At 9:00 am. we met our guests just out of the ticket gate of the Takaosanguchi Station on the Keio Line.
We, then, followed Trail 1 which is the front approach to Yakuo-in Temple.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 from Kasumi-mae Observation Deck. Although we saw a lot of foreign tourists, Trail No. 1 was not too much crowded unlike on weekends at this time of the year.
When we reached the fork on Trail 1 and we were pressed for a decision as to which route we should choose, “Otoko-zaka” (with 108 stone steps), literally, the Slope for Men on the left side or “Onna-zaka”, literally, the Slope for Women on the right side, the father and his daughter chose Otoko-zaka and the mother chose Onna-zaka.
Even detouring to Yuki-en located at a little elevated place between Otoko-zaka and Onna-zaka where our guests enjoyed the photogenic white Thai style stupa taking some pictures there around 10:40 am, we were still able to arrive at the precinct of Yakuo-in Temple by 10:50 am.
Our guests enjoyed some shopping in the grounds of Yakuo-in Temple and purchased some of the good luck charms.
Unfortunately, by spending a little too much time for shopping, when we arrived at the main hall of Yakuo-in Temple at 11:10 am, the 3rd performance of fire ritual by the monks called “Goma Fire Ritual” had already begun.
Consequently, we failed to witness the procession of Buddhist monks on the way to or from the main hall of Yakuo-in Temple.
I hope that our guests have well understood the difference between (i) the main hall of Yakuo-in which has the Buddhist temple like appearance except for being decorated with a “shimenawa”, a twisted rice straw rope with a cut and folded white paper symbolizing Shinto and (ii) Izuna Gongen-do Hall which has the Shinto shrine like appearance except for being equipped with an incense burner symbolizing Buddhism.
We explained to our guests that the essence of Japanese culture is “fusion” and one of the most important concepts in the Japanese culture is “harmony”.
Although we arrived at the peak of Mt. Takao well before noon, unfortunately, the air was not clear and dry enough to see Mt. Fuji.
Instead, I showed a picture of Mt. Fuji viewed from the peak of Mt. Takao explaining (jokingly) that they should have been able to see it if they had behaved a little better.
After having lunch
there, we took photos together with our guest at 0:20 pm.
We left the peak of the mountain around 0:30 pm after taking the picture of our guests in front of the monument indicating that the mountain is at an altitude of 599 meters.
On the way back, we took a different route by following, firstly Trail 1, switching to “Iroha no Mori Trail”, then switching to Trail 4 going through a suspension bridge called "Miyama-bashi Bridge", which was one of the highlights on that route where we took photos of our guest again, and then came back to Trail 1.
We continuously walked down Trail 1 via Konpiradaienchi (Konpiradai Observation Deck) which also commands a nice view of Tokyo.
Eventually, we came back to the foot of the mountain at 2:15 pm and took photos with our guests again in front of the Kiyotaki Station (i.e. the cable car station).
Then, we said “good-bye” to them, which was the end of the tour.
Some people may notice that my partner as a tour guide from the TENGU members switched from Nabe-san (who left the tour at the chair lift station on the way back) to Comson-san who took over the position of Nabe-san after playing another his role as a volunteer tour guide for Japanese visitors at Mt. Takao on the same day.
What a great teamwork, isn’t it?