A few weeks ago, we spent a lovely Saturday hiking to the top of Mount Takao. There was even a chair lift to take you half way up the mountain. This was certainly no Mt. Fuji... thankfully!
The girls felt very adventurous, as there was no seat belt or protective bar on the chair lift. (My mother would NOT have liked this, however!)
I really enjoyed this ride.
The chair lift let us off about half way up the mountain, and there was a beautiful view of the city from there.
Now to begin the hike. The path was very well paved and very clean. This was my kind of hike!
It wouldn't be a true Japanese hike without lots of vending machines every few feet,
lots of food (always to include ice cream),
and lots of trinkets to buy. Love it!
Further on up the hike, there was a row of more than ten enormous cedars, that were marked as being sacred. Apparently, they withstood a devastating typhoon which struck the area in 1966.
Some of these tress were over 160 feet tall. Amazing!
Not really sure of the significance of this, but I loved how it looked.
Yes, there is always a shrine.
And more food. These are mochi balls, which are a chewy rice paste. They are very popular Japanese snack, but just not my kind of thing.
The city views were spectacular, and it was such a clear day.
There were many shrines, of varying sizes, all along the trail.
This was the largest shrine, near the top. On our way back down the mountain, there was some sort of worship session going on, including monks.
Hooray, we made it! Again, nothing like Mt. Fuji, as everyone is still all smiles. When Mt. Fuji is your comparison, everything else seems simple. The girls said, "We're already at the top?!"
The backside of the mountain did provide a great view of Mt. Fuji, though.
And to cap off a great day, we went to our favorite neighborhood ramen place. Ramen is definitely a Japanese staple.
I always love how Japanese businesses have these small curtains at the door.
This is a very typical looking bowl of ramen. Matt especially loves this restaurant though, because they use a pork broth rather than miso or dashi (fish stock). There will always be a side of rice in Japan, no matter the entrée.
The fried gyoza was the perfect complement.
A very delicious end to a lovely day!