Go West...

Like to hike? If you spend all your time in central Tokyo you probably have no idea how close you are to some great nature adventures, unless of course you read blogs like Kurashi... It is that time of the year when the weather gets better and if you want some fresh air, head out to Hanno and the Oku Musashi Mountains, or why not Chichibu where the real fun begins. Most tokyoites don't seem to realize how far west into the wilderness the Metropolis stretches:

...into areas like Oku-Tama, part of the Chichibu-Tama National Park - a 1250-km2 expanse of mountains, forests, river sources and rural towns and villages, around the convergence of Tokyo's western extent with Saitama, Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures. These mountains offer many of the more serious hiking experiences within easy reach of Tokyo proper.

That's from Ai Chaobang's blog, check out his post about Mitake-san and Ōdake-san about 2 hours or so west from central Tokyo on the JR Ome line.

Check train times over at the  Hyperdia (E).

Even better, read about his crazy February hike from Shomaru station on the Seibu Ikebukuro line, just when the entire world up here in Sai-no-kuni had been blanketed with not one, but two great snowstorms. He managed to make it to Izugatake and the Ne-no-Gongen temple and then back to Agano station, and did I mention the snow?

This video shows what it looks like the rest of the year, without the snow...


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