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Posts tagged otsuki

Otsuki’s 12 beautiful viewing peaks of Mt. Fuji (大月市・秀麗富嶽十二景)

otsuki kuradakesan

Otsuki City’s Kuradakesan (倉岳山)

While following one of the suggested hikes in the book “Day Walks Near Tokyo” (sadly, this was now more than five years ago) I came across the map below at the mountain top above.

otsuki city 12 beautiful peaks to view mt fuji from

map of Otsuki’s 12 peaks with beautiful views of Mt. Fuji

Apparently there are 11 other awesome hikes near Otsuki. I need to get back to Japan for some more exploring.

There is also a website, in Japanese, about these 12 views here. The website includes many photos from contests they’ve had over the years. Here is one of them:

Japanese-style home in Otsuki

japanese style home

My random wallpaper of the day is this image I took on my way from the Torisawa Station (about 70 kilometers from central Tokyo) to the start of the hiking trail I took to get to the top of Mt. Kuratake. The house next door looked like a new home in any suburban neighborhood in the USA, but the owner of this place went with a more traditional Japanese look.

Japanese wilderness

green mossy river stream

Mt. Kuratake Hiking Trail stream - near Otsuki, Japan

I took today’s photo (my random wallpaper of the day) on my way hiking to the top of Mt. Kuratake, not too far from Tokyo.

Mt. Kuratake (倉岳山) Hike

Do you live in Tokyo, Saitama Ken, or Yamanashi Ken? Do you like moss covered stones? The sound of a downhill stream?

hiking near tokyo japan

A view of Mt. Fuji?

大月市 富士山 倉岳山

And need a little exercise (about 700 meters of elevation gain)?

hiking mt. kuratake mount mountain otsuki japan yamanashi

Then Mt. Kuratake is the hike for you. I followed the guidelines in Day Walks Near Tokyo which was surprisingly accurate for once. One error is the view of Mt. Fuji. Weather permitting, you’ll get to see Fuji San from the top of the mountain, not from the ridge.

Regarding the Day Walks Near Tokyo guidebook, if you are coming from Shinjuku and want to save a few hundred yen, each way, take the Keio Line to Takao Station insead of the Chuo Line on JR as suggested.

The hiking course begins at Torisawa Station (鳥沢駅). There are few services nearby. I didn’t see any restaurants or any of the typical tourist shops that can usually be found next to hiking routes this close to Tokyo. There are two konbinis near the Torisawa Station (7-Eleven and Daily Yamazaki). These will be your last chance to get a bento. There are a few vending machines before you hit the real trail. I brought my usual one bottle of water and ran out so you may want more than one.

japan town from above bridge train mountains

Above is a picture of Otsuki City down below from the top of Mt. Kuratake. Even though it was a clear day, the sun was so bright many things in the distance got washed out a bit in photos. To increase your odds of a good Fuji scene start your hike early, very early if possible. If you don’t get an early start, consider arriving at the top about a half hour or so before sunset. Don’t forget your headlamp for the way home though. Also, Mt. Fuji is usually easier to see in winter. However, the trails won’t be nearly as green and enjoyable after the leaves fall (in November) and before they return again (in April). I wouldn’t really recommend this hike in the winter unless you know the skies will be clear on top and your main objective is to see Fuji San.

相模川 桂川

Near the end of your hike you will cross the Katsura River (桂川), pictured above, for the second time. This river is called Sagamigawa (相模川) once it enters Tokyo.

Your journey on foot ends at Yanagawa Station (梁川駅). Again, there are no restaurants or places to get a bite to eat in this area as far as I could tell. Otsuki is spread over a large piece of territory and has a population of only 29,000 and shrinking every day.

I’ll post more details and pictures in the future. In the meantime, here is a map you’ll want to bring with you.

otsuki kuratake hike mt. fuji views

And here is a short video I took of 月屋根沢 (Tsukiyanesawa?), an amazing stream you will walk along on your homestretch. You’ll cross this little river about a dozen times on the trail. I didn’t see a single person from the time I reached the top of Mt. Kuratake until I got on the train, more than two hours later. Crank it up for the sound of the water and wildlife in the area.