Tokyo Diaries – Mitake-san

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Can it really be my second autumn in Japan already?

It’s Koyo season in Japan, when the locals get almost as obsessed with fall colors as they do with cherry blossoms.  The weather was perfect yesterday and the season at its peak up in the mountains (we’re still about a week shy in Tokyo proper) so I played hooky and headed up to Mitake-san for the day.

Mt. Mitake does qualify as a “Tokyo Diaries”, as it’s part of the Tokyo Metropolitan jurisdiction despite being about 90 minutes away by train.  I’d been there once before, on my first trip to Japan.  It’s an interesting place, one of the olders centers of mountain worship in Japan (tengus are big there).  The very impressive and ancient Mitake Jinja sits at the top of the mountain.

The weather was indeed ideal – about 13 degrees and bright sunshine – and the colors at peak, so I took a lot of pictures and did a lot of hiking.  Sadly due to a mishap with my camera’s SD card I had to switch to the smartphone camera about halfway through, so apologies for the poor quality of some of the photos.  I also climbed Mt. Hinode, a 900 meter peak about three miles away (I loved this tiny Shrine along the way) from Mitake-san (and paid for the descent with a very sore knee today) and stopped off at Tsuru Tsuru Onsen, which is at the base of Hinode.  The bottom of a mountain is just about a perfect spot for an onsen, and an onsen after a long day of hiking is pretty close to Heaven.

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  1. e

    Uwah the foliage's colours <3.
    Some experiences are well worth a sore knee *patpat* and playing hooky.

  2. e

    P.S.: gotta love the kappa bench

  3. S

    Lovely pictures! Autumn seems like a great time to visit Japan someday.

  4. Autumn is good – just realize that September is really still summer here, and quite likely to still be hot.

  5. H

    As with last year I'm amazed that fall comes so late to Japan, we hit our peak colors nearly a month ago and since Japan is even farther north than where I am (IIRC) I'm surprised. Regardless, it all looks quite lovely!

  6. R

    Second autumn already…time truly flies. These are beautiful photos, Enzo. The increase amount of work and studies lately has taken a toll on me — I'm feeling completely exhausted everyday. I wish that I were there to be surrounded by the beauty of nature and historic sites or to dive into an onsen and let all my fatigue be washed away. While that's not quite possible, at least I can get a little zen by looking at these photos, so thanks.

    I love autumn colours — love the red, orange, yellow and green against the clear blue sky — and the weather is the best of all seasons. Our autumn here is beautiful, too, but it came and went too fast that it's now snow everywhere. I'm quite jealous that it's 13 degrees there — it was -20ish last week here. Enjoy the beautiful koyo season there, Enzo, and share with us the beautiful photos of the season whenever you have time.

    P.S. some of your photos remind me of Uchouten — I guess it's really the colours.

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