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Making the most of a Japanese summer

Well things have certainly heated up here big time. Temps approaching 40deg and high humidity levels make even a quick trip to the supermarket a challenge. Mushiatsui translates to 'steamy and hot' and is a word you hear a lot at the moment.

We have been brave enough to get a few hikes in these last few weeks, one of them a two day adventure with friends we meet through a Gaijin hiking Facebook group. We had an awesome two days exploring Okutama. I must admit to getting more than a little envious of all the bikes cruising the windy roads however traffic was busy and slow moving so the heat would have been oppressive for extended periods of slow riding.

Okutama has more to offer than hiking and motorcycling however. There’s a craft beer restaurant, camping along the river bed, swimming holes (the water was bloody cold), traditional style Japanese Inns, and restaurants. And the location has some spectacular views if you are willing to get out of the city and look.

Last week Pania and I did a little hike over the Koburi pass. The track was in pretty good condition and despite the heat there were plenty of people out enjoying the city escape. Takes about 1.5 hrs and a couple of train swaps to get there but it’s a pleasant journey and the trains are comfortable enough if you’ve got a seat. I was a bit slack with recording the trip details and taking pics but did manage to get a few snaps of this temple on the way up. Anyone considering this hike at this time of year, take plenty of fluids. There are lots of vending machines at the train stations but until you reach the summit which is about halfway, you are on your own. There’s a couple of quaint Japanese cafes either side of the road at the top. Food is great although a little limited, but it’s a welcome rest stop.

Although not super fit we are definitely making progress in the right direction and we made lighter work of this hike than what we would have done a few months ago.

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