2019年10月9日水曜日

JICA Tour on Oct.5, 2019


Not a cloud in the sky!!

The shining sun welcomed the 10 guests from six counties. They came to Japan through the programs of JICA, Japan International Cooperation Agency.  

We all got together in front of the Takao-san Guchi Station and introduced ourselves in turn, and then started the tour.  

We got on the cable car to go halfway up the mountain.  As soon as we got out of it, the sweet flavor came drifting in the air. There was no reason not to try “Tengu-yaki”, Tengu-shaped pancake with sweet bean paste inside, which is the bestseller in the mountain.

Smile with “Tengu-Yaki”
Walking along the Trail #1, we ran into a group of Japanese women wearing travel costumes of the Samurai Era. They were so friendly that they could hit it off with our international group right away!!
Together with women wearing Kimono
On the top of the mountain, we enjoyed an activity all together after lunch. One of our guides, Chiko, suddenly opened a piece of large paper in front of us and started to explain about Japanese word chain game and its song titled “ Kobuta(piggy), Tanuki(Raccoon dog), Kitsune(Fox), Neko(Cat)”, and then we started to sing the song all together. Surprisingly, people from six countries mastered the Japanese song quickly and started to sing it in chorus. For them, it was no problem even though its rhythm was getting faster and faster.
Fun Activity after lunch presented by Chiko

Top of Mt. Takao


We started to go down the mountain, using the trail #4. Though it is tougher than the trail #1, people from JICA appeared to hike happily in the pristine nature. 
Hiking on the Trail #4
We dropped by at the trees hugging each other that are called “Love Love Trees” and the suspension bridge. These two are the best photo spots on the trail #4.




In front of “Love Love Trees”



On the Suspension Bridge
We returned to the middle of the mountain and from there we went down to the foot of the mountain by using the chair lifts that is one of the highlights of today's tour. As soon as getting off the lift, one of the gusts said to me, “What a fun ride!! I want to ride the lift again by going halfway up the mountain from now.” I laughed.
Smiles on the chair lift
We got together on the foot of the mountain to take a group photo, and we again sang the song of “Kobuta, Tanuki, Kitsune, Neko” in chorus, saying goodbye to each other with a big smile.
 (Reported by HIDE)





2019年9月9日月曜日

JICA Tour on Sep.7, 2019


Today we have 15 guests from JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency). They come to Japan to take part in JICA training from 12 countries, such as Myanmar, Philippine, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Mongolia, Iraq, Montenegro, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Botswana and Egypt.

It’s a very hot day, so some participant changes his T-shirt 3 times.
(Later I know it’s a record high in temperature at September.)
We got on the cable car that is the steepest in Japan.
Because of high temperature, a train company provide free handy fan
at the station.



  

 Mt.Takao has 599 M in high and has many steps to the peak.
At the top of mountain, some member are short of breath, but we tell them that the nature of Mt.Takao purify your spirit and get rid of your suffering, that is called 108 worldly sins in Buddhism, so you made it !

At the peak of Mt.Takao









At Lunch time









We ask the participants to fill out tourism questionnaire.
Because people to answer this questionnaire, tourist information center provide a small present (Japanese traditional item)

Today we are so lucky, because Mt.Takao has special event of fire ritual.
That is Buddhism event to burn cedar tree, that symbolize Buddha’s wisdom to burn away your 108 worldly sins. Here again we are purified !



Although it’s a hot day, all guests seem to enjoy our tour and we also enjoy the tour with them.





 (by Guchi)

2019年9月2日月曜日

TENGU August regular tour



TENGU August regular tour was held on August 18 (Sunday). It was a typical Japanese summer day, hot and humid and far from the confortable day, but the weather condition did not spoil our Mt. Takao tour. We had four young guests from overseas, Canada ,USA and Taiwan ,and one Japanese observer who had great interest to join to our volunteer group. A Canadian gentleman was in intern course in a Japanese university, ladies from Canada and USA came to Japan recently under the Assistant English language scheme. A lady from Taiwan was a university student reading social welfare.    
Four TENGU members, slightly aged but with full of energy, hosted the four young guests.
As usual we met at the Takaosanguchi station and caught a cable car at 10:15AM and then took the trail No1 toward Mt. Takao summit. Due to high humidity and hazy the visibility was poor, could see neither Shinjuku skyscrapers nor Mt.Fuji. what a pity !



TENGU staff explained several interesting and historic points on the way to the top e.g. Monkey center, Octopus tree, Buddhist and Shinto Temple, Tengu(long- nosed goblin), nature of the Mt. Takao, Buddhist relic stupa, Goma ritual at Yakuouin temple, etc. etc.
Even though it was the weekend and middle of the summer vacation season, the mountain trails were not very busy and enjoyed the walking and chats.

During the lunch time, some of our guests were attacked by mosquitos, to minimize casualties we should prepare Katori-sennko(mosquito coil) next time.

After lunch we walked down to the station, taking the trail No.4, which was via popular suspension bridge, and arrived at Takaosannguchi. Surprisingly or/and fortunately, Hikawa jinja shrine near the train station held regular summer festival on that day. Guests showed great interests to the Festival costume ,Omikoshi(portable shrine) and colorful decoration for Bon dancing and several stalls.
However, time was rather limited for us, we had to greeted each other and declared the finish of today’s TENGU tour just before 3:00pm. It was another great and enjoyable day !




 Written by Tad,

2019年8月5日月曜日

Report of JICA tour on 3rd August

After a long rainy season, a harsh summer has come. Today, we have 4guests from Myanmar, Pakistan, and Jordan, and have a visitor. We started the tour on time. In spite of a high WBGT, many people were in front of the station.

 We took the cable car at 10 a.m. and enjoyed nice scenery.  Around the upper Cable car station, mountain lilies and Chestnut Tigers Butterfly welcomed us.


A lot of religious structures are on the way to Yakuo-in Temple and in the temple. Our guests were very interested in them. Therefore our guides could explain with passion・・・for example, about worldly desires, relationship with Shintoism and Buddhism, Izunadaigongen that is the principle image of Yakuo-in temple and so on.
 Under strong sunshine, we went up many steps to the top of the mountain. It was like a hard training for mountain monks!

 We reached the top at 12:30. Today, Mt. Fuji was covered with clouds. Our member reserved benches for our lunch time. So, we could have lunch smoothly. After that, we made cranes from special Japanese paper.
At 1:15, we went down trail 1Irohanomori-trailtrail 4trail1at last, we took a chair lift. It was the highlight of today’s tour. Because, it was exciting and we could see a nice view. We had to say good-by at the lower Cable car station. We hope today’s tour will be a good memory of our guests.





(written by Kate)

2019年7月8日月曜日

“Wish Upon a Star” Tour with guests from JICA



The day before Tanabata, the Star Festival. We welcomed seven guests from seven countries. They are from Libya, Nigeria, Zambia, North Macedonia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, and Cambodia who are taking part in JICA program. 


Today’s hiking tour was so special. After having lunch on the top of the mountain, we all enjoyed experiencing Tanabata, one of Japanese cultures. We sang a song of Tanabata-sama, Japanese children’s song, and wrote their wishes on colorful paper strips in their mother tongue, and then hung them on bamboo branches, wishing upon a star.

Explaining today’s routes before the tour

In the cable car
Observation Deck
Jyo-Shin-Mon Gate (Spiritual Purification Gate)
Shi-Tennoh-Mon Gate( Four Guardian Gods Gate)
Water Basin for Purification
Writing their wishes on the colorful paper strips
Their first experience of Tanabata
Happy smiles after the tour

Hope their wishes come true

(Reported by HIDE)

2019年5月25日土曜日

Private tour on 22th May


Because of the unusual storm yesterday, we had a very few hikers today. Ideal mountain walk, pleasant breeze, fresh green trees after the rain and a congenial company, what more do you wish for. We were greeted by gorgeous “Sekkoku” (Dendrobium)in full bloom at the cable car station. There was another pinkish one at the arrival. A GOOD START!
                                       
Our guests today know Japan quite well. They are Japanese American and come here twice a year. They even walked the Kumano Kodo Trail- 8 hours long hike. Probably most of our guides have never walked that world heritage pilgrimage road. They visited Bonsai garden in Saitama. Jody makes bonsai himself and bought a rhinestone container as a gift for himself.
In front of Iizunagongendo, Keita used his beautifully illustrated chart of Shinto and Buddhism and Shugendo syncretism.
At noon there were a lot of small children having lunch and playing near our usual resting place. At our secret hideout, all tables were open. We had a comfortable lunch, but at about the end of our meals, caterpillars here and there. More and more we noticed on the rucksack, on the shirt, on the pants and so forth. That’s right, we had the information of the recent outburst of Kiashidokuga caterpillars from our colleague. Time to leave.
On the trail No.4 Keita pointed out, Gaku-utsugi, Maruba-utsugi- white tree flowers along the way, and Ebine. We also noticed a lot of Yukinoshita and Shaga flowers on No.1 trail.
Jody kept rotating the wheel of perception stones every time he found one. Each time he got the sign, he was asked what it was by two ladies. Twice he got the “tongue” out of six senses. On that Patricia’s comment, you got it again “ Watch out your tongue.” He likes gardening and has all kinds of flowers and plants. He said, “ I like plants. They don’t talk back to you”

We were glad that Nancy could join us, because Patricia seemed to enjoy talking with Nancy all along the way. I’m sure they enjoyed each others company.
Thank you for good ice cream at 599 museum and a gift of GODIVA chocolate 
for each of us.   
With fond memory Ryo.
                                                                                    

                                                                                                            

2019年5月8日水曜日

Monthly regular tour 21st April, 2019 No.2


We had 12 guests today, who were divided into 2 groups, namely a group going up by the cable car and one climbing up on foot. This blog covers the climbing up on foot group, consisting of 7 guests and 3 TENGU guides (Shin, Keita and Kimie).
 We chose Trail No.6 to climb up because one of the guests said, “I would like to be healed by rich nature.”Indeed, Trail No.6 has rich nature such as many plants, animals, beautiful stream and a big waterfall.

We climbed up with twice short break then we arrived the summit.

 We went down Trail No.1 going through Yakuoin Temple. The 7 guests were very interested in Yakuouin Temple.

 We were so lucky to see inside of Buddhist Stupa because today was the day of the Spring Festival of Yakuoin Temple.


We used Chair Lift to go down and we said good bye in front of Kiyotaki station.

I want to see them again.          (by Kimie)