During 1900’s woodblock printing flourished in Japan. Artists made series of various themes. The prints were called as Ukiyo-e. All the forms of art in those days used to be either about God or the royalties. This particular art was revolutionary. Almost all the prints depicted lives of regular people. The different series included variety of themes such as, landscapes, folklore, travel scenes, erotica, festivals etc. Unlike other forms of art this one was for common men. One of the famous series from Ukiyo-e is the “36 views of Mt Fuji” by artist Hokusai. All of the prints are very famous. Many of the Japanese souvenirs have the picture of these prints. Scene of a town and Mt Fuji at the background or a wave and Fuji, Close up of Mt Fuji and Magma flowing on it.. So many different moods of this snow caped cone are perfectly captured. July, August are the peak seasons to climb Mt Fuji. Even though the idea of climbing the tallest mountain in Japan is tempting, lack of flora and fauna just kills the motivation. 3,776m without trees and animals.. on top of all since the window to climb this volcano is so narrow, the hike is popular among tourists and apparently you literally climb while seeing the butt of the person in front of you. Even this year I am thinking not climb. Someday I should climb, just for the sake of it may be.
Having said all those things about climbing Fuji, viewing this unique shaped mountain from a distance is always fascinating. There are many places popular for Mt Fuji view. When I visit the mountains in Kanto I always pray for a clear weather so that I’ll get to see this gorgeous beast. Mt Ougi is a 1138m tall mountain in Yamanashi prefecture. From the very beginning of the trail one can get beautiful views of Fuji san. Some of the views are so stunning that I am sure if Hokusai had visited this place he would have added it to his series.
The hike starts at Torisawa Station of JR Chuo Main line. Cross the road in front of the station and you will immediately start seeing the sign for “Ougiyama”. The 30 minutes road walk finally takes you to the trail head. While climbing the road make sure to look the scenery behind you. Fuji may peek from the green mountains anytime before the trail head.
On the trail head there is a toilet and a water hole. From here you will ascent to Momokurasan. Momokursan is again one of the main mountains of Otsuki. Smaller than Ougi and offers good views of Fuji. The ascent to Momokurasan is a little steep but the views are worth all the efforts. Even the forest in Yamanashi is different than that of Okutama. May bamboo trees stand tall and the sound of the wind passing through the bamboo leaves is just so soothing. When I visited it was almost end of cherry blossom season and the petals of tiny light pink flowers were floating around with the wind.
Had some curry and tea while enjoying the view. I could have just sat there all day. But the ridge between Momokura and Ougi looked tempting. In the beginning you descend for a while and easy climb followed by a steep section just before the summit of Ougi. Descending to Saruhashi Station is comparatively simple. This hike indeed had the best views of most beloved mountain in Japan. There were not many people so the view could be enjoyed without any interruptions.
This simple hike is recommended for all those nature lovers who are living in Tokyo. It is an easy-moderate climb. For those who exercise regularly can do it without any problem. The entire hike I described takes about 6 hours to finish. There are other options to the top which can be decided from the map I have attached.
Hope you enjoyed my write up.
Take a hike you always wanted to take. Be in the wilderness. Happy hiking! 🙂
Nanahomachi Asakawa, Otsuki, Yamanashi Prefecture 409-0621