Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mt. Kagenobu

I hiked to the top of Mt. Kagenobu this afternoon, picking up a few caches along the way. I'm enjoying all the trails in this area.

Walking up the road to the trail head. I love Japanese front yards like this one.

I think I heard that having hornet's nests like this is good luck--these two were HUGE.

The view from atop Mount Kagenobu. The Shed (the starting point of today's hike) is located just past that elevated overpass in the bottom-right. Greater Tokyo is spread out beyond.

In the other direction, you can see the reservoir and mountains.

Where I grabbed a drink on the way up and back. I assumed by the hanging cup that it was safe to drink.

Children artwork posted at the trail head.

What the hundreds of daily tourists that pass by The Shed come to do. Photograph blossoms. They can't get enough of them. And I can't get enough of the people not getting enough of the blossoms.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mount Takao

I hiked to the top of Mount Takao this afternoon. I brought my camera and found a couple geocaches as well. It's fun seeing the different items that caches hold compared to the US.

A lot of the statues have red knitted beanies. Chalk it up to one of the million things I don't have an explanation for in Japan.

I think every sign with Japanese characters is cool. Especially the ones with red writing against a dark background. I'm obsessed.

One of the many paths near the top.

One of the caches was hidden near this Thai temple

More signs

On the hunt of a cache.

View from the top of Mount Takao

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Geocaching in Takao

There happened to be 2 geocaches hidden within a tenth of a mile of The Shed. It's sunny and gorgeous out today, so I joined the mass of camera toting tourists and went out to find them. The first, Arai railroad crossing, was 500 feet up a path across the street.

There are multiple train crossings where the cache is hidden. I brought my old point & shoot camera, so these photos aren't the greatest.

After a brief search on the far side, I found the cache disguised as a log.

The second cache was hidden above a plum orchard, near a shrine. Tons of nature lovers hanging around this area today.

View of the shrine from the Tenman-gu Shrine from the cache.

The cache itself. I left Elmo behind.

The first of many caching trips in Japan.


So I'm in Japan now. There are a lot of reasons that led to this decision, none of which I feel like sharing in this post. I've been answering that question [Why are you moving to Japan?] for the past 9 months and I don't feel like answering it anymore. Simply accept the fact that I've moved to Japan and let's move on.

I arrived here without a work visa in hand, which means I can stay for 3 months on what's called a tourist visa. My friend Derek, who has been living and working in Japan coming up on a decade, is helping me obtain the work visa. Once I have that, I can legally earn a living while living here for a year. Beyond that, I have no plans. I'm playing life by ear at the moment.

My first order of business is to find a permanent place to live. In the meantime, Derek is letting me crash at his office, better known (by me at least) as The Shed. It's located on a winding uphill road that is often trafficked by tourists photographing nature. Keep in mind that spring hasn't hit yet, so it's not as green as usual.

The Shed on the right. Just past the blue tarp, there's a river down below. 

Another view of The Shed.

A new highway in the sky is under construction just up the road. It goes straight through the mountain.

Another highway further up the road.

I found this stairway to a shrine off a side road.

I plan to live in this area, which is a called Takao, a part of Hachioji, which is a suburb of Tokyo.