I feel lucky that the greenery and beauty of the mountains can be so close to this concrete mess to provide some reprieve from the madness.
Gozen was not a terribly hard hike, but it left my knees a little week and a slight case of altitude sickness. I couldn’t enjoy the Spanish restaurant that we went to on our way back home until about an hour after we sat down. My head was pounding. Need to find a way to prevent that from happening. More water maybe?
The pain parted very much like the clouds during one overlook about halfway up the mountain. Being in the middle of the rainy season, I didn’t expect much in terms of a view — and we didn’t get much — but there was one moment at about 1000 meters where the clouds thinned out enough for us to see the neighboring mountains.
The route started from a bus stop about 10 minutes from Okutama and climbed about 600 vertical meters to the summit. Gozen-san sits at 1405 meters, which I guess qualifies it to be a member of the 1000 mountains-you-should-climb-in-Japan club.
Definitely a nice warm up for the hiking season, I hope that we’ll get out a couple more times before the summer and fall are through. As I’ve read from others who have explored the Okutama region, the more you go, the more you want to go.
I’ll be going back.