Saturday, October 8, 2011

A hike that turned out to be a long day of tourism.

DSCF0030One of the newer local teachers and I connected recently and we agreed to go out on a hike sometime. So the time finally came to do it and we ended up taking a hike through the Panorama-Dai trail near lake Shojiko.

I haven’t been on hike in Japan for years so I really didn’t know what I was in for. The trail for Panorama-Dai was a little steep but well marked. We didn’t encounter many other hikers on our way up but when we did they always greeted us with a kind “konnichiwa”.


The trail leading up to the Panorama-Dai summit, isn’t all that interesting really. You can’t really see the surrounding lake and mountains from the trail because it is shrouded in tall trees. But the actual trail is kind of a nice change from seeing city life every day.


I got pretty winded about half way up because I wasn’t anywhere near as fit as I should be. I did finally catch my second wind though. Once I found my rhythm though, it was alright.


My friend Joel and I talked a lot as we hiked toward the summit. I got to know a lot about him as he did me. Its been a long time since I’ve talked so much to another person in English and had so much to talk about. I had a great time on the hike.


Once we got near the summit, we found a pair of really nasty looking port o potties. It’s kind of nice to have something like that in the middle of a mountain trail but they really looked like you could get tetanus from just handling the door knob on them. They weren’t brown because they were painted that way. They were covered in years of accumulated rust. But if you gotta drop a bomb, might as well do it in the privacy of a box. Smile




The view from the summit of the Panorama-Dai that day wasn’t all that great. It happened to be pretty cloudy once we reached the top. We could barely make out the tip of Mt. Fuji and see a couple of surrounding lakes. It was still a good hike and we had a much easier time heading down in no time.


After we finished the hike, I suggested we go to a nearby series of caves by lake Kawaguchi called Fuuketsu, Hyouketsu, a Bat Cave all in nearby Narusawa. The caves were all made by ancient lava flows that came from the base of Mt. Fuji.

Pictures from Fuuketsu (wind cave)




The caves all went very deep and were very, very cool. Hyouketsu and Fuuketsu both had some ice in them year round. I’ve been to Hyouketsu and the Bat Cave with Yuko a few years back but this time we stuck around a bit longer and explored a little more of the caves than last time.




Pictures from Hyouketsu (ice cave)




Used to be a natural cooler in the past.



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Bat Cave



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Where the bats live. No humans beyond this point.


Luke seemed pretty happy with all the hiking and spelunking we did as was I . After we were done checking out all the caves, we hopped in my car and drove back into town for a kaiten sushi lunch at Kura Sushi. Luke won a key strap figure on his first try there. It was a very lucky day for all of us.



  1. Great update. Those caves look bad ass!

  2. Thanks! Yeah the caves are something everyone should see at least once. So incredible.