Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Showa Park

I spent this Saturday exploring Showa Park in Tachikawa. It's a sprawling green space filled with sites and activities for all ages. The most impressive park I've seen in Japan so far.

View from Tachikawa Gate

This is something you don't see very often in Japan: a random speedo clad Japanese man tanning openly in a public park.

Spiral pathway as you enter the Children's Forest area.

I love bamboo forests

Rainbow Hammock

Bouncing Dome


Misty Forest

Dragon Dunes

They also have nature trails with gorgeous flowers blooming throughout the seasons.

The Japanese Garden area

These dragonflies were tougher to photograph than the tame ones inside the butterfly garden. I moved really slow to get close. 

Open Field with a 100+ year old Zelkova Tree. Hard to find a bigger open space than this in the Tokyo area.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mt. Takahatayama & Mt. Kuretakeyama

This week's hiking adventure took Derek and I to Mt. Takahatayama & Mt. Kuretakeyama. We did a looped trail, although we began and ended at different train stations on the Chuo Line. Nice trail, with enough challenge to make it interesting, but not so much that it wasn't fun.

Even though we weren't wearing any bells, like Japanese hikers, we still didn't see any bears.

I was nearly bitten by this snake head shaped plant.

Below a dam

Derek on the other side of a railroad tie bridge

Cool caterpillar

At the summit of  Takahatayama

A huge toad sitting in the middle of the trail that was completely nonplussed by our presence. He never flinched, even with my camera lens in his face.

Summit of  Kuretakeyama

I nearly had an awesome shot of this green snake. He was really moving.

The bridge across had a pretty epic view itself.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

KL Food Plus

I absolutely loved the food in Malaysia, mainly because it was so similar to Indian food, which is my favorite. Also, it was extremely cheap. Here's a sampling of what I ate:

Fresh sugar cane juice

Plus a couple shots that didn't fit into previous posts

View of Petronas and the KL Tower from the Orchid Garden.

I rode this coaster 3 times, plus the other rides at Berjaya Time Square Theme Park. Largest indoor theme park in the world, so I was told.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Mt. Fuji 2013

After a few missed opportunities last summer to climb Mt. Fuji, I finally checked it off my Japanese Bucket List. The weather was terrible at the top, resulting in a soaking wet camera and fogged up lens, so I didn't get any grandiose shots from the summit. Also, I was shivering uncontrollably and didn't have use of my hands or fingers to work the camera anyway. Good times.

View from the balcony of the lodge we spent two nights at

The lodge

We had to park over a mile from Station 5, which proved to be a pain on the way back.

Group photo at Station 5

Before the real climbing began

I hiked most of the way up and down with Spencer, the one in the flip flops. The Japanese hikers couldn't get enough of that. 

 The trail below

It was all downhill from here. And by downhill, I mean uphill, hurricane winds, freezing cold, and misery. Then we ran down.

 All you can eat buffet to celebrate our accomplishment.

Dinner and games at the Clark's on Sunday