Okutama ~~ a tranquil mountainous paradise

OKUTAMA: the best trekking trail near Tokyo

      Tokyo, as most people know, is a busy cosmopolitan city with a huge population; but there is much more to the capital city than just high-rise buildings. The town of Okutama, located in the extreme western part of Tokyo, showed us the other side of Tokyo, a world full of beautiful nature. Okutama is a tranquil mountainous paradise with breathtaking views which makes it hard to believe that the lights and crowd of the bustling metropolis are but an hour and a half of train ride away.


OKUTAMA: intro

     Okutama is well-known for its water (Lake Okutama, which supplies approximately 20% of the water that Tokyoites use) and greenery, which attracts many leisure enthusiasts (like me) who come to the area to enjoy hiking and mountain climbing at weekends. Okutama has an abundance of hiking trails ranging from the family friendly walk to mountain climbing.

     So, to start with, this trip was planned by our japanese language teacher, Kuramoto sensei ('sensei' means 'teacher' in japanese). She is an ardent trekking enthusiast, and thus it was best to start my trekking in japan with a expert like her.



OKUTAMA: the Trek!

     On a chilly sunday morning (25th of November, 2012) we reached there, i.e. at the okutama station, as scheduled (at 8:30am). from shinjuku, we took the Chuo line to Oume, and from there, the local Oume line to Okutama. Since Okutama is a suburb in a hilly area, the mercury is generally 5~6 degrees below that in Tokyo; and while climbing up the mountain, once you start gaining altitude, the mercury dips further!!


a view from the train...




okutama station

     From the station, we took a bus to the Okutama lake, which became the starting point of our journey. It was later that we got to know from Kuramoto sensei that starting from the
Okutama lake, becomes the most difficult and the longest trek-trail.
 


Starting Point


Okutama lake



trek begins
 

Although, the trail chosen by us was pretty tough and a tiring, but that is exactly where the essence of trekking and hiking lies...sometimes the trail was smooth and the inclination was gradual; but other times they were very steep and rocky.








....the tall and dense pine tree stole the little sun-shine that was available, making the ambiance even more cold...!





frost...!

.....the red-orange-yellow-brown autumn leaves gave us company right from the beginning, until the end where the trees barely had leaves, thanks to the frost...!



Autumn leaves








Lake Okutama (from an altitude of 1100m)




at the second highest peak..!




only a few more minutes, and there's the peak..!



The Peak...! Mt. Okutama, 1409m.





we did it...!


Our teacher, friend, philosopher and guide, 倉本先生




Clear blue sky, and a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji


      While climbing down (which can be mathematically modelled as a sinusoidal curve, owing to its up-and-down nature) , it started becoming pretty dark...but our spirits and inspiration were as bright as in the beginning...the moon did shine brightly upon us, which helped, but only a little...

       by the time we reached the foothill, we were completely exhausted. but the feeling of completing such a spectacular trek was strong enough to win over the tiredness....





Yuppie!! :-)









Comments

  1. Nice pictures.. Japan is surely a country to visit!

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  2. What an amazing trek, great photos!

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  3. Very pretty! Looks like a lovely trip!

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  4. So pretty! I would love to visit Tokyo one day.

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  5. Wow! Love the pics! Your giving me the travel bug!

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