Monday, May 28, 2012

Takao, Octoberfest, and Commore Concert

Ben and I had one heck of a weekend. We hiked Mt. Takao, we went to a beer festival, and we saw a local concert. It was fun to be so busy.
Approximately 2.5 million people climb mount Takao every year. Which means that on a sunny weekend day in May there are thousands of people on the mountain. Frankly this means it sucks to hike. Every aspect of hiking that I enjoy (serenity, solitude, nature) was stripped away. All that was left was a 2 km hike up hill weaving and pushing through crowds.
If you come to Japan, skip Mount Takao.

 The first view we came across as our reward for making it to the top of the mountains was a row of vending machines. I was annoyed.
 There were many types of traditional food being made. It smelled really good. It felt more like a fair then a mountain top.

 We did end up buying some Tayaki, which are sort of like sweet bean filled waffles. The tayaki we bought were in the shape of little angry birds, they were pretty cute.

There was a buddhist temple at top of the mountain. This was the highlight of the hike. There were huge lines for different worshiping zones. There were shorter lines at Disney land.
I practiced a bit of zen. I took a deep breath, told myself that I was one of 2.5 million people to come here. It was time to look around an appreciate why they came here.
The architecture and statues were really cool. It was amazing to see so many religious rituals being mixed in the same area. There were some beautiful engravings. There was some monk making highly lude noises off in the distance.
One of the Tengu Gods, they bring you good fortune

Beautiful engravings on one of temple buildings.
A second building, with fancier decor.
The final building with elaborate painted carvings.
The view from the top was beautiful.

My favorite scene of the day. This is the Japanese equivalent of a wishing well. 

After hiking we primped ourselves and went into Tokyo. We went to the Hibiya Octoberfest... in May... in Japan. It was really fun.

On Sunday we went to a support a local band. One of Ben's coworkers plays base in a band, so we went to watch them. We felt like locals for a bit.

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