Pro-tip for any travellers out there who want to know the best time to visit Japan: it’s Fall.
On November 11, 2018 GGB (and our sometimes GGB-contributor Toru) decided to go on an improptu hike out in Yamanashi. There are a ton of great hiking spots in the Tokyo area, but we all were looking to get a little further from the city and a little closer to nature. This particular hike, which we first read about on this Ridgeline Images blog post, had us go to Torisawa Station, hike up to the top of Ougiyama, hike over to the top of Momokurayama, and then hike down to Saruhashi Station. Easy peasy.
Getting to Torisawa Station is pretty easy. From Shinjuku Station you take the Chuo Line Express towards Takao, transfer trains at Takao Station to a different Chuo Line towards Kofu, and then get off at Torisawa Station. If the transfers/timing is in your favor, it only takes about 1.5 hours and ￥1,300 yen. The trains weren’t exactly in our favor; we left Kichijoji at around 8:45 am and started our hike (after stocking up on supplies at the 7/11 in Torisawa) around 10:40 am.
From there, you take a winding path through Torisawa, under the Chuo Expressway, and then up the mountain. All told, we hiked for about 5.5 hours (Ridgeline Images said it would take 6… hah!), had a lunch break for about an hour, and hiked a distance of almost 16km. It took 2hr22min (1pm) to reach the top of Ougiyama and we reached the top of Momokurayama at 4:00pm. The hike down got a bit hazardous towards the end because of the setting sun, but we managed to reach town before the mountain was completely plunged in darkness.
An exhausting day, but well worth the views, the fresh air, and Gaijin Gaming Brotherly bonding!