16 August 2008

"Camping" Test Run

We took advantage of the great weather and did a camping test run yesterday. We introduced Uribo to easy camping a week before her first birthday. We set up at a great little campsite called "Katsumata Camping Jo"...actually it is in our backyard! Not too 'wild' but fun nonetheless!


14 August 2008

Subashiri 5-Gome

Today we (SK-1, SK-2, and SK-3) decided to go to the Mount Fuji Subashiri Climbing Trail Station 5 for lunch. This was SK-3's first visit. Traffic is horrible this time of year due to the Japanese Obon season so our 30 minute drive took 80 minutes! It was worth it though because it was nice and cool, and we had a great lunch!
The entrance of the climbing trail was very busy, due to the nice weather. We paused at the 2,000 meter elevation marker for the obligatory photo then headed in for lunch.
Lunch was at the mountain hut restaurant and souvenir shop called "Yama Goya" (translates appropriately to Mountain Hut). The owner of the shop is an expert in the field of wild mushrooms and has published an official guide to the wild mushrooms of Mount Fuji ("Fuji San No Kinoko-Tachi). He also hand picks mushrooms every morning on the slopes of Mount Fuji, near a point called "Ko-Fuji". The first taste we get is when we are served a cup of hot "Kinoko Cha" (Mushroom Tea). There is no tea, just mushrooms, and it is awesome. We always buy some for the house whenever we visit the Yama Goya.
Lunch was an awesome plate of fresh mushroom cream pasta. This is the very best mushroom cream pasta we have ever eaten, and all our friends agree! Check out the pictures, you can hardly see the pasta because there are so many fresh wild mushrooms!
See you in the woods!

10 August 2008

Kintoki Yama Climb

The whole Yabanjin Crew (SK-1, SK-2 & SK-3) challenged Kintoki Yama yesterday. The day started with nice weather and our biggest concern was sunblock. Everything went well for a while and SK-3 was not too heavy in her backpack but...we heard thunder in the distance, echoing off the surrounding mountains. When we made it to the final trail checkpoint just below the summit we ran into a bunch of climbers scurrying down the trail. The Kintoki Musume (the 80+ year old lady who runs the mountain hut on the top of the mountain, and calls herself the mountain's daughter) had told everyone to evacuate as she predicted a dangerous squall to come through. It was to be a very bad electrical storm.
We weighed our options and decided to take her advice. It started pouring we made sure SK-2 and SK-3 were weather tight and kept moving. We flew past some slow pokes who were obviously not concerned with the inbound lightning. It got dark as night...good thing we had our light!
We made it to the bottom in record time, wet and tired but safe! Everyone else on our trail made it down shortly after us...all were safe.
Unfortunately, lighting was striking all around Mount Fuji and several people were injured on the big mountain during this squall, with one climber killed by lightning on Mount Fuji!!!
The Kintoki Musume was right!!! We will be back to climb Kintoki Yama soon!