is good enough to enjoy typical Japanese rocky gulch sights with trees and mosses, but there's not much grand view of distant mountains nor wild flowers as other famous sight-seeing hiking courses.
- Come again? "2. Time allows" level.
- Comments: This course is too easy as an independent hike and I probably won't come again here as the primary destination of a hike. But it is along other major hiking courses, such as to Mt. Ohdake, Mt. Hinote, or Mt. Mazukari, I might add this place in other hiking plans.

The original Log in Japanese is here:
http://www.yamareco.com/modules/yamareco/detail-323869.html
If you should be interested in my other logs, please check
http://mountrec.com/modules/mtrec/userinfo-629-data.html

I hope my humble hiking reports could be of any help for your memorable stay in Japan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through MountRec.


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