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Saturday 3rd December 2005. A day out with Hide to go and visit Takaosan - a mountain conveniently located within a short train ride from Tokyo.

11:44:33 Just after getting off the train at Takaosan Guchi ("entrance to Takaosan") we thought we ought to set ourselves up for the walk ahead with an early lunch...

11:44:50 ...and of course some beer. Shocking behaviour - not even midday!

11:51:09 The view from the window of the place we had lunch.

12:10:01 Chie and me in front of the cable car / chair lift station.

12:15:20 We went by chair lift on the way up - Chie and I in one, and Hide following behind.

12:15:31 The chair lift ride was really fun!

12:15:45 Apaprently if you dropped anything along the way you were supposed to note the number of the nearest pole...

12:16:08 I think you can see how much we were enjoying it here.

12:16:36 There's Hide, still behind us.

12:16:48 Lovely autumnal trees lined the route, although they didn't come out that well in the pictures.

12:18:43 A slightly scary bit, where we were actually going above the tree canopy somehow.

12:19:32 It was quite a long ride!

12:19:45 More trees really.

12:20:12 Again this is a bit where there is a sort of net suspended above a ravine...

12:21:10 Getting near the top now...(?)

12:21:33 Here we are again.

12:22:23 Nice views to be had, although as always in Japan it was a bit hazy.

12:22:40 Errr... cables and stuff.

12:25:25 More of the same.

12:26:02 Just before the top - a helpful sign telling you how to get off.

12:26:39 ...and we're at the top - a handy conveyor belt assists getting off the chair lift.

12:28:33 I like signs with monkeys on!

12:31:38 One of the viewing points up at the top... as before a bit too hazy to really see anything...

12:31:51 ...I guess that is some part of Tokyo amidst the haze there.

12:36:30 The octopus tree - thus named for its tentacle like roots.

12:53:14 As always with this sort of place in Japan, many shrines lined the way.

12:53:52 A statue.

12:54:01 A close-up on this rather larged nosed statue.

12:54:53 Another hazy view.

12:57:01 Hide and Chie on the steps.

12:57:20 Me and Chie on the steps.

12:58:40 Another shrine thing.

13:02:35 Another strangely nosed statue.

13:03:03 I guess this is the same chap as earlier, either that or big noses are popular in these parts.

13:04:13 A rather nice three dimensional mural - possibly the 3D effect is somewhat lost in this picture.

13:19:23 More hazy views.

13:19:43 Chie and Hide with some nice autumnal trees behind.

13:20:02 Me and Chie.

13:27:44 One of today's highlights was finding a shop at the top selling "one cup atsukan" - hot sake, in other words. Lovely.

13:30:40 On a chilly late autumn / early winter day this was much appreciated!

13:59:39 We went for a walk along one of the trails after our sake, which took us away from all the people, through some really nice woods...

14:04:08 Lovely trees!

14:08:43 More trees...

14:10:45 ...and more...

14:10:54 ...and more!

14:13:36 Oh and a bridge.

14:29:49 I encountered two eskimoes along the way.

14:32:22 A view through the trees out towards some kind of civilisation.

14:32:29 The end of a tree.

14:32:35 More trees generally.

14:48:44 Chie and Hide eating dango...

14:54:13 On the way back down we took the "cable car" (rack railway?) rather than the chair lift. Definitely the chair lift was the more fun option.

14:54:23 It carried a useful warning sign about the possibility of giant monkeys riding atop the train.

14:56:29 Inside the cable car.

14:58:24 Another cable car passing the other way.

14:59:06 Back up the track - apparently the steepest in Japan, I think I heard them say.

18:13:01 Later on that day, back in the centre of Tokyo, dinner in the very cheap Italian "famiresu" near mine and Chie's temporary flat.

18:18:09 Mmmm cheap spaghetti and cheap red wine!

18:18:18 Despite being hideuously cheap, the spaghetti here is actually rather nice.

18:18:39 A blurry picture of me and Chie.

18:18:55 A less blurred version.

18:19:51 The pizza is also pretty good - and also rediculously cheap.

18:42:50 The end of the meal - we'd eaten quite a lot.

18:56:07 This was mine and Chie's third visit to this place so we got a free plate!