Monday, April 25, 2016

Hiking in Yamanashi: The view of Mt. Fuji from Mt. Iwadonosan to Chigo-Otoshi

In my previous post I wrote about sakura viewing at Maruyama Kouen (丸山公園), a park located on Mt. Iwadonosan where you find what is said to be Japan's best view of Mt. Fuji. For people who would like to do some more hiking than just the 20 minutes long walk to the castle it is possible to continue by foot up to the top of Mt. Iwadonosan. 
There’s a path right behind the Iwadono Castle, and it is easy to find the way to the top as long as you stick to this path. There are some road signs on the way that will help you find the way, and if you decide to change course and head towards the Kabutoiwa / Chigootoshi you'll also find signs showing you where to turn.

In our case we continued to follow the path to the top of Mt. Iwadonosan. Once you reach the summit you'll find the following stone monument:

We visited Mt. Iwadonosan during the sakura season, and on the top of Mt. Iwadonosan there were many pretty cherry trees in bloom. It was slightly more crowded at the top of Mt. Iwadonosan than by the castle when we visited, but still nothing in comparison to cherry blossom spots in Tokyo.

Back to the road sign leading to Chigootoshi
 We wanted to combine the sakura viewing with a little bit more hiking and nature, so we continued our trip back down again to the crossroad where one could find a path to a place called Kabutoiwa (兜岩) and Chigootoshi (稚児落とし). If you're lucky with the weather you'll also have a good view of Mt. Fuji.
Unfortunately the weather wasn't that clear so it was slightly hard to see Mt. Fuji
We headed towards Kabutoiwa (兜岩), a large berg with a name that means something like "helmet rock". As you can see it was quite a steep hike.

View towards Mt. Iwadonosan
After having surpassed Kabutoiwa the next place coming up was Chigootoshi (稚児落とし). The name “Chigo otoshi” literarily means “baby dropping”, and has its name from historical events that took place here. You can probably guess the details.. It was quite steep, and without a doubt a deadly place should one be so unlucky as to fall down (or be dropped).
View from the edge of the Chigootoshi
From Chigootoshi we continued to follow the path and ended up by the main road. From there we followed the road signs in the direction of the station, only with a few stops along the way to check out our surroundings. Here are some of my pictures from the way back: 
A river by the roadside
An old bridge

The Chuo Expy (Toll Road) bridge

All in all it was a very nice one-day trip from Tokyo and a great hike. If you have around 3-4 hours you should have no problem to finish the hike. There are a couple of restaurants by the Ootsuki (大月) station, and we enjoyed a big bowl of ramen at one of the restaurants before heading back to Tokyo. You can find a simple map of the hiking trail we followed to the left.

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Recommended Hotels close to Mt. Fuji

Hotel Kaneyamaen
Hotel Kaneyamaen
Fuji Royal Hotel Kawaguchiko
Fuji Royal Hotel Kawaguchiko
Kawaguchiko Country Cottage Ban
Kawaguchiko Country Cottage Ban

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About Me

The Cosmopolitan Expat:
The classical story about a girl who went for a one-year exchange program to Japan, fell in love and got stuck there. Starting out as a student in Kyoto in 2010 I now work full-time in Tokyo as a hotel consultant, and write mostly about my travels, working life in Japan as well as a bunch of random stuff. Stricken by 職業病 I also write about hotels and share updates about new opening hotels and/or time sales in the Kanto region.