Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Weekend in Tokyo

Well, Tokyo is stretching things a bit - we actually started our walk in neighbouring Yamanashi-ken, and slept with our heads in Saitama-ken. But most of the weekend was spent inside the city boundaries.

We've been up Kumotoriyama before - at 2017m high, Tokyo's highest point - but last time it was cloudy and even raining for most of the second day which made the long ridge walk down to Okutama a bit tedious. This time we had a glorious Sunday with fabulous views across the countryside.

Of course Fuji-san was the most striking landmark, but at this time of year there are also some flowers to enjoy (wild azaleas here).

The trees were also looking bright with their new foliage just emerging.

There were a lot of walkers about, and at one open space they all pulled out plastic bags and fell upon the wild flora with glee. They were picking young shoots of bracken leaves, which are commonly eaten as "sansai" (mountain vegetables), eg sansai soba. It's a national park area and there are notices telling people not to pick the plants but I suppose one can't complain about such a weed being harvested (it's far from endangered). Anyway, it will have its revenge in giving them all stomach cancer. Come to think of it, the yamagoya was selling books on edible mushrooms too.

Due to the stupidly early breakfast (raw egg at 5am anyone?) we got down to Okutama in plenty of time for a soak in the local onsen before getting the train home.

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