Okutama – hiking

So a couple of weeks ago I went hiking in Okutama.  About 90 minutes of out Tokyo.

I brought along a Japanese guide to read the signs and ensure that I would be fed.

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This is the feeding before the hike starts.  Now green root.  Is wasabi.  Seen it before?

Now let me share something interesting about wasabi.  Most of the wasabi (even in Japan) you try is fake.

How do you know?  It hurts.

Like really hurts.

You all know when you ate too much wasabi (self induced or not) and you feel like your nose is going to fall off?  That’s cause your wasabi is actually made out of mustard and dyed green.  haha!  What a scam.

The real stuff doesn’t hurt.  Go on, give it a try.  But, this has its obviously risks.  My other friend is a wasabi snob.  And from the way he wrinkles his nose, I believe him.  Kind of like the scars that professional boxers display.

But I digress.

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The hike continued past abandoned railway tunnels.DSC_9161

Mysterious dark tunnels leading into the heart of the mountain.

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Open roads winding to forgotten houses.BBridDSC_9169

Bridges to nowhere (really, you cross and its a deadend…).

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Beautiful silent forests.

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Rivers cutting across gorges.

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Pathways through the forest.

DSC_9182Through quiet groves.

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And out to the end of the trek, the giant reservoir.

Quite a scenic hike.  If a bit easy.  Not like Tanzawa.

But as always, as a reward for this hard work, time for food.

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Tofu…

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Oh, and here is the real food.  Yum yum.DSC_9207

Until next time.

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