A gentle hike in severe heat wave on July 24th

On the previous day at Kumagaya city, 60km north-west from central Tokyo, recorded 41.1 degrees Celsius, the highest ever in Japan. A deadly heat wave blistering across Japan has claimed more than 30 lives this month, with a little relief in sight as record temperatures are expected to persist until this week. The media reported that eleven people, mostly senior citizens, died of suspected heatstroke on Saturday July 21st alone.

Among these high-temperature and humidity, we guided a nice couple from Belgium. I and my colleague guide are also senior citizens though young in spirit. So, we were conscious to take the water and a rest at a good time. My colleague guide prepared a towel in which a refrigerant was put and bound a neck then cooled it.

We met at the exit of Takaosan-guchi station at 9:30AM. After introducing ourselves, we took cable car to half-way up, then took trail-1. Along this way, there are Octopus Cedar Tree, the first gate to the sacred area called Joshinmon gate, Jinben-do small shrine, and the stone monument of no killings. We took men’s slope that has 108steps of which number showing human’s worldly desires. At the Yuki-en, we explained the white structure of a stupa, where the ashes of Buddha were enshrined, which were given in 1931 by the king of Thailand. The woman of the couple was born and raised in Thailand. To this friend-ship, we thanked each other and wished to keep it.

We took lunch at summit. As we had thought we could not see Mt Fuji from there. Taking Fujimichi-trail then Cable car for going down. Coming back to the foot, near the station we dropped in the café bar then enjoyed drinking beer, coffee and tea. They were to go for one -week Kyoto trip from next morning. Now they are living in a small town in Belgium near the French border. So, during the stay in Kyoto, hoping to visit the small and calm town. We thanked and hoped them to enjoy the visit of Tokyo, Kyoto.   (Comson)


The tour on the 16th July 2018

Today's guests were 4 business men, 2 Israelis, an English man and a Japanese, all at their prime and hard workers. The all 3 foreign guests just arrived at Japan in the morning on the day but were fully ready to enjoy the tour, showing no trace at all of fatigue from their long flight. 
The recent weather at Mt.Takao had not been so good with frequent occasional rain and. the forecast we checked on the spot indicated a possible local thunder storm. Actually it was getting dark and the weather seemed to be deteriorating when we started the tour at 14:30. 
We took the cable car to the upper station, then walked to Yakuoin Temple via trail No.1 and to the top of the mountain. In spite of the weather forecast, we didn’t encounter any thunder storm and instead, the cloudy weather gave us cool breeze, making the hiking rather comfortable.  
On the way down, we took trail No.4 which crosses the popular suspension bridge. At this stage, some of the guests complained of sore foot muscle. We had planned to take the chairlift going down, but could not make it in time, because it stops operation at 16:30. So we took the cable car again and safely arrived back at the Kiyotaki Station around 17:30.  
During the tour, we learned that the guests were buyers and sellers, who were going to have tough negotiation the next day on. Wishing the successful negotiation, we bid each other goodbye there. Have a nice rest, all of you guys! 
Written by Nori


TENGU Tour with international students on July 7. 2018

We welcomed five international students from five countries who are taking part in JICA program. They are from Ghana, Palestine, Bangladesh, India and the Philippines. What an international tour it is! Besides, seven Japanese participated in the tour as a trial. We divided them into two groups and started to hike. Enjoy seeing photos of the tour, which are saying everything!
On the suspension bridge on Route #4
On the top of Mt. Takao
Sally, a TENGU guide, shows a participant how to purify oneself in Yakuo-in Temple.
In front of Shi-ten-o-mon, The Four Guardian Gods’ Gate

In the green forest
In front of the cable car
In the cable car
In front of a shrine called Izuna-Gongen-Do
A lot of Smiles after the tour

(Reported by HIDE)


Report on the tour of June 16

“Just walking in the rain” (Sorry. Only for the elderly) in Mt. Takao was a pure fun especially when we were prepared for it.These are photos taken mostly by our guests, young sisters from Singapore Vivian and Sharon accompanied with a Japanese friend of them,Masaki.

At the first lookout point on the trail No.1, Kompira.On a fine day, skyscrapers in Shinjuku area are visible.Yet.this is something, isn’t it?

In passing through upper chairlift station.Usually packed with people, but today, no one else!!
Lighting incense sticks before making a prayer.At the Main Hall.  Praying for what?
All members at the quiet summit. From left Sharon, Vivian, Ryo, myself, and Masaki.


The private tour on June 14,2018

The private tour on June 14 ,2018It was cloudy and occasionally fine. Our guest were a family of three from Singapore .We met them at the exit of KEIO Takaosan Guchi Station at around 9:30 a.m.  They were Mother, her son and daughter. After we exchanged greetings we confirmed necessary things to climb Mt. Takao . My colleague began her guide on the sweeper boy statue and explained about the flying squirrel bronze statues. I explained about trails on the guideboard, also..We took the cable car to ascend and they took many photos during the board. After we got off the cable car, we took them at the observatory area. Because of the cloudy day, we could not see the Tokyo-sky Tree Tower.We continued our guides on Octopus cedar tree, ridge way at the border between  different  climate zones. When I explained about a travelling butterfly, in other words Chestnut Tiger on the guide  board, they seemed to be impressed that it could move a long distance such as about 1,600kilo meter. When I explained about the reason why its larva makes a hole on the leave before eat it, they were impressed.When we arrived at the ground of Yakuou-In Temple, they did the demonstration to wash coins at the eight dragon’ hall wishing richness. Her son bought a 5 yen coin and fastened on the bar to find a good marriage partner.We arrived at the summit at around 12:10. And we took photo all together at the summit, 

We had lunch at the near the summit. After we finished lunch, my colleague instructed how to make a folded paper  crane.

They tried as hard as they could and made wonderful folding paper cranes. I believe they had good experiences and made good memories. The trail 4 was taken to descend.  During walking down , her son and daughter assisted their mother to be safe. They seemed to be enjoyed to walk on the MIYAMA bridge (suspension bridge).and took several photos.We continued to walk down to the foot of Mt. Takao and arrived there safely at around 3:10 p.m.





The JICA tour on June 2, 2018

It was a sunny day and a little bit hot.
At around 9:30, there were totally 15 persons from JICA arrived Takaosanguchi station, We divided them into 3 groups. A group, B group and C group.Ad I was one of the tour guides for B group.There were 6 guests in B group and all were women.They are from different countries, which are Vietnam,Mongolia, Sri Lanka( and Bhutan.)We set out at around 9:50 which was a little bit late than usual.On the way to the cable car station, the lady who comes from Mongolia bought a hat in a hat shop because it was quite hot and she didn’t have a hat.When we ride on the cable car, we gave a small guide to our guests that the cable car will bring us to the middle of mountain via the steepest slope of Japan.All of them were surprised and excited about it.After we got off the cable care, we arrived at the observatory area.Unfortunately, Tokyo sky tree tower wasn’t visible due to a lot of cloud.We continued our guides regarding regular spots from Octopus-cedar tree to Sengenjinjya Shrine. Since most of our guests are from Southeast Asia and they have religion of Buddhism, they showed big interests on our guides of temples. Because Mt.Takao contains both Buddhism and Japanese specific religion what is called Shinto in Japanese. When we got to the main hall of Yakuou-in temple, the lady who is from Mongolia brought a incense stick and burn it in the burner.It was our first time to see guest payed money for it. Though it just costs 100 yen, we thought that she is a rich people. We arrived at the summit at around 12:30. Unfortunately, Mt. Fuji wasn’t visible because of cloudy weather.Then we had a lunch at the top of Mt.Takao, after that we left at 13:00.We took the trail No.4 to get down the mountain.There is a bridge called Miyama bridge, which is a suspension bridge in trail No.4 Our guests were excited and took some photos when they walked cross the bridge.The most exciting moment for our guests was the chair lift, because it was first time for them to take the chair lift, and some of them were scared of it at the beginning, after we explained that it was a quite safe attraction, finally they told that they would like to try. When we reached to the KIYOTAKI station, all of them said that it was very exciting and they could see very fantastic view from chair lift. Lastly, they told that they were satisfied with the tour and we said goodbye to them at 2:30 PM.


Hiking tour on June 2nd

On this time of early June, the rainy season has been supposed to set in at Tokyo. Mt.Takao, located within an hour of down town Tokyo, has also been so without an exception. It is said the rainy season sets in from next week. The weather of today was fair with occasional clouds fortunately and we had 17 guests from JICA, 2 enrollment applicants to our club and university student who hoped to interview a guide. We were divided into three groups, each group for 2 or 3guides, then left about 9:40AM. The fresh green leaves made us pleasant.
We got on a cable car for going half way up then took Trail no-1. At the Kasumi-dai observatory, we could see plural buildings in the direction of central Tokyo. Usually we can recognize the skyscrapers of Shinjyuku, but today spring haze disturbed it. On the way to the Yakuo-in temple, guiding some spots then we enjoyed talking about the concerns they had after arriving japan.
We reached to top around noon, where were very crowed and spring mist also prevented to look for Mt.Fuji. We took lunch there with smaller groups or acquaintances. During lunch time an accident happened but to turn out to be all right later.
We took Fujimichi-way for going down which path was along many kinds of trees and fresh air was blowing in. It had been very comfortable. From Yakuoin-temple we joined Trail No-1 then taking chair-lift from the Sanjo-station riding 12 minutes to Sanroku-station. Around at 3PM, in front of Kiyotaki-Station which is for cable cars, we took photos together. Almost of the guests were first time to visit Mt.Takao and seemed to be having a lot of fun. That was our pleasure. 
Wishing this opportunity helps them to know more about Japanese unaffected nature, history and people, we finished this hiking tour. (Comson)


Blog for May22 Tour

Not using cable car is a theme for today.

And, we took the trail No.6 bearing in mind that we might go farther up to another peak called Kobotoke-Shiroyama reachable by a walk of some one hour from Mt. Takao.

Our guest, Ms. Connie a lady from Philippines, has a plan to climb up Mt. Fuji during her next visit to our country (the forth of her career), and this was a training for that event, a sort of.
So, we tried to walk a bit faster, or tried not to stop so often for guiding, though we were often forced to stop because of a big group of pupils of primary school of no less than 200.

She has a very good character of out-going, and was very talkative and even seemed to have no moment of silence.

So, my colleague Nosan and I had a quite easy time all day long.

Though we couldn’t reach the summit of Kobotoke-Shiroyama, and compromised at a plateau called Momiji-dai, she could complete the walking up and down all the way.

I thought it was quite something for her only on the second day of her journey after a long flight.
Thank you, and congratulations, Ms. Connie.         (by Sumo)


The tour on the 24th May

The tour on the 24th May,2018

Today’s guests were about 30 people, visiting Japan from all over the world for some important conference in Tokyo, who had decided to visit Mt.Takao for a break between their busy conference schedule. 

We, 4 guides for today’s tour, were waiting anxiously for the guests at Takaosanguchi railway station under ominous black clouds with occasional lightning and thunder.
They arrived at 2pm as scheduled and after introducing ourselves and giving them necessary advice for the tour, we started for the cable car station, when it began to rain.
Though they were well prepared for the rain, having vinyl rain coat, we were worried if we could give them an enjoyable tour.

The sky looked more and more ominous and when we arrived at the cable car station, we were told that the service had been suspended due to possible lightning and had to wait until the thunder cloud went away.

After 15minutes or so, the service resumed and we were in the cable car. When we arrived at the upper station, we found the black clouds had disappeared and the weather was rapidly improving. There, the guests were divided into 4 groups, each led by one of the 4 guides and the 4 groups started the tour separately.
A Chinese guest asked me if there was any guide who speaks Chinese but I was sorry that we are TENGU, Takaosan English Volunteer Guide Club!  

Because the starting time was late today (usually it is 9:30am), we planned to make Yakuoin-Temple our destination, without usual walk up to the top of the mountain. Thanks to the weather, not so many visitors were around, making it possible for us to proceed with the tour on our own pace and rather effectively in a limited time.

By the time when we arrived at Yakuoin-Temple, the sky was blue and even the sun was shining and we all, guests and us guides, were enjoying the beautiful fresh green all around.

Though October and November are the most popular season for Mt.Takao, May is equally splendid time to visit the mountain.

Having said this, I thought of beautiful scenery of the mountain in summer and winter time and I tell you that you will never be disappointed whatever time of the year you visit here. Come and see Mt.Takao not once but many times in different season!

We took the cable car down and arrived back at the lower station at 4:30 pm, 30minutes later than the scheduled time but it’s not bad, considering the circumstance.

We broke up there after taking group photo. Some of the guests were going to the public hot spa nearby. It must be the first experience for many of them and I am interested to know their impression.

We thank you, all the guests to join our tour and hope it mentally and physically refreshed you, who were to work hard the next day.

Written by Nori  


Report of JICA tour on May 5th, 2018

The pleasant wind, the brilliant sunlight and the fresh green leaves made us all feel happy.On such a beautiful day, we had 3 guests, lovely young ladies from JICA. “May 5th” is the Children’s Day in Japan and is also a national holiday. There were already so many hikers on the foot when we started the tour. Despite congestion, we were able to get on the cable car with little waiting time. 
Then we took Trail No.1 and headed to the summit via Yakuo-in temple. In front of the Wild Grass Garden, one of the guides introduced a famous HAIKU (Japanese shortest style of poems) sang about violets by Basho Matsuo. Mt. Takao is famous as a mountain of violets. The guests seemed to be impressed by it. 

We reached the top at 12:30 and fortunately we found vacant tables for lunch. After lunch, another guide gave a short lesson of ORIGAMI to the guests. She taught them how to fold “Japanese traditional helmet” which is a symbol for boys on Children’s Day. They were good at folding origami!  
For our return, we took Fujimichi way and chair lifts. While waiting for our turn to ride the chair lifts, we enjoyed eating ice cream or dumplings and chatting with guests. There we also took a photo with them together. Thanks to our wonderful guests, we had a great time with them. 
Written by Sally


The private tour on May 1. 2018

On 1st in May, we had guests from Australia. We got on the cable car and enjoyed its steepest part as always.
   Japanese beech tree close to the upper cable car station was bearing a lot of fruits or nuts.
We walked under sunshine filtering through various kinds of  leaves.

We took lunch at Momiji-dai further to the top. And descending by trail 4. During the day, we spent in the greenery of the mountain forest.                      Written by Kate


The private tour on April 21,2018

Today we had two guests from USA (Houston). They are working colleague in the same BBQ restaurant there, so we had a lot of talk about Japanese food. They liked Sushi, but they were not good to use chopsticks.

We got on the cable car that is the steepest in Japan, so they said it’s like a roller coaster in amusement park. We pretended to release hands hold, Yippee ! When we reached to Takao BBQ garden. They were so excited because they work in a BBQ restaurant, as mentioned above. On the observation deck there, we had really nice view.

At Yakuo-in temple, we saw mountain priests and their fire ritual. They cast a question, whether or not a priest can get married. We explained now Buddhism society is modernized, so they can get married. They live in the temple outside Mt. Takao and commute to here. Sometimes they drive a car.

 At the top of mountain, we could see Mt. Fuji, and it’s so nice weather and so warm. We are so lucky.
We got down by the chair liftenjoying the grand view. They seemed to have enjoyed the tour very much and we, too, enjoyed the tour with them.
 (by Guchi)


A very unique tour on the 15th April, 2018

Today’s tour was a very unique one because I did not have to explain about things nor to speak English. 
The guests were from a TV production company in Holland who came to Mt. Takao to make a documentary with the theme of “Japanese love of nature”.
They had contacted us wanting to hike the mountain with our elderly member(s) to interview them on the way.
The guests of 6 consisted of a lady Director, a male interviewer, a cameraman, all from Holland, a Dutch and an American gentlemen, who are residents in Japan and helped the Dutch crew to make various arrangements here and a Japanese lady who was a friend of the crew and to be interviewed as one of hikers. 
I felt relaxed when we were told to speak Japanese and no English. Actually I found that the interviewer (once lived in Saitama, Japan) and the two Japanese residents speak fluent Japanese. 
We met them at the Takaosanguchi station around 9:30 and after discussing the day’s plan, we decided to take the cable car up, then going to the top via Trail no.1 and going down via Trail no.4 and no.1, coming back at the Kiyotaki Station at the foot of the mountain by the chair lift. 
Before we set out, they fixed me (and the Japanese lady) with a microphone and a recorder
I was a bit nervous about the interview because I had been told that they were interested in the cultural/social background of our love of nature and I didn’t know how to answer but once interview started, I did not feel that I was being interviewed and instead, found myself enjoying the conversation with a new friend. 
I had totally forgotten about the microphone and the recorder and hope I didn’t mention anything inappropriate.
The interviewer was a handsome young man as tall as 186cm. Dutch people are known to be tall and according to him, the average height of Dutch male is 183cm and that of female is 174-5 cm. I asked him what kind of food makes Dutch people so tall, then he said maybe kale was the answer. I should have known that much earlier!
Though we were worried about the weather, the tour went well as scheduled without rain. 
After lunch at the noodle restaurant at the top, we started going down to the chairlift station 
I must mention that Mark, the Cameraman did his hard job very well, running ahead of us all the time, carrying heavy equipment. Thank you and well done, Mark!
According to them, they will edit the shooting this time to 15minutes program and hopefully sell it to Dutch National TV.
So broadcasting the program on National TV has not yet been guaranteed, but seeing and joining their effort here today, I really hope they will be successful.
Thank you, all of you. It was a great and enjoyable experience for me and thank you for the delicious waffle you gave me as a souvenir from Holland. 

Written by Nori

Report on the regular tour of the 15th April 2018

A guest for April regular tour was a young couple from Malaysia. They were using 15 days holidays for going around Tokyo and found Mt, Takao on the top of the list for Hachioji tourism. Unfortunately it had been raining since the previous night and still raining in that morning. It was a big disappointment for me kept checking the weather forecast for a week. However the rain was getting weak gradually and almost stopped by the time I arrived at Mt, Takao. Is it a miracle? No, I knew because we had a “hare onna” (a women brings the sun wherever she goes) in our member and her power was strong enough to send away rain! 

When we started to walk toward the Yakuoin Temple, the pass was getting covered with a white mist. How mysterious! It looked like proving the words “this mountain is filled with spirit”
The guest’s main plan was to see senbonzakura in Icchodaira but it was already over so we decided to go down from the top after lunch. There remained some yaezakura (double-flowered cherry tree) or sidarezakura (weeping cherry tree) on the way and they enjoyed taking photos of them.
In addition to our tour, an exciting event for us was going on. Dutch national TV asked TENGU to help make their program. One of the members of our club offered the help and we hiked together. Our hare woman was also interviewed and filmed. It seemed to be well done.
Before the tour, I had a lot of worry about weather or so on. But it turned to be a nice day thanks to the guest whose smile was impressing and my colleague. I asked the guest if they cared about rain on the special day. They said “Not so much. Because we have some rain almost every day in Malaysia” I learned I should take it easy and things go well.