Friday, July 20, 2007

Vending Machines at the Top of the World

This week I climbed mount Fuji. Its not an impressive accomplishment once you realise the number of retired people who reach the summit everyday, but it was still good fun. I climbed it with a couple of my foreign friends who I often go hiking with here. We started climbing at about 9pm so we would reach the summit at sunrise. Yes, yes, its very Japanese climbing a mount for a photo opportunity, but I have to say climbing a fog covered mountain by torch light is one of the most surreal experiences I can imagine.

It was foggy when we started so pretty much all you could see was the beam of your flash light fading into the middle distance. But once we got above the fog the view was excellent. Stars, so many stars, including 23 shooting ones. It was a nice change from the Tokyo sky where I've never seen more than 6 stars at any one time...

The climb isn't actually too bad, a well marked trail and to be honest, restaurants every 500 meters or so. We stopped at about 3000m for a bowl of noodles in a restaurant that didn't really look a lot different than the ones where I normally eat dinner. Got to the top at about 3.30am, and watched a reasonably unimpressive sunrise. Once the sun was up however the view was magnificent, like the cloud layer seen from an air plane, except there was a mount rising up from it under your feet.

Oh and I cant remember who it was I joked to about there being vending machines everywhere in Japan, and suggested there was probably even a few on the way up mount Fuji. I was wrong, they are not on the way up, they are at the summit! (oh and a bottle of coke costs about $6)

No comments:

This page has been responsible for distracting Free Counters people since 18/11/2007.