We park the car at the starting point which is at about 1200 meters (3,937 feet), and our journey begins at the steps of the temple. It's always uphill in Japan! Though it is only another 755 meters (2,477 feet) to the top, the paths leading there zig-zag up the mountain for 4 km (2.49 miles). So, we have an 8 km (4.98 mile) hike ahead of us. With only half of it going downhill.
It wasn't an easy hike. Yukiko even slipped and fell on her butt while we were on our way down.
It was often steep, with loose rocks.
There was even this spot, where the dirt was gone. The only thing left were some logs and roots.
There was a lift that would bring you from the parking lot area to 1730 meters (5,676 feet), but that would be cheating.
Here are the lifts from just above the parking area.
There is a camp site area, below where the lift carries people. They had grills and water there, but nobody was camping.
Looking up from the camp grounds to the lift station. It is in the center top of this picture. We still have a ways to go before we get there.
We finally make it to the top lift station. At this point we are at 1730 meters (5,676 feet).
There was no shortage of scenery during this hike. Just looking out at the other mountains and towns below was magnificent. Add to it strange rock formations, and you have some great photos.
Looking down at the top lift station, you can see how long a hike this is, and we aren't at the top yet!
Finally, the top is within sight. We have made it to the entrance of Tsurugi-jinga. The shrine at the top of the mountain.
It looks like such a lonely shrine
At the top you are at 1955 meters (6,414 feet)
People walking the path that leads to another peak.
From here, the towns below seem so very small.
After making the 4 km journey back down, with just one minor fall between the two of us, we made our way to Okuiya Tourism Monorail. It has the distinction of being the longest tourism monorail in the world, at 4.6 km (2.86 miles) long. It takes you 590 meters (1,935 ft) up the mountain.
Meet the friendly beetle who took us on our monorail trip
On my way! A view through the forest
The view from the highest point on the monorail, at about 1375 meters (4,511 feet).
Once we were done, we walked over to the old house that is displayed. It was built around 1830.
Look how thick the thatched roof is!
That wasn't enough for one day. So, we headed to Ryugugake Park. Here they have a long suspension bridge that goes out over the gorge. It is not for those that are afraid of heights, it even shakes a bit.
The view from the center of the bridge.