It was hot yesterday! Now, frequent intake of water is essential for survival. The weather was reasonably good while it was not good enough for a clearer view of Tokyo Skytree and high rise buildings in the central Tokyo. Unfortunately, I myself could not see Mount Fuji from the peak of the mountain either due to some unwanted clouds while some of our guests were reportedly very much excited to have managed to faintly capture the graceful figure of the mountain, which was good.
Our guests were a group of foreign students studying the Japanese culture at Tokyo Metropolitan University led by their professor. They are from China, Hong Kong, some of the European countries and North America. We divided 15 students into two groups. Each group was guided by two TENGU members respectively.
The purpose of their visit to Mount Takao is to conduct a fieldwork on the attitude survey, especially, a craze for mountaineering among women. To that end, the survey by questionnaire was carried out on dozens of Japanese girls (or those who used to be girls).
So, the main job of the TENGU members this time was to secure as many opportunities as possible for the students to catch a group of “girls” for their survey rather than to guide them as sightseers.
Our original plan was that on the way we would be following Trail No. 1, which is the front approach to Yakuo-in Temple on foot to the peak of Mount Takao and that on the way back we would be taking a different route for a change by following Trail No. 6 or Inariyama Trail either of which is a nature trail again on foot.
Having said that, I had to change our group’s plan from the outset for one of the students. She was so exhausted coming back from her trip to Morocco two days ago without having any sleep the previous night due to heavy jet lag. While the US President says “America First!”, TENGU members say “Guests First!”. So, we immediately decided to take a chairlift on the way to make her trip easier. The students enjoyed the views from the chairlifts. The other group had no such an excuse for changing their plan. So, they had no choice but to take a longer walk to the peak of the mountain.
As the students stopped at various points from time to time on the way for the survey, it took a longer time to arrive at the peak of the mountain. Looks like it was fun both for the students and each group of girls (or those who used to be girls) to communicate with each other in English or Japanese and to take pictures together. It was also fun for us, the TENGU members to help their enjoyable communication.
Our group arrived at the peak of the mountain later than usual around 12:30 which was as a matter of course earlier than the other group. We had lunch there. Some of the students had to work even during the lunch time to finish their survey.
We took pictures at the peak of the mountain together with the students and their professor around 14:00 which was the end of the tour. By that time, the original plan was totally scrapped. On the way back, most of the students chose to take a cable car or a chairlift and their professor too while some of them chose to descend the mountain on foot. I myself came down the mountain with their professor who I understand is one year younger than I am. I had another enjoyable day!
Written by Shiro
Dated: 21 May 2017