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Archive for September, 2006

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Sep

Mount Fuji: Part 3 of 3

SEE EPISODE THREE

Read about my Fuji experience in greater detail: Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

In the dark, the terrain was uneven and a bit rocky for the beginning of one of the more trafficked nature trails in the world. Regularly, either my chance at night-hiking was ruined or my idiocy was saved by other groups of hikers with miner’s helmets, headlamps and the occasional flashlight.

My stretches of lone connection and attempts at mystifying my Fuji adventure were shortened increasingly the further I climbed and the faster I went. Moreover, the narrower the path got, the more often I was stuck behind slow-moving hiking groups.

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Sep

Mount Fuji: Part 2 of 3

SEE EPISODE THREE

Read about my Fuji experience in greater detail: Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

To review, I left off last time entering a bus station in the hopes of booking a ticket three hours southwest to climb Japan’s highest peak, the 13,000 foot dormant stratovolcano Mount Fuji.

I went to a ticket booth and after getting a dismissive smile when I asked if the teller spoke English (Eigo ga wakarimasu ka?), I threw at her the only two Japanese words I knew that I felt could help: climb Fuji-san. Then, I added a circling finger, trying to convey that I wanted a round trip ticket. This prompted a flurry of keyboard activity. Moments later I traded 5,200 yen (nearly $45 U.S.) for a piece of paper apparently reserving a seat on a bus departing two hours later.

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Sep

Mount Fuji: Part 1 of 3

SEE EPISODE THREE

Read about my Fuji experience in greater detail: Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

I was in Shibuya: the busy entertainment district of Shibuya-ku, one of the centrally located wards of Tokyo. I had been telling a friend that climbing Mount Fuji had long been a goal of mine when he mentioned the climbing season for Fuji-san was coming to a close. (Stations, ten of which are littered along the Fuji ascending trail, and rangers are only active from July to late August). Back in the States, I (probably laughingly) consider myself a bit of an outdoor enthusiast, but was without any form of hiking or camping gear. Yet, I knew, there walking alongside a train station in Asia’s busiest city, that that moment was so very likely my only opportunity in my entire life to try to climb Mount Fuji.

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