Report on the TENGU Tour held on 20 May 2017

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


Wives are working and we are walking! May12

Luckily for us, it was a perfect day for hiking.
Our guests were 10 foreigners from various countries, such as Germany, Spain, Philippine, Scotland, the US and 3 Japanese.
They visited Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in the morning and had lunch at Rokuzan-Tei, which is located near Takaosanguchi station, then came to Mt. Takao. Their wives or mothers attended the congress at the central Tokyo on that day.
They said, “Our wives are working and we are walking!”

This tour started from 2 pm and was planned to be back to the foot until 4:30. We took the cable car as soon as possible.
After we reached the upper Cable car station, we asked them to be divided into two groups; A-group who wants to go to the summit and B-group who doesn’t need to go to the summit.

I took charge of A-group. Guests were 5 middle-aged men, 2 young men and a woman. I briefly guided Octopus Cedar tree, Joshin Gate, Jimpen Hall, Men’s Slope & Women’s Slope, Donators’ names, Four Heavenly Kings’ Gate, Temizuya, Tengu statues, Yakuo-in Main Hall, Izunagongen-dou.
The schedule was so tight that A-group had to hurry to the top.

They seemed to enjoy hiking, listened to me and gave me some interesting questions.
“Why are those stone statues wearing red bibs and hats?”
“Why are many Japanese people wearing white masks?”
“Why do Japanese women put their hands on their mouths when they laugh?”

Tim took charge of B-group. Guests were a ten-year-old girl & her mother, two men and a woman.
B-group went to the observation tower at first and enjoyed the scene from there. Then they walked to Yakuo-in Temple and enjoyed plenty of free time in the precinct.

A-group reached the summit about 3:15 and had a short break. Unfortunately we couldn’t see Mt Fuji. So I showed them a picture of clear Mt Fuji instead. They took a picture of that picture. At 3:30 we began to descend. This time we walked on Fuji-Michi. After joining B-group, we took the down cable car together.

Around 4:30, in front of Takaosanguchi station, we said good-bye to them and went to their bus to see them off.
Surely both we and guests had a good time.

Written by A.Suzuki


JICA tour on 6 May

We had JICA tour on May, 6th. Our troop consisted of 3 Cambodia guests and 11 TENGU guides, it was so gorgeous. It was held in the Golden Week, the most crowded week in Japan, so we took personal supporter system today because it was protection for a stray person.

It was a fine day and a lot of kind young leaves are so beautiful. It was warm enough to make us sweat. We guided some points, Sweeper boy, Japanese great flying squirrel, Octopus cedar tree, Joshin gate, Jin Pen hall, Joyful park, TENGU bench cedar, Four heavenly kings gate, TENGU statue, Main temple, Great god Izuna hall. It was not so clouded. We saw beautiful Mt. Fuji on the peak and have lunch. We enjoyed so much.

People can eat Shojin cuisine with no appointment in monk’s restaurant of Yokuoin temple. There is a signboard for it, "Young leaves dish". We felt the temptation to go there and eat it today.



Report on the TENGU Tour held on 4 May 2017

It was a fine day of a golden week, consecutive national holidays of Japan, therefore Mt. Takao had many climbers even around 9:30 in the morning when we started our tour. Guests on that day were three ladies from Republic of the Philippines. It was their first visit of Mt. Takao. On the way, they took many pictures so that they would share them with their friends. They said that Mt. Takao was very popular and their friends would enjoy those photos and feel happy for their visit. 

 We took trail 1 and enjoyed the scenery of downtown Tokyo area with Sky tree tower from several viewing platforms. On our way, three Japanese guides also enjoyed learning Tagalog language from the visitors. Listening to the explanations from the guides, spinning several wheels of purification of the six roots of perception, the visitors seemed to get to know Japan more than before. It is good to know one aspect of Japan though climbing Mt. Takao. 

 We passed a wayside teahouse at 11th level around 11 o’clock and arrived at the summit about 12:30. We were so happy to see a good view of Mt. Fuji from there. We were supposed to take a chair lift to go down but we had to wait about one hour because of the long line. We decided to descend on foot instead of taking the chair lift. The visitors were a little disappointed but they were optimistic and said they would come back again on fall, one of the best seasons of visiting Mt.Takao. 

Coming back to the foot of the mountain around 3:30 pm, we said "Good-bye". We were unwilling to part from each other, though.  The guides hoped they would enjoy Mt. Takao again in autumn because it has attractive points in every season.

Written by Carrie