Today’s guest was a young happy lady from Singapore (She had a reason to be happy).
Her plan according to her tour application was to start around noon and walk all the way, up and down. We were worried that starting time would be too late for such a walking tour, considering the time required and sunset at around 4:30 pm. and so we explained to her. But she had planned it even before she arrived in Japan and wanted to carry out the long cherished plan. As “GUEST FIRST” is our important policy, we gladly decided to follow her plan.
We started the tour around noon with the explanation of the statues of “Sweeper Boy” and “Giant Flying Squirrel”, then took Trail No.1. Though it’s a week day, the beautiful weather brought many visitors to Mt.Takao and Trail No.1 had more hikers than usual. We stopped at Kompiradai lookout, which commands a good view of distant skyscrapers in Shinjuku and the famous row of yellow colored gingko trees along the route 20 that is running through Hachioji City, to which Mt.Takao belongs. Just for your information, a gingko tree is the symbol tree of Hachioji city and the city is hosting “Gingko Tree Festa” in November every year (Nov.18 and 19 this year).
We kept walking up, enjoying the scenery of forest and colored leaves. We saw many families with kids who were singing and smiling, that made us smile.
Oh, I forgot to tell about the guest and why she was a happy guest. She had visited Japan many times before with her family or friends, and this time, she accompanied her fiancé, who is visiting Japan for business. So now you understand why she was a happy guest. I tell you that she did really look one.
Arriving at the cable car station (upper station), we showed her the gaping hole of the ceiling there that is a nest of the flying squirrel, as well as the highway tunnels that can be seen from the station, with a small story about the similar tunnels running under Mt.Takao. Then we covered Beer Mount(one of the best lookouts at Mt.Takao), Monkey park, Takosugi(Octopus Cedar Tree), Two climate zones with their distinctively different trees, Johsinmon Gate , Otokozaka(Men’s Slope), Yukien(literally means Joyful Garden, where there is a stupa with Buddha’s ashes enshrined) to reach to Yakuoin Temple Main Hall, then to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see Mt.Fuji, we enjoyed the autumn leaves, red and yellow all around over lunch there. Then we started going down around 3:00pm via Trail No.4, crossing the popular Hanging Bridge en route and then back on Trail No.1. We all had agreed beforehand that whether to fully walk down or to take the chair lift down should be decided when we arrive at the chairlift station, taking into consideration the guest’s condition and the length of the waiting queue for the chairlift . When we arrived at the station at around 3:30, we were told we would have to wait for 45minutes or so. We, however, decided for the chairlift (not because she was tired but we wanted to show her and she wanted to see, the beautiful scenery from the chairlift). Luckily we didn’t actually have to wait so long and could soon get on the chairlift, fully enjoying the splendor of aerial autumn view.
Thanks to the happy guest and good weather, we had a really good time and hope she enjoyed the beauty of Mt.Takao and the tour with us.
We saw her off at Takao station, who was joining her fiancé for dinner. We are sure she had another good time. (Written by Nori)