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Mt. Mitake – Final Part

Almost nine months ago I left you hanging with part 5 of our Mt. Mitake hike taken in November of 2009. I will probably include a part 6, 7, and maybe 8 later; for now, I’ll skip ahead to the conclusion as a bit of a warning to anyone trying this hike, which is excellent this time of year (mid to late November).

As mentioned in the first post in this series, the hike, as laid out in the book we were following, was supposed to take 4 hours and 45 minutes. If you take no breaks, have no kids with you (like we did), and jog portions of the trail you may be able to do it in 5 hours. After seven hours, the sun began to set, and we didn’t know if we were 10 minutes from the end or 3 hours. I took the above picture at that point with flash. We had already been jogging a bit as we didn’t want to get stuck in the dark.

With no headlamp, the only way to make the correct turns was by taking a picture of the signs with flash. My camera saved us from getting stranded in the Japanese wilderness for the night. The last hour, in the dark, was a bit scary, but we made it. That was the last time in Japan that I went hiking without bringing along a headlamp, just in case.

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