The guests were 2 Singapore ladies. They have visited Japan more than once before but this was their first visit to Mt.Takao.
It was a fine crisp morning when we started the tour at 10 A.M. As the autumn color of the tree leaves was past its prime, the number of visitors was much less, compared with the one in the prime season in middle to end of November, thanks to which, we could enjoy relaxed and leisurely walk all the way.
We started the tour, as usual, with the explanation of the statue of the Sweeper Boy near the Kiyotaki cable car station, because it is the symbol of the success of “No garbage left behind” campaign and I always want to convey to our guests the importance of the rule.
Then we moved to the nearby 2 statues of the Giant Flying Squirrel, supposed to be a couple. When you have a chance to see the statues, please find their baby, who is hiding somewhere.
We took the cable car to the upper station, where we explained about the tunnels of the Metropolitan loop highway. Then we went up to the Beer Mount , not for beer but for the panoramic view therefrom. The trail No.1 took us to the Monkey Park, the Octopus Cedar Tree and Joshinmon Gate. Like in other occasions, the guests from Singapore made our job as a guide much easier because of their ability to read and understand Chinese characters that appear here and there on the way..
We made it to Yakuoin Temple, then to the summit. Mt.Fuji showed only its indistinct top in the cloud. We had lunch at the table which we happened to share with a 90years old Japanese hiker, who, to our surprise, walked all the way up to the summit alone. He seemed to be happy to talk to our guests (through our interpretation) and seeing our guests eating “ONIGIRI”, rice balls, he offered them “Takuan”, yellow pickled radish. “ONIGIRI” and “TAKUAN” for Japanese is like “Bread and Butter” for Western People. So his offer was out of kindness and quite natural from his view point but as “Takuan” smells, foreign people may need to be accustomed to it. So our guests accepted his goodwill only.
After lunch, we started climbing down. On the way up, we had asked our guests if they felt cold and they said they felt cold. We asked the same question on the way down and their answer was they felt very very cold. Oh, we were sorry for the guests from Singapore, a land of everlasting summer.
We took the chair lift going down and it must have been freezing cold for the guests but to our relief, it seemed that the grand view from the chairlift more than compensated their physical hardship.
We safely arrived back at the Kiyotaki Station and the tour ended there with thanks for each other, our thanks for their joining our tour and theirs for our making the tour interesting and enjoyable for them. We had another good day!
Written by Nori