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June 2009


Rakkyo, pickles in vinegar

A raw Rakkyo (ラッキョウ) is sold at the limited season from May to June. The Rakkyo is growing in the wild from the central part to the eastern part in China, and this neighborhood is considered to be the place of origin. It was thought that it was already transmitted in the ninth century and called it Ohmira, and it was used for medical use in Japan.Dscf8651s

The form of the Rakkyo resembles an echalote, but the Rakkyo is different from an echalote. The Rakkyo has a smell similar to garlic with a same kind as vegetables such as an onion and the garlic. Because allyl sulfide peculiar to leeks is included in Rakkyo and makes absorption of the vitamin B1 better, it is still loved from many users as a strong and stamina food.
In addition, about the effectiveness, it is said that good for digesting, calming intestinal disorders, sterilization detoxification and mitigating a poor circulation. As main ways of eating a Rakkyo, preserving in salt and pickles in vinegar are typical ways.
I will write about how to make a Rakkyo (pickles in vinegar), next time.


Chichibu-Ontakesan Mountain in Saitama Pref.

Yesterday, I went up Chichibu-Ontake Mountain (秩父御岳山) at Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture. Dscf8400s Mt.Chichibu-Ontakesan is religious mountain from old times. Chichibu_ontakesan

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Climb up Chichibu Ontake Mountain

Dscf8258s I started to walk from the Mitsumineguchi Terminal Station of Chichibu Railway. Many person uses a bus line from Mitsumineguchi Station to the entrance of mountain path.Dscf8262s
Mountain path has three entrance route. My selection was the route from Kowaishi.

Dscf8309s The distance from Mitsumineguchi Station to the start of a trail up the mountain is about 2km. I took a walk to see a Chichibu ravine area.Dscf8269s

In the middle of the mountain path to the summit, the god had been seated in front of a trail. I prayed a safety of this trekking.
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It has a very sharp narrow ridge, a lot of rock zone and very steep ascent around the summit. Although there is a rope and chain, you have to concentrate your attention to your steps. If you let your legs slide, it will be serious injuries.
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The summit of the mountain

Dscf8398s Dscf8400s_3 The summit has a small shrine. The descending way near the summit from a mountain to Ochiai (落合) is a steep downslope. Although there is a rope and chain, you have to concentrate your attention not to slide.
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Descent from the mountain

In a course of a descent from the mountain, I walked on the mountain path along the mountain stream.
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I could see a lot of small falls, it was beautiful.Dscf8522s
In a descent, the first destination was to Ochiai, and next main destination was to Otaki Onsen (大滝温泉) that would be given a rest and a hot spring.

In this mountain path, I slipped on a steep rock and have hit my back head slightly. A stiffness of my boots sole are very stiff, it have been giving me a slip risk. I thought that I ought to change my boots.

Dscf8566s Dscf8576s Dscf8586s

Dscf8588s I found a drinking water from the mountain near the Mitsumineguchi Station. It is about 1km from the station. The place has a parking area. The water flow was guided by a small pipe from a small waterfall that could be seen. The water was flowing continuously and rhythmically. The plate says it as "drinkable water". (N35.95218, E138.96481)

Course :
(start) Mitsumineguchi Station (三峰口駅) (N35.959968, E138.978571)(10:18am)
-> Kowaishi (強石) (The gate of trail start) (N35.952417, E138.963161)(10:58am)
-> Sugino Pass (杉ノ峠)(N35.95028, E138.95080)(11:54am)
    The God of the mountain had been seated in front of a trail.

-> I took a rest and had a lunch. (N35.96651, E138.94325)(13:10pm~13:15pm)
-> Chichibu-Ontakesan Mountain (秩父御岳山)(N35.96655, E138.94265)(13:18pm)
-> Kiyome-Taki (waterfall)(N35.95654, E138.94014)(14:33pm)
-> Ochiai (落合) (Another gate of trail start)(N35.95338, E138.93744)(14:46pm)
-> Ohtaki-Onsen (hot spa)(N35.95029, E138.93813)
-> I took a rest and took a hot spa bath. (14:52pm~16:20pm)
-> Natural Drink Water (N35.95218, E138.96481)(17:48pm)
-> Mitsumineguchi Station (18:12pm) (end)

Key Notes
Location        Chichibu Area, western part of Saitama
Destination    Chichibu-Ontakesan Mountain (1080.5m)
                   Ohtaki Onsen
Date walked   June 26(Sat.), 2009 (Clear/Rainy season)
Walk type      Mountain walk plus a little climbing
Difficulty       for normal walkers
Distance        about 19.8km (without bus access)
                    If you use public bus, the distance you need to walk will be half.
Time taken     about 6hrs (without intermission)
                    I took a rest at Ohtaki Onsen about one hour.

Map; I used the Japan RoadNavi 25000 v2 produced by UUD Co.,Ltd.

Key Word :

north western part of Tokyo, Saitama, Chichibu, hiking, walking, day walks, Mt.Chichibu-Ontakesan, Natural drink water, 秩父御岳山, ハイキング, ウォーキング, 日帰り, 秩父鉄道, 三峰口, 大滝温泉

Impression of new trousers and a backpack for trekkings

About the backpack that purchased the other day and this trousers, I would write that first impression.
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The trousers for trekkings which I was using until now were the 65% cotton and 35% Polyester. The textile fabrics of new trousers are 100% Polyester. Dscf8656s It uses the quick-drying fabrics, and a skin feeling touch and a design were very good, and pleasing.
However, since I am a person who sweats in large quantities at a long trekking, the waist belt portion had been a problem about sweats. In particular, when the quantity of sweat was extensive, the color was changing as if I had wet.
An alpinist Kentaro who is a friend of mine gave me a advice that the problem usually comes from a use of cotton's underware. He said that you should use your underware by 100% Polyester or Nylon, and if possible all the ware should be changed to chemical fiber, he added.
I changed the underware by the advice. Moreover, since the contact part of a backpack touched widely to my back, the amount of perspiration of the sweat from a back portion increased, and there was also the sweat accumulated to the waist belt portion of my back. Then, I changed to my underwear based on a quick-drying nylon and had a trekking last Friday, but the situation had not improved.
Backpack and Trousers
From the last Friday's trekking, I began to use the backpack made by deuter "FUTURA 26" that purchased newly. This product has a special structure on the contact portion in my back, so if there are a little winds, a wind passed through that space. Last Friday, I wore the above-mentioned trousers (65% cotten), the sweat stain of the waist belt part of my trousers had not improved with combination with a backpack.
Trousers, again
Then, I investigated various trousers for trekkings at the sport shop the other day. As a investigated result, the description of item of CASTANET of Kuraray Trading had a comment of the problem solving which I made the issue. It was the following two comments in Japanese.
1) There is a feature which sucks up a sweat.
2) The sweat to the surface would be suppressed.
Dscf8666s I bought a "Treck Easy Pants" made by TARAS BOULBA. When I buy it, I had chosen the trousers as a graphite color so as to not find a color change easily by my great sweats.

The effect of new trousers and backpack

Yesterday, I walked along the mountain path and the flat path about 10km respectively with wearing that trousers. The temperature was also high and humid and I sweated in large quantities yesterday. In spite of having got wet with the sweat, including the waist belt part, trousers were the smooth and dry touch overall, and I felt the sweat had not oozed out.
A fiber of trousers had some stretch feature that could be moved easy to my legs.
As for the backpack, I used it twice, so I got familiar about the backpack. In the case of me, when this backpack was used, the start timing of perspiration became late and I guess that the amount of perspiration was depressed.
The others
I am not familiar with other backpacks enough, so it is difficult to confirm it quantitatively, but I guess that my backpack has less containing quantity
Dscf8654sbecause of a structure which passes air flow on the back. With this backpack, the cover for rainy weather is equipped standardly and it is put into it on the bottom of the backpack. It is a good idea. However, I think that if it had not a fastener at the bottom portion, it would be more better since a backpack would be put on the dirty ground.

Added impression after I used it (July 11th, 2009):
The effect of a space for cool is effective for me. I used this backpack for three times in the hot and humid weather. It helped my sweat dry when I sweated a lot. So, my trekking was comfortable.


Kawanori Mountain in Okutama Tokyo

Yesterday, I went up Kawanori Mountain(川苔山) in Okutama. Mt.Kawanori is a noted mountain ranging over Okutama area in western part of Tokyou. I started to walk froKawanori_mountainm the Okutam Station of JR Ome Line. It is the last stop of Ome Line. Generally, many person uses a bus line from Okutama Station to the entrance of Kawanori Mountain. The distance from Okutama Station to the start of a trail up the mountain is about 4km. I took a walk for taking the view of Okutama area.

A course of a descent from the mountain was aimed to the Peak of Hinatazawanoura, to the Nagaomaru Mountain, to the Bounomine Mountain and finally went to the Naguri Lake in Saitama Prefecture.
When getting down from a mountain and trying to go to the destination Hinatazawanoura, I had missed the way several times. I walked a mountain path that has not been useing now. It was covered by a lot of dry vegetation and broken trees. In this trial, I felt very anxious in this area. My selected route was too long for a day walk. When you go down from a Kawanori Mountain, you should set the destination on the JR station Okutama or Hatonosu.

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Impression Details Okutama Station
Dscf7900s The Okutama Station building is wooden and I felt a nostalgic mountain lodge from the appearance. Dscf7892s I walked from JR Okutama Station to the trial start of a mountain.
This day was weekday, so the mountaineer was very few.


The start of a trail to the Hyakuhiro Falls
Dscf7950s I walked to the left (south) from Okutama Station, and walked about 100m to the traffic signal, and I turned to the right and crossed a bridge. At the first signal after crossing the bridge, I turned to the right (north), then I walked on the Hibara-Kaido (日原街道) to the north to the gate of Kawanori Mountain.I arrived at the gate at 9:48am.
The distance was 3.6km (2.3mile) from Okutama Station and it
Dscf7916s was taken about 40min. I could see and enjoy the mountains and ravine of Okutama as a prelude to Kawanori Mountain. You have to walk along the edge of the roadway because it has many traffics. You should pay attention to the vehicles. The route from the trial start was pretty good for walks. It was on the roadway but a car was no admittance now. You can walk on the center of the roadway. About 3.4km from Okutama Station, there is a big junction. You should select the way to right hand side that bus is running.

The Hijiri-taki (聖滝) and Hyakuhirono-taki(百尋ノ滝)
When you walked to about 800m from that junction, you will find a railway bridge over the road. After 200m walk, you will find the gate to Kawanori Mountain. I arrived at near the falls of Hijiri-taki. But I could not find it from a Kawanori forest path.   

Hijiri-taki (Hijiri Falls; 聖滝)
 The Hijiri-Fall is about the 1.9km far from the gate of this route. (N35.83906, E139.08811) Dscf7973sBut I could not find it from a Kawa nori forest path. I saw a cenotaph in the middle of a path to a Hyakuhironotaki. The Hijiri-Falls is just under the cenotaph near the stream of valley.
I heard that there is a fine way to the falls in this side of the path.

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o-taki (Hyakuhiro Falls; 百尋ノ滝)
Dscf8057s IDscf8055s_2 arrived at the fallsDscf8096s at 11:17am. (N35.85433, E139.09414) Dscf8013

The distance was about 5km from the gate of trail st art. The required walk time took about 1 hour and 30 minutes. 


From Hyakuhironotaki to Kawanori Mountain
Dscf8054s_2 Dscf8012s Dscf8118s It took about 1hour and 55 minutes. This place is about 3km away from the Hyakuhironotaki.

At the peak of Kawanori Mountain

Dscf8123sDscf8126s_2Dscf8131s_2Dscf8133sAn area around the mountain has an open space. (N35.85076, E139.10691)
It was cloudy. The view from the peak was not clear.
When I got there, there were two persons there. I took a rest there. I talked with a person who was on a peak just before my arrival. I enjoyed talking with an elder about 15 minute. The black shade of an ellipse form is in the top center of a photograph. Many insects were around the peak, I guess that it is the marks stopped on the lens. 

Descend the Kawanori Mountain

The descent from Kawanori Mountain was a little steep and slippy.
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My next destination was HinatazawanoUra. But, I lost the way to the HinatazawanoUra. I have to walk a path that has not been useing now. It was covering by a lot of dry vegetation and broken trees. Since I got down 100m by altitude and have noticed the route mistake, in order to take it back, I have taken 870m in distance for 24 minutes.
In this trial, I felt very anxious in this area.

My selected route was too long for a day walk.

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From HinatazawanoUra(日向沢ノ峰) to Bounoore Mountain(棒ノ折山)

Dscf8179s Dscf8185s Dscf8186s At the path in this route, the slope was very a steep gradient. Sometimes a path was disappeared. The path was easy to slide, and there was also a place in which the rope is installed. The level difference of a step was large, and on the log part of a ground stop, I slid on the log frequently. I thought that the picture at the place should have taken, but when I had noticed, I was in the center of the difficult situation, so I was not able to take a picture.
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From Bounoore Mountain(棒ノ折山) to Naguri Lake(名栗湖)

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Compared with the gully of a Kawanori Mountain, the gully (Shiroyazawa) in Naguri may be a small scale. Dscf8228s_2However, I thought that even a beginner have a great time trekking along the gully at Shiroyazawa. The trekking course had several places that you must be crossed while stepping on the rock in the flow of a river. Moreover, there were also rock climbing place where the metal chain rope was set. I was tired very much then, it was growing dark and I needed a flashlight to confirm a foot condition. If it were brighter, and when I had energy, I thought that I could enjoy more in a gully trekking.
Can't you see a line which shines at a lower left from a upper right at a central part of the 2nd picture? It is a handrail of metal chains for getting down (in my case) from rocks.
The path was a lot of thrilling place, I guess that it must be fun for kids.

The Last Destination, Naguri Lake(名栗湖)
Dscf8231 I arrived at the Shiroyazawa trekking start point of Naguri Lake. The time had been a little past 7:00pm. Surroundings were somewhat gloomy. I saw the light of the hot-spring resort from top of a dam. I thought that I would take a hot-spring bath (Sawarabi Hot Bath) and relieve the tiredness of a trekking. I take out energy, and started to walk again.
However, when I came to the place in which a building appears clearly, electricity had disappeared. When I investigated later, the opening time of the hot-spring resort was till 6:00 pm.
I gave it up, and went to the bus stop (Kawamata Naguri Lake entrance) directly.
At the bus stop, the one high school boy sat on the stairs of the bus stop entrance by the roadway, and was waiting for the bus at 7:29pm. Although a bus stop had a roof, there was no lighting, and nobody was in it. Since there was a chair, I was able to change the coat which was wet with sweat there.

The trekking time of the Day
It takes 10hr 45min.
  I walked 27.9km (17.4miles)

(start) Okutama Station (N35.809228, E139.09672) (8:45am)
The gate of trail start (N35.83180, E139.07624) (9:48am)
-> Hijiri Falls (I missed to see it.) (10:11am)
-> HyakuhironoTaki (N35.85433, E139.09414) (11:17am)
-> I took a lunch. It took a rest about 15min.
-> Kawanori Mountain (1364m) (N35.85076, E139.10691) (Arrived 13:11pm)
-> HinatazawanoUra (1358m) (14:56pm)
-> Nagaomaru Mountain (959m)
-> Bounoore Mountain (969m) (Arrived 17:26pm, Started 17:39pm)
-> The top of Shirayasawa (18:12pm)
-> Naguri Lake (19:02pm)
-> Bus Stop (2.2km; from Shirayasawa-climb-start-point in Naguri Lake)
I was very lucky got a bus at 19:31pm.

Key Notes    
Location             Okutama Area, western part of Tokyo
Destination          Kawanori Mountain (1364m) (N35.85076, E139.10691)
                         HyakuhironoTaki (N35.85433, E139.09414)
Date walked         June 19(Fri.), 2009 (Clear/Cloudy)
Walk type            Mountain climbing
Difficulty             for good walkers 
Distance             about 28km ( 17.4miles )
Time taken          about 10hr 45min ( includes a short break for lunch, and a little lost a way )
Railway stations   Okutama Station (JR Ome Line)

Map; I used the Japan RoadNavi 25000 v2 produced by UUD Co.,Ltd.

Key Word
 : western part of Tokyo, Okutama, hiking, walking, day walks, Mt.Kawanori, ハイキング, ウォーキング, 日帰り, 青梅線, 奥多摩駅, 名栗湖, 百尋ノ滝, 聖滝, 川苔山

Okutama Visitor Center (N35.808420, E139.097616)
Dsc_4114s You can get a Okutama Nature Information Map in English when you pay more than \300 funds at this Center.

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<- The available map
(in- and out-side print of the map)
Map size is about 720mmx515mm.


Bukou Mountain in Saitama Pref.

Today, I went up Bukou Mountain. Mt.Buko is a noted mountain ranging over Chichibu and Yokoze-cho of the western Saitama area. There is a legend to which a Prince Yamatotakeru dedicated the warrior's helmet, and it is told that it was n20090613_bukou_mountain_hiking_routamed from that.
Mt.Buko is the quality of a limestone.
I started to walk from the Chichibu Station of Chichibu Railway, and went up Bukou Mountain via Yokoze station of Seibu Chichibu Line, Ubukawa and the Osugi open space.
A course of a descent from mountain was aimed to the Hashidate Temple and finally went to the Urayamaguchi Station.

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Impression Details  
Chichibu Station
I walked from Chichi
Dscf7671s_2 bu Station to Yokose Station. The distance was about 2.5km(1.56mile) and it was taken about 30min. You have to walk along the edge of the roadway. You should pay attention to the vehicles.

Yokoze Station of Saibu Chichibu Railway

Dscf7679s The route from Yokose Station to Bukou Mountain via Ubukawa is called a front approach to Mt.Bukou. They do not have a Bus facilities from Yokoze station to Ubukawa that is the start of a mountain trail. So, if you want to get there, you have to go on foot, a taxi or a private car. When you take a walk to Ubukawa, you should pay an attention to a traffic situation, becDscf7685s ause a heavy duty truck for mineral transportation is passing frequently.
You have to walk still along a roadway after you left the Yokoze station. After walking across under the railway, Bukou Mountain comes right down to your face front, its altitude is about 1300m. Around the summit in Bukou Mountain, you can see the distinctive mount shape that shaved for lime extraction.

The first Torii of Ontake Shrine
I arrived at the first torii of Ontake temple as the base of a mountain. After starting the Chichibu station, the distance was about 8.6km. The required walk time took about 1 hour aDscf7710s nd 45 minutes. 
About 100m ahead, there was a small honey yard. Two person was working for collecting the honey at the yard.

Fudou Fall

Dscf7733s I thought that it's a small fall. But this is the famous fall in this mountain, and it is a sanctuary. (N35.94418, E139.10491)

Log BridgeDscf7738s
Walking a few steps ahead, there was a log bridge. That has rough surface and it was slippy. The length was about 5m. It was easy to slide, it was not easy for me to cross over the bridge.

A big Japanese cedar
Dscf7754s An area around the cedar has an open space. I took a lunch, having perched on the log. This place is about 2.3km away from the First Trii. It takes about one hours. This place is about 1.2km away to the peak of the mountain and takes about 40minutes.  (N35.94781, E139.10522)

At the peak of Mt.Bukou

At the peak, it was Dscf7774s cloudy. The view from the peak was not clear. Since some big lime stones are exposed in order to go there, you should be underfoot careful. A space of the peak was about 30 square meters width. When I got there, there about ten persons were resting then and enjoying the view. About 5 minutes, I took rest and enjoyed the view.

Descend a mountain
The descent slope was very steep and slippy. I slipped on the mountain pa

The slope was steepy , but it had a lot of beautiful vieDscf7799s w along the mountain path.

A fresh spring issuing from among rocks

Dscf7827s After the mountain path ended, there was a somewhat large place and several cars of those who were probably climbing a mountain were parking. When I went down the way for a while, I found a fresh spring issuing from among rocks of a mountain. (N35.95069, E139.07496)

Falls around Mt.Bukou #1

Dscf7851s I found a beautiful fall near the path. It was not so big, but I felt so beautiful. I took a rest at the front of falls. I dipped a hand towel in the stream, it felt cool and comfortableness. (N35.95327, E139.07003)

Falls around Mt.Bukou #2
Dscf7855s The size of the falls was about the same. But I think that it was not so cool. (N35.95412, E139.06723)

A fresh spring issuing from among rocks
The place which can drink spring water freely was near Urayamaguchi station. The one woman brought many bottles and was packing water. I asked the woman about the water. Since she recommended me to taste, I drank a cup of water. It was little bit sweet and delicious.

Urayamaguchi Station
This was the end of walking. I finally arrived at the UraDscf7877s yamaguchi Station.

The time was 14:30pm.
 The train was coming timely at 14:37pm.

Notes : 
A SUICA card cannot be used in Chichibu Railway. When you use Tobu Tojo Line and arrived at the Yorii station, I recommend you to get out from a ticket gate and to purchase the ticket to the destination in Chichibu Railway. Although you can go to the train arrival-and-departure platform of Chichibu Railway in directly, you need to touch once at the touch place of SUICA that is set on a bridge in the station yard.
Since there is no adjustment equipment by SUICA in the destination of Chichibu Railway, you need to pay the railroad charge from the Yorii station at the destination in cash. A charge adjustment at the destination is crowded in many cases, I recommend you to buy a ticket at the Yorii station and to take a train. In order to get out of the ticket gate of the Yorii station, you need to touch SUICA in both the touch place of SUICA which is set on a bridge in a station yard, and the ticket gate of a station. When using Chichibu Railway for a holiday, they set some special treatment for a tourist. You should check before you buy the ticket.

Chichibu Station (N35.998599, E139.08567) (9:48am)
-> Yokoze Station (N35.985309, E139.097954)(9:18am)
-> Ontake Shrine Torii (10:30am)
-> Fudou Fall (N35.94418, E139.10491) (11:00am)
-> A open space with big Japanese cedar (N35.94781, E139.10522) (11:25am; I took a lunch.)
-> The peak of Bukou Mountain (12:25pm)
-> Beautiful falls
(N35.95327, E139.07003) (14:35pm)
-> Urayamaguchi Station (N35.964002, E139.058455)(14:30pm)


Map; I used the Japan RoadNavi 25000 v2 produced by UUD Co.,Ltd.

Key Notes
Location             Chichibu Area, Saitama pref., northern Tokyo
Destination          Mt.Bukou (1304m)
Date walked         June 13(Sat.), 2009 (Cloudy)
Walk type            Mountain climbing
Difficulty             A long uphill/downhill distance, it needs physical strength
Distance             about 18.5km ( 11.6miles )
Time taken          about 4hr 50min ( includes a short break )
Railway stations   Chichibu Station (N35.998599, E139.08567) (Chichibu Railway)
            Yokoze Station (N35.985309, E139.097954) (Chichibu Railway)

Key Word : near Tokyo, hiking, walking, day walks, Mt.Bukou, Saitama, ハイキング, ウォーキング, 日帰り, 武甲山, 秩父駅, 横瀬駅, 浦山口駅

Link to Live-camera

You can confirm the weather condition of Mt.Bukou directly from the next URL.


Mt.Ohgiri, Mt.Kengamine, Mt.Dodaira, Mt.Kasayama in Saitama Pref.

Today(June 7th), I had walked on the Hiki Hilly Area20090531_ohgiri_mt_kogenbokujou. I walked the next cource.

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Dscf7347s_2 Impression Details
Today is a fine day.Last week, the walker was only me on the bus. There were many person in the bus. I got off at Hashiba (橋場). Many person on the bus did not get down. I guess other many person in the bus went to the last stop Shiroishi Garage. From Shiroishi Garage, there are three routes that connect to Sadamine Pass (定峰峠), Shiroishi Pass (白石峠) and Kasayama Pass (笠山峠).

Dscf7375s I thought that I'd like to see the panoramic view from Ohgiri Mountain that was not seen the last week. So I started to walk from Hashiba (橋場), and aimed for Kayunita Pass (粥新田峠). My final destination of today is the Kasayama Mountain (笠山). To get there, I walk through the Ohgiri Mountain (大霧山) and Douhira Mountain (堂平山). It was a first long way for me at this hilly area.

Dscf7383s This is the road way close to Kayunita Pass.
A few person had a bicycle training on the road.

Dscf7386s I walked through the Kayunita Pass, I didn't take a rest at Kayunita Pass this time, I walked aimed to Ohgiri Mountain.


When I climbed the Ohgiri Mountain, I met around 70years old women who was climbing the mountain with her family. The place was close to the peak, so the slope was steep.
Her step was very slow and her family were frequently stopping, but she was enjoying to climbing the mountain without expressing the distress.


There was a lot of beautiful field hydrangea along the mountain path.



This is the top of Ohgiri Mountain, it was a beautiful panoramic sight.

It was about 11:00am, I took a short rest and began to walk to the next destination Sadamine Pass (定峰峠).



Dscf7481s This Place is Sadamine Pass. I took a lunch and a rest at this place.

This picture is Mt. Kasayama from Sadamine Pass.
The Mt. Kasayama is a noted mountain in Hiki. The beautiful figure similar to the form of the bamboo hat is an existence which draws eyes particularly in the hilly country in Hiki. The figure is shown as it was separated from the mountain range at the end of the Hiki hilly area. The mountain of the name called a Kasa Mountain (笠山) or Kasa Pass (笠山峠) has number of 13 in Japan. However, this Kasa mountain in Hiki has an unique alias. Kasayama Mountain is called Chikubiyama mountain from old days that means a nipple in Japanese. It is because the form of the peak part of Kasayama is alike of it. 


An astronomical observatory (N36.00608, E139.190378) is located in a Doudaira Mountain. Having been built is 1962. It was established as a Doudaira Observatory of Tokyo-University Tokyo astronomical observatory.
Dscf7557s After that, it became the National Astronomical Observatory. But it had closed in March, 2000, and until that it has played an active part in the astronomical observatory front line. The closed reason was that the night sky became bright too much and effectiDscf7561s ve observation became impossible.

This astronomical observatory was a place of yearning for the space enthusiast. It was renewed and opened to the public from April, 2005 as an astronomical observatory for citizens. In the site, Paos, a log house and the self-cooking eDscf7570s quipments for an outdoor camp are available.

There is a Paraglider school (N36.006217, E139.190088) at Dodaira Mountain. Many person who lives in around Kanto area is collecting to this spot to enjoy paraglider.

Dscf7608s This is a view from Kasayama mountain.

(start) Hashiba bus stop (N36.051081, E139.17798) (9:38am)
-> Kayunita Pass (N36.042746, E139.154822)

-> Ohgiri Mountain (N36.033927, E139.156437)
-> Old Sadamine Pass
-> ShiShiiwa (N36.017492, E139.15858)
-> Sadamine Pass (N36.011361, E139.163684) (I took a lunch.)
-> Shiraishi Pass (N35.997852, E139.179558)
-> Kengamine Pass (N35.998971, E139.186099)
-> Dodaira Mountain (N36.00593, E139.190426)
-> Kasayama Mountain (N36.018295, E139.189997)
-> Kaiya bus stop (皆谷) (N36.039945, E139.177575)(16:22pm) (end)

Key Notes    
Location             Hiki Hilly Area, Saitama pref., northern Tokyo
Destination          Mt.Ohgiri (N36.033927, E139.156437)
                         Mt.Dodaira (N36.00593, E139.190426)
                         Mt.Kasayama (N36.018295, E139.189997)
Date walked         June 7(Sunday), 2009 (fine)
Walk type            Hill walks
Difficulty             Since you need to walk a long distance, a tenacity is required.
Distance             about 18.4km ( 11.5miles )
Time taken          about 6hr 45min ( includes a short break )
Railway stations   Ogawamachi Station (N36.058859, E139.260828)(Tobu Tojo Line)

Access to Hashiba bus stop (It takes about 30min from Ogawamachi station.)
Eagle Bus Time Table on Saturday and Sunday
     Ogawamachi station --> Shiroishi Garage (N36.016624, E139.173616)
         7:09(first bus), 9:10, 9:40(to Minaya), 10:48, 11:45, ...
     Shiroishi Garage --> Ogawamachi Station (It takes about 40min.)
         ..., 13:00, 13:36, 14:36, 15:15, 16:31, 19:23(last bus)

Key Word : near Tokyo, hiking, walking, day walks, Mt.Ohgiri, Kayunita Pass, Mt.Dodaira, Mt.Kasayama, Saitama, ハイキング, ウォーキング, 日帰り, 大霧山, 粥仁田峠, 定峰峠, 堂平山, 笠山, 小川町駅, イーグルバス

Map; I used the Japan RoadNavi 25000 v2 produced by UUD Co.,Ltd.


Preparation of Umeshu

Preparation of Ume fruit
The calyx of an ume should be removed by a sharp pointed bamboo skewer. Dscf7339 A calyx is not a part which wants to extract essence. Since a calyx may separate and fall from an ume during maturing, it is good to remove before preparation. The point which removes a calyx. Insert a point of a bamboo skewer between a calyx and a fruit, and power the edge of a calyx so as to raise. Take care not to damage the ume fruit at this time.
A big calyx can be easily removed from a fruit, but in case Photo_3of small calyx, it is difficult to remove. Some guidance says that please remove calyx after washing the fruit. But I think that the edge of a calyx becomes soft including moisture after washing, and that softening makes a calyx difficult to remove. I recommend you to remove a calyx, before washing an ume. 
Please wash one by one carefully not toPhoto_4 damage a ume. Then, wipe it with a dry cloth.

Preparation of bottle
for Umeshu

Since most bottles are not heat-resistant specification, you have to wash an inside cleanly with Photo_5tepid hot water. After washing, the bottle should be dried fully so as not to leave the moisture. Please take out a glass of white distilled liquor, and dip a small piece of cloth there. And the inside of the bottle should be wiped with the cloth, it will be sterilization and disinfection. This preparation keep the inside of the bottle clean from growth of mold.

Preparation of Umeshu
Crystal sugar purchased a 1kg retail article. The quantity of crystal sugar for preparation is 300gr (depends of your taste; maximum quantity 600gr~800gr). Therefore, a necessary quantity should be measured and prepared beforehand.
First, an ume is arranged in the bottom by one layer. Next, put the crystal sugar on the ume layer. Moreover, put the ume on the crystal sugar layer. Please do over again, again, .....
After all the ume and crystal sugar are entered, you pour a white distilled liquor softly into a bottle.
Please shut the lid of a bottle.
You should set the bottle to the place where light does not hit and temperature is low.

The period of maturity

Sometimes, you should turn the bottle softly so as to melt the sugar. You should turn the bottle softly at regular intervals until crystal sugar melts completely. If the bottle is put in the refrigerator, the essence of an ume will become difficult toPhoto_7 come out during a maturing period. Two or three months later, a beautiful amber-colored Umeshu will be made.
The period of maturity is late as for an Umeshu. If you want more delicious one, it needs one or more year to mature. The fruit of an ume should be taken out from a bottle by five to twelve months. After taking out the ume, you may keep the bottle in a refrigerator.

About one month had passed (June 28), it is getting colored.Dscf8636s

About the taken-out ume from the bottle

You may eat then. Or it is also good to make jam etc.

Shopping List for preparation of Umeshu
1) Ume ; 1kg
2) Crystal sugar ;  300~800gr 
Umeshu_sugar_and_sweetness_2Mostly, the sugar should be added about 600^800g as standard taste.


3) White distilled liquor of 35 degrees (white distilled liquor) ; 1.8 Litter
Note) If you can get a brandy based white distilled liquor of 35 degrees, it will be more tasty one.
4) Preservation container; 4 litter sized bottle

When you want to see a large picture, set a mouse on a target picture, and you just click a left-button of your mouse.

Key Word : White distilled liquor, Ume, Umeshu, crystal sugar, 青梅, 焼酎, 氷砂糖, 果実酒


Preparation of the tools and materials for making an Umeshu

Preservation container
It is necessary to use an acid-proof material. When you use metal tools, there is a possibility that metal may hurt with the acid of ume. If you finished using a tool, let's wash it with water as soon as possible. The preservation container and cooking tool to be used should be washed with water finely. If it be possible, it should be sterilized with boiling water. After drying completely, it should be used. Since a glass preservation container is impossible to disinfect with boiling water, it should be washed with clean water, and dry completely before using. After that, a glass preservation container should be wiped with alcohol (or white distilled liquor of 35 degrees) for sterilizing.

The degree of ripeness of the ume to be used
It seems that the blue thing harvested until the middle of June is good. Relation between the material to prepare and its quantity of ume.
1) Ume ; 1kg Dscf7317_2
I bought it at the market 610yen per 1kg. (June 6th)
This Ume was harvested in Saitama Prefecture.
At the store, the Nankou-Ume (a brand of Ume) harvested in Wakayama Prefecture was also sold, but I bought a cheaper one. The Nankou-Ume is normally for the Umeboshi, it must be enough for you to use the standard Ume.

2) Crystal sugar ; 200gr ~ 500grCrystal_sugar_2
When quantity of crystal sugar is set to 200gr, it becomes a clean taste. The quantity of crystal sugar is adjusted by your liking.
I bought it 420yen (net.1kg). (June 6th)

3) White distilled liquor of 35 degrees (white distilled liquor) ; 1.8 Litter

I bought it 1365yen. (June 6th)

4) Preservation container ;
Bottle in the case of the above-mentioned quantity, it is depend on the size of an ume, or the quantity of crystal sugar, but it seems that the 4 Litter sized bottle is required.
I bought the 4litter sized bottle, 600yen (made in Japan). (June 6th)
I found a cheaper bottle at that store, each bottle shape looked close. The other one was made in China. To extract the essence from Ume needs longer months, I guess that the contents will be influenced against UV. I chose "made in Japan", because it is using UV cut attribute glass.

Sugar and the white distilled liquor of high purity are indispensable elements in order to extract the ingredient of an ume. Therefore, 35 degrees or more are indispensable for white distilled liquor, and at least 200 - 300gr sugar is needed.

Shopping List for preparation of Umeshu
1) Ume ; 1kg
2) Crystal sugar ;  300~800gr 
3) White distilled liquor of 35 degrees (white distilled liquor) ; 1.8 Litter
4) Preservation container; 4 litter sized bottle

When you want to see a large picture, set a mouse on a target picture, and you just click a left-button of your mouse.

Key Word : White distilled liquor, Ume, crystal sugar, 青梅, 焼酎, 氷砂糖

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