Hanging with the goblin
Tokyo Travel Blog› entry 10 of 16 › view all entries
I wanted to explore some places i used to frequent as a kid, so i walked "off base" and commenced a very rigid search. I was able to find the "yen store", as we called it, very easily, but it was closed. This store holds many special memories, like the time my "friends" told me the refrigerator outside of the store contained free items. It made sense to my seven year old brain, if the cokes and ice cream was outside the store how can they charge for them, right? This lasted a few hours, when my mom found all the empties and inquired as to how i was able to afford such bounty on my paltry allowance (which was zero dollars). When i told her they were free, but for some strange reason she did not share my enthusiasm. Instead, she marched me over to the store to appologize for my transgressions.
Another landmark i wanted to find was a graveyard i used to walk by and sometimes spend time in because it was so beautiful. I know that sounds a bit macabre, but Japanese graveyards are quite unique and definitely peak the interest of seven year olds. My memory might have been a little off on this detail because i could not find any trace of a graveyard within walking distance of the base.
I did walk around the area for about an hour, and it is hard to put what i felt into words.
After my walk to remember, i got on a train to Takoasanguchi, otherwise known as Mt. Takoa. According to legend, a bulbous-nosed goblin lives up in the mountain. The trip took 40 minutes by train and costs 480 yen one way. At the base of the mountain, there are 4 trail heads, each varying in difficulty and length. They also have a cable car for the people allergic to exertion.
I took trail #1. The trail map boldly declared the hike would take an hour and 40 minutes. I took this as a challenge to my manhood, so i timed myself. Since during the summer, the trail is not decorated with blossoming flowers, i figured a quick jaunt up the mountain would be good for me.
Halfway up the mountain, the park contains a monkey exhibition. I like monkeys. But i dont like monkeys like this. Admission was 400 yen and was a total rip off. There were about 20 monkeys in a very small enclosure, doing what monkeys do when caged, they sat around looking bored.
I continued on to the summit. This summit does not have the usual "money shot" most summits have. Although, supposedly you can see the shy Mt Fuji on clear days, this of course, was not one of those clear days. The weather was hot and very humid, but it was raining from time to time which helped cool me down. I believe the hike would be more enjoyable during the spring months when all the flowers are in bloom.