Sunday, October 18, 2009
Despite the dire precictions of the newspaper weather forecast (weatherunderground was far more optimistic, and we go back a long, long way), I managed to persuade two other people to join me on the fifty-five minute, hangover-busting ascent of Mount Takao. Things didn't begin well. Arriving at the station, we were met by an arrivals-hall scrum, guides with travel agency flags leading walkers to the cable car, people waiting by the ticket barriers with cardboard signs, dozen upon dozen queuing up for free maps. We lost the majority once we were past the cable car station, another few by taking the quietest trail to the top, but we didn't find that out-of-the-city feeling until we pushed on past the first peak. The trees were just beginning to turn, mountains ran away into the distance like a scene from a Chinese landscape painting.