We climbed mount izuna on saturday. I have, a great love of hiking, probably generated by memories of tromping around in the woods with my parents at a very early age. I always have appreciated getting out of the house and climbing up things. This is all fine and dandy in the midwest when one is unlikely to ascend anything of more than 100 meters in total eleation gain. However, there are mountains here. Tall ones, steep ones, and lots of them. I had forgotten how difficult it is to climb continuously up for 2 hours. It's tiring, and it makes your legs hurt, but not nearly as much as climbing down a mountain for an hour. Nothing will tear up your muscles like running down a mountain.
Japanese hikers or trekkers as they call them here, are almost always uber equipped. You might as well be at everest base camp as well as some of these folks are outfitted. Everybody wears good boots, gaiters a hat, has hiking poles and also bear bells. I'm not sure that there are really any bears in japan outside of Hokkaido, but everybody has the bear bells. Most folks also have the fancy-pants gore-tex jackets with the fancy pants that match. They're all polite, but all of them give us strange looks.
Unfortunately, it was kind of foggy that day, so we couldn't see mount fuji, which is supposed to be apparent on a clear day. Supposedly one can see the ocean on one side and Fuji on the other. I took a couple of probably crappy pictures of clouds and sticks and stuff, we'll just have to see how those work out.