Or: Getting lost up a Japanese mountain.
Did I mention that Japanese maps aren’t the best int he world? A while back I decided to climb Mount Kongo using one of the other routes up the mountain. I decided to go via a navigation point called Setto (セット). Sadly navigation can be hard in the densely wooded mountains. This isn’t helped by the fact that the map doesn’t list all of the paths and sometimes even the access roads. I came across a group of Japanese hikers who were as equally lost as me. Unlike them I decided that wandering off in the wrong direction along an access road was not the right thing to do. I went back the way I came and walked up another route.
It was still a nice walk. One aspect of life in Japan is to approach things as continuous improvement (or Kaizen in Japanese) and not take such failures to heart. Given my limited Japanese failures come along quite often.
The route a took wasn’t so obvious and eventually I ended at a dead end.
Retracing my steps I found some ribbons tied around some tree branches. They showed a different route including a somewhat rickety bridge.
Near the top I came across these Buddhist statues by the side of the path.
Eventually I reached to familiar peak of Kongo-san and ate some soba noodles in the cafe. One of the things at the top of the mountain is a signboard with the names of people who have walked up the mountain a certain number of time. This is the board for 200 visits. I’m not sure how they account for the visits.