Not the carrier. Not the anime. The mountain. (After which the carrier was named, by the way.) It’s not one of those jagged, snow-capped “cool” mountains. It’s a relaxed, even comfy mountain. At 1400-and-a-little meters high with gentle slopes, it’s a good day’s escape from Tokyo’s chaos.

It’s located in the Izu peninsula which means great views of Mt Fuji for most of the time – at least when the forest lets you. I don’t know if it’s the sea current, but even in late November the weather was nothing short of warm. Especially during a long hike, one shirt was enough. The forest was in full autumn mood.

I started from the Amagi golf course, where I got by taking first a very early shinkansen (Kodama 631), then a local train from Atami to Ito, and from there a shuttle bus to the golf course where the trailhead is. Ito station had some construction work ongoing so it wasn’t obvious where the bus stop is.

While I was carrying 20kg extra weight as training, it didn’t take two hours to reach the top of the Banzaburo peak. The long descent along the ridgeline to the Amagi pass was most of the hike. It ended up about 6 hours total.

The first bit of the trail up to the highest point was quite busy with plenty of hikers. After that it got much more quiet and I hardly saw anyone until I reached Hacchoike (the pond above). It seems to be a fairly popular and accessible family destination. There was a huge group of kid scouts too. Then again there was pretty much no one from there to the pass bus stop.