Today’s guest was an elderly Australian gentleman, living in Japan（Kagoshima）for 2years with his wife. As he wanted to walk, rather than to take the cable car, we decided to climb up via No.1 trail. The weather being cloudy and the temperature being so low, we saw very few visitors when we started the tour at 9:30 am. , enabling us to walk and rest on our own pace.
After stopping at Konpiradai lookout, I showed him an exposed tree root on the roadside, which, to me, always looks like a kangaroo but to others, nothing but just an exposed root. As today’s guest was an Australian, I wondered how it would look to him. To my great joy, when I showed him the root, he instantly said that it’s a kangaroo! Please see the photo below.
We kept walking, enjoying the nature around. The guest told us that he was having some knee trouble caused by a skiing accident in his youth and had been eating a lot of avocados, believing someone’s advice that avocados would be good for knee trouble. Avocados might work but here in Mt.Takao, I told him, there is better cure for knee trouble. We took him to Jinben-do Hall near Joshinmon-Gate, where a famous mountain priest is enshrined, who is believed to have magical power to cure knee trouble and backache. Let’s see what will happen to his knee.
When we arrived at the summit, the sun showed the glimpse of its shy face and we could enjoy lunch feeling the warmth of the sunlight.
2 elderly Japanese hikers were having lunch at the same table, cooking “ODEN”, using portable burner. As it smelled so good, our guest, in spite of himself, murmured “Oh, what a nice smell! “. Hearing this, one of the hikers offered him a bowl of “ODEN” which he accepted with thanks and gladly emptied it. The hikers, the guest and us, guides were all happy with this happening.
(“ODEN” is one of the most popular winter Japanese food. It is a Japanese version of hodgepodge - Many different foods (soybean curd, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Japanese radish, kelp rolls etc.,) are boiled together in a large pot with a soup seasoned with soy sauce and dried bonito flakes. For your reference, I attach the photo of typical “ODEN” in the pot below.).
We walked down on Trail No.4 and then No.1 to the chair lift station. As Trail No.4., popular among visitors with its scenic suspension bridge, runs in tree-shaded area, the temperature there was so low as to make our fingers go numb. Nevertheless we enjoyed the wintery scenery, including needle ice formed here and there.
We safely arrived back at Kiyotaki station by the chair lift.
We are sure he enjoyed and was happy with the tour with us but he seemed to be happier that he can fly back to his lovely wife in Kagoshima the next day.
(Written by Nori)