29 August 2007


A drizzly morning didn't prevent me from leafing through my "Lonely Planet Hiking in Japan" book in search of somewhere to go today. I settled on a short hike highlighting Kurama-dera, a temple north of Kyoto.

25 August 2007


The IAAF World Championships Marathon in Osaka.

Before the Marathon

The IAAF World Championships are being held in Osaka this week, and I thought I should do something for it. I woke up very early to head over to the Marathon route. On the way I found someone who hadn't woken up yet.

14 August 2007

Niigata Mountains

What a fabulous hike up Hiuchi-yama and Myoko-san. These are two mountains on a well-marked trail of 21 kilometres in length just north of the Nagano border in Niigata prefecture. I was blessed with great weather. The trail-head at Sasa-ga-me is at about 1300m and it was a day's climb to the summit of Hiuchi-yama at 2462m.

I camped overnight beside the Takidani-ike mountain hut at around 2100m and then climbed nearby Myoko-san at 2446m. It is hard to believe it was only a change of 350m in elevation because it was an arduous climb, taking over three hours. It was another three hours to get down the mountain. My legs were stinging and I was exhausted to the bone but I was also thrilled to have climbed my first real mountain in Japan.

Next time I climb, however, I think I should leave the D80 and VR 80-200mm lens at home, opting for something much LIGHTER instead.

See more pictures of "Niigata Mountains" are at my an-fi photo gallery.

See more pictures of "Niigata Mountains" are at my an-fi photo gallery.