Mt Mitake to Mt Odake Loop
13 km 720 m elevation
One of our first over night stays where we planned to hike both days, however the reality of over-doing the hike on the first day saw us not hiking the second day but this has proven to be a really good learning.
We both have a few old injuries which we have to manage, and we have been working on our fitness this year, so we now aim for challenging but manageable hikes, planning around the distance and elevation by day, not blowing out in one day like this!
We are lucky enough to have motorcycle and can travel, depending on the location and weather, by bike. This does prove challenging at times with luggage, but for the most part we make it work. However the Japanese summer has recently gotten the best of me and I have stayed off the back of the bike for a while, looking forward to some cooler weather when we can again enjoy the freedom of the bike.
For this weekend over-nighter we left Tokyo nice and early by bike, and road to the Mitake Cable Car station where we were able to park the bike under cover.
If you are going to travel by public transport you will train to Mitake Station and bus or walk from the station to the Cable Car. We rode the cable car up to Mt Mitake, but of course you can walk up rather than use the cable car.
At the top of Mt Mitake is Musashi Mitake Shrine which enshrines a white wolf in the form a a sacred dog, leading many people to visit to pray for the health of their dogs or those who are born in the year of the dog.
A number of Shinto priest families live in the area around the Shrine and have cared for the shrine for years, many of these families now also run traditional accommodation for visitors to Mt Mitake. Mostly simple accommodation with home cooked meals, many using local produce, and you can often also experience the traditional Shinto experience of takigyo which is standing meditation under a waterfall.
I am hoping to try some different accommodation options in the not too distant future, but for this trip we selected the only option at that stage I could see with an easy booking system, I am happy to admit that at the start of this year I was still nervous about making reservation phone calls in Japanese. 6 months on I am certainly feeling much more confident and am happily calling accommodation options which have no online booking options.
宿坊駒鳥山荘 Shukubo Komadori-sanso has some real mixed reviews on line, I think possibly coming from the fact that it is the only option currently taking bookings in English, however we found it very welcoming and comfortable. For this trip we did travel with our own food, a whole different story, so I can not comment on the provided meals, but from what I could see the food looked fresh and appealing.
I enjoyed the shared bath facilities, sneaking in when it was quiet as I do have a small tattoo on my shoulder which can cause issues at times, my husband preferred to use the private shower option as he is not yet comfortable with the shared bathing.
Rooms were traditional tatami mats, with shared toilets, and a wonderful view from the room.