On Monday prior to our group’s departure to Ritsurin Koen, Felix and I went for a run around midday. It was meant to be a short run to the top of the local jinja although, things do not always end up as you intend, ne?… We do indeed make it to the top of the jinja, after a short loop around the neighborhood. After admiring the view and drinking from the well, we find a nice set of steps to do push-ups on/around, away from the holiday crowds that were flocking to the shrine. The visitors all gave us eyes as we foreigners were running to the top, so we figured we wouldn’t use their steps as well. But anyway, after a set, we continue on our way with Felix in the lead. We soon pass by another shrine (maybe a temple), we continue onwards until we see a narrow road winding its way uphill towards the same slopes that the jinja is situated on. We soon come across this…
At the top of this grave site, I see a trail head. Being the unfortunately curious person I am, I encourage Felix to join me on this unknown path to find out where it goes.
After about 10 minutes of running and another 20 minutes of hiking, we realize that our current method is not going to work out. At this point the trail had become steep and quite intense.
At a certain point we managed to get a glimpse of the top and we then realized that we were way too tired to make it to the top with enough energy to make it back down safely… So we turned around so that we could make it back in order to guide our friends on the planned adventure to Ritsurin Koen and beyond.
The next day however, out of the blue, we decided (I suggested) to attempt the climb again, this time without a long run prior to our hike. This time it proved successful!
Close to the top we could see the downtown part of Takamatsu!
After an unexpectedly difficult hike we made it to the top. What we found was very intersting, yet somewhat unsettling…
Up on top of the mountain was an abandoned gondola station that used to ferry people to and from the top of the mountain, but now only a road connects the top from the bottom, aside from the difficult mountain path that we took.
And after a quick climb down…
Thus ended the first of what I think will be many ascents to the top of this mountain. To have something so magnificent so close in our backyard, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it! Please enjoy the pictures!
Until next time!