Archive | May 2013

Mount Hachijo-Fuji Hike

Whilst on Hachijojima, I managed to hike both the island’s mountains. The mountain that dominates the island is known as Hachijo-Fuji: the Mount Fuji of Hachijojima. You’ll need a vehicle to get to the starting trail point.

We had hired a car, and we missed the start point of the trail and ended up driving around the whole circumference of the mountain and got a 360 degree view of the island.

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

The island’s airport landing strip:

From Hachijo Fuji hike

Managed to drive back to the start point where I embarked on a short solo hike to the summit. It’s not so much a hike, as a giant stairmaster.

Destination: Mount Hachijo-Fuji summit:

From Hachijo Fuji hike

The actual trail starts quite high up the mountain and is a series of steps – all 1,280 of them!

From Hachijo Fuji hike

640 steps at the halfway point!

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

Step 1,100:

From Hachijo Fuji hike

Getting closer, step 1,200:

From Hachijo Fuji hike

All 1,280 steps done!

Here is some of the scenery I enjoyed on the way up:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

And more steps:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

The island coastline:

From Hachijo Fuji hike

Once you climbed up all 1,280 steps (which I did in about 35minutes), you can then walk around the whole mountain crater. It was once a volcano.
You’ll need to wade through bush and scrubs to walk around the whole crater. It was a pretty awesome hike. Definitely one of the better mountains I’ve hiked…although it’s not really long enough to call it a hike.

It was so green, lush and overgrown with trees for what was once a volcano. In the centre, there was also a small pond/lake.

The views were pretty splendid!

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

The tiny lake in the middle of the crater:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

Follow the trail:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

Reached the highest point:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

View of baby Hachijojima:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

Steep cliff edges:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

The walk around the entire took me 90 minutes (and that was stopping for a lot of photo taking as well).
Then had to climb back down all 1,280 stairs (somewhat faster than going up them!)

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

Definitely one of the highlights of Hachijojima island. (A pleasant 2.5 hour hike up around Mount Hachijo-Fuji).
Hiking is definitely one of life’s free pleasures.

From Hachijo Fuji hike

Me no Jane. A world of pain

As if Mondays aren’t painful enough.
My arms. My shoulders. My back. A new level of ouch.
Sore is an understatement.

I spent yesterday climbing ladders, climbing nets, tightrope-walking, balancing on planks of wood between treetops and ziplining. I went to a Forest Adventure park near Mount Fuji.

Turns out I have absolutely. no. upper. body. strength.
After swinging off a rope into a Tarzan net, I then had to climb up the net and across to a tree platform. It was impossible for me to climb up a suspended net. Across. Yes.
Up. No.
I was stuck like a spider on this net. Safe to say, I ain’t no Jane. I thought they were going to have to get a cherrypicker to bring me back down. I mustered everything I had and with a helping hand from a friend, I was finally able to get myself off the godforsaken net and onto the tree platform. It seriously nearly pulled the arms out of my sockets.
That Tarzan net was rather traumatising for me and it was only the first 10 minutes in.

Somehow I managed to do all the other obstacles though, but geez did they require balance and upper body strength.

Treetop swinging:

From Fuji Forest Adventure
From Fuji Forest Adventure
From Fuji Forest Adventure

Plank bridge crossing:

From Fuji Forest Adventure

Swinging through logs and ropes:

From Fuji Forest Adventure
From Fuji Forest Adventure

Tree ladder climbing:

From Fuji Forest Adventure

Tightrope walking:

From Fuji Forest Adventure
From Fuji Forest Adventure

I had to pass on the rings. I’m a girl who knows her limits!

From Fuji Forest Adventure
From Fuji Forest Adventure
From Fuji Forest Adventure
From Fuji Forest Adventure

Cool glimpse of Mount Fuji through the treetops:

From Fuji Forest Adventure

The best part was ziplining:

From Fuji Forest Adventure

(Not me):

From Fuji Forest Adventure

Managed to get through all five courses in one piece, save for a handful of bruises!
My poor arms!

From Fuji Forest Adventure
From Fuji Forest Adventure

The best part of the day was the beer, lunch and onsen that followed:

From Fuji Forest Adventure

One hell of a workout. My arms, shoulders and back and even neck are incredibly sore. It hurt to pull my chair out every time at work today. It hurts to walk or move. Couldn’t swim or jog today. Am somewhat concerned, as I will be needing to both swim and run in this weekend’s aquathlon (yes, it’s that time of year again for open water swimming). It hurts to shower let alone swim. Sooo many muscles I never knew existed.

Got an awesome view of Mount Fuji late in the afternoon yesterday.
Fading Fuji-san:

From Fuji Forest Adventure
From Fuji Forest Adventure

Mohini – mini high tea

I’ve been slack on my high tea consumption.
I partook in afternoon tea last month with a friend made through this blog. She contacted me and told me she was a fan of high tea, so we arranged to meet up. Coz, that’s how I roll.
We ended up going to a small tea cafe called Mohini for a mini high tea.

Served on a single tray platter we got tiny finger sandwiches, a small piece of pound cake, some fruit, and the tiniest scones I have ever seen! It was very cute. The set is called “small afternoon dish” and not bad for a mere 700yen. Pots of tea are 550yen and there is a very good selection of teas. It’s a tea specialty store. A simple afternoon tea which made for a pleasant change from a hotel high tea. I’m finding that the service at hotel high teas are terrible. There are no shortages of plenty of cute cafes around Tokyo.

It was nice simple old school, home-style afternoon tea, something you’d whip up if your neighbours were to drop by. A nice light refreshment served with a pot of tea.

From Mohini – mini tea
From Mohini – mini tea

The tiniest scones ever:

From Mohini – mini tea

Cute tea cafe:

From Mohini – mini tea
From Mohini – mini tea

Mohini website.

Progress

Getting faster, slowly.

From Progress

Not running as often as I’d like.

And to think that I ran a half marathon this time last last year (in Feb 2012). Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I struggle to run 5km these days, let alone 21km!

“Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going.”

32 Truths

1. You don’t always get what you want in life (but that shouldn’t stop you from trying).
2. You can’t make someone feel what they don’t feel.
3. Freedom comes when you learn to let go. (This. A thousand times this.)
4. Embrace simple pleasures – a cup of tea, a hot shower, fresh linen, hearing the voice of loved ones.
5. You get what you can handle. (You are stronger than you give yourself credit for).
6. A hair perm is never a good idea. (Trust me).
7. Rejection/Failure is a 1000 times better than regret. No one gets to see what could have been.
8. Progress always involves risks.
9. Tea is better than coffee.
10. Eating two whole large pizzas will make you constipated.
11. Experience is the most brutal of teachers. (See above).
12. Patience is the key to joy.
13. Memories are designed to fade.
14. Make decisions and stand by them.
15. Don’t focus on what you had. Focus on what you have. Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.
16. Respect yourself or no one else will.
17. The world owes you nothing.
18. You are worthy of love.
19. Everything is temporary.
20. Always ask. What you don’t ask for always stays the same. Know that you did everything you could.
21. Have faith in what you cannot see.
22. What comes next is up to you.
23. Sleep is underrated. (Oh bed, how I love thee.)
24. Be positive. You’ll live longer!
25. Chocolate always tastes better with a glass of milk. (It just does, ok!)
26. Be classy. Drink champagne.
27. Nothing worth having ever comes easy.
28. Be grateful.
29. EVIL spelt backwards is LIVE.
30. You have what it takes, but sometimes it will take all you’ve got.
31. Age doesn’t matter, unless you are wine or cheese (in both cases, the older the better!)
32. Everything will be ok. In fact, it will be more than ok.

Starsign wine:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/bK6KKXXVyq0pXNVCrUDcdr3WiG6ZayafsHG4V21Kv8g?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-iXs-Llvsqeg/UZOigLnOu1I/AAAAAAACSHc/aLP_P3CoEX4/s640/photo%25281%2529.JPG&#8221; height=”640″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/aleishariboldi/May152013?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>May 15, 2013</a></td></tr></table>

Hachijojima: Miharayama waterfalls

Hachijojima island has two mountains. The smaller one has some waterfalls.
Managed to hire a car and drive out to Miharayama and do a nice waterfall hike.
It was quite the leisurely hike. About 45min or so. Would recommend wearing appropriate footwear. Sandals aka Crocs didn’t quite cut it. Anyway, hiked we did in sandals. Was a gorgeous sunny day. Not the most scenic hike, but pleasant enough.

Am loving that it is spring, and summer on the way. I plan on doing more hikes this year. Have no major overseas trips planned this year (unlike last year’s Trans-Siberian month-long holiday), so plan on doing more active, nature stuff and exploring more of Japan.

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

Mount Mihara:

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

We crossed rocks, rivers and walls… in search of this elusive waterfall.

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

And then finally through the clearing, amidst the trees, we could see the waterfall.

From Miharayama waterfall

Ok, so not quite the majestic waterfall I was imagining. More like a refreshing mist of water. Niagara Falls this ain’t.

From Miharayama waterfall

If you got closer to the rock wall, you could stand right under the waterfall:

From Miharayama waterfall

The rockpool it opened into was lovely though. It made for a nice refreshing stop after our little hike. In summer, this place would make a great little secluded watering hole. The water was numbingly cold. I dunked my feet in and waded across to the waterfall, and my feet were numb. Not quite yet warm enough for a proper swim. The rocks were also really slippery.

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

I managed to get right by the waterfall and did a mini photo shoot. It’s not often you get a whole waterfall to yourself.
Here are lots of pics of me (you were warned!)

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

Catching water:

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

BEWARE: Crocs in the water. And by Crocs, I mean footwear!

From Miharayama waterfall

Clear, cold water:

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

On the hike back down, we stopped by the swamp pond.

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

Hachijojima

Eeek. It’s May already.
This year, I’ve definitely had way less time to blog.
May means Golden Week – public holidays and long weekends galore.
This year, I went camping on Hachijojima Island – one of the Tokyo seven Izu islands.
Having already visited Shikinejima, Niijima and Kouzushima, I racked up another island – Hachijojima – the furthest of the seven islands (an 11-hour boat ride). Hopefully will get around to visiting all 7 islands at some point.
Spent 3 nights there on the island sleeping in a tent in a nice little camping spot, along with another hundred or so people. It was Golden Week after all.

Here are some initial pics of the Sokodo beach area. Note the absence of white sandy beaches. Hachijojima is a rocky volcanic island with black sand and a helluva lot of concrete and rocks (solidified volcanic lava)

From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima

Mount Hachijo-Fuji in the background:

From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima
From Hachijojima

Hell hath frozen over

Brace yourself. Hell hath frozen over.
….I now own a pair of Crocs.
Yes, feel free to cut ties of friendship with me. I don’t blame you.
This is coming from the girl who once subscribed to Croc-hating group “I don’t care how comfortable they are, you look ridiculous”! I used to give a lot of flak to Croc-wearers. I am now one of them.

I hadn’t intended on purchasing on a pair. Was out shopping in Shinjuku with a friend for outdoor camping gear, trying on beach/summer footwear etc.
I happened to try on a pair of slip sandals. They felt weird…like walking on silicon jelly. They were comfortable, but weird.
Maybe my feet have never known comfort until now.
My friend remarked that they were Crocs (she knows I hate Crocs). I called BS. Lo and behold, checked the shoe and they were indeed Crocs.

I succumbed and actually forked over cash to acquire these Crocs.

They’re no ordinary Crocs though. Check these out. I am totally rockin’ the Crocs.

From Crocs

Do they look any cooler/hipster-ish with an Instagram filter?

From Crocs
From Crocs

In other fashion faux pas, check out this sleeping bag one-piece suit. I mean, why bring a sleeping bag, when you can WEAR one instead!

From Crocs

An array of colours to choose from to suit any wardrobe and skin tone:

From Crocs

There’s a hell of a lot of zippers and cords and pockets:

From Crocs
From Crocs

Where can you get one of these, you ask. Amazon Japan.

I resisted the urge to purchase one, and instead bought a $40 tent. Am going camping this Golden Week long weekend!