Decided to back-date this post so that it won’t be so far from when it actually happened. It was the beginning of November and I had to start worrying about not being able to access mountains anymore. Most buses on mountain roads don’t run in the winter months, and honestly I’m not that a huge fan of renting cars.
Kumotori is one of the 100 famous Japanese mountains, and also happens to be the highest peak under Tokyo jurisdiction at 2017m. The real issue is that it’s very remote: even from the nearest bus stop, the peak is almost 14km (and 1500m elevation), so most people take two days to climb it. I did it in one.
Compared to Senjou-ga-dake the week before, it was still a warm autumn day on Kumotori. Sure the forest wasn’t emerald anymore, but the weather was perfect for climbing. Because of the distance I had to cover (ended up almost 25km for the day), for a change I took my climbing sticks with me to speed me up.
A few days earlier I told my coworkers I’d be climbing Kumotori the weekend, and one of them was like, “wait, me too!” They climbed it in two days though, so I didn’t expect to run into them anywhere, but they were at the mountaintop too when I arrived. What are the chances?
The way down was quite tough. I descended on the other (north) side of the mountain, which was like a whole different world. First, everything was covered in moss.
The path also went up and down a lot, so I had to climb three or four minor peaks before arriving at the Mitsumine shrine. Its name means “three peaks” for the mountains it’s close to: Kumotori, Shiraiwa (which the path passed) and Myohou-ga-dake (which I didn’t go out of my way to climb).
On the way I also ran into two groups of deer. It was still before the start of the hunting season, so they didn’t seem to be afraid of me at all.
In the end, it was an extremely exhausting, but nonetheless fun 7-hour trek. Would’ve been nice to see Myouhou too, but catching one of the few (and ridiculously crowded) buses from Mitsumine was priority.