Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Conquering Mt Fuji

Yesterday I climbed mount Fuji with Merrill and Janeen, Ryan B, and Robert W. It was great. We kept a steady pace, all staying together and all got the branding stamps on our walking sticks at most of the huts. The ascent was very challenging.  There were some rugged up-hill parts, a bunch of switch backs, and some stairs. I think the variety on the ascent was good. The last 200 or so meters were very exhausting. Standing still I was fine but almost immediately after starting up again I became out of breath and a little wobbly at times from the combination of being tired with less oxygen in the atmosphere. We ended up at the top a little after noon, 5 hrs and 15 minutes. It was a great feeling to have made it to the top. I continued and hiked around the crater, which offered some cool views of the crater and got me to the actual highest point. So it was mostly worth it to hike an extra 45 minutes. The weather on the way up was nice. Foggy, humid a bit of sunshine, a slight drizzle towards the summit and then a lot more sunshine at the top. Eating ramen at the top was yummy and just cool! 

After my crater trek, I got back to the rest of the group just as the rain began and it continued the whole way down.  We were pretty soggy and wet all the way but it wasn't too bad since it didn't get too cold or windy.

Coming down was probably just about as hard as going up and my knee started hurting. It didn't hurt if I went backwards so I went down a lot of it backwards. The descent takes you down a different route with a bunch of switch backs and a lot of loose volcanic gravel/shale.  It was pretty exhausting but it was a great hike and well worth the trip. It was an awesome group to go with.

This morning we, in insanity, woke up and caught a taxi to the fish market at 4 am. Why you might ask? Because we wanted to witness the Tsukiji Fish Market Auction. We got there just in time to get tickets.  These days they only let 70 people into the each of the 2 auctions since tourists got it closed down to visitors a while back.
We made it into the second auction. It was insane. Tons (literally) of tuna lined up in a large warehouse, with lots of people inspecting the quality with touch, taste, visual and even using flash lights to get a better sense for the true color of the meat.
Then the auction starts with the different auctioneers ringing their bell and then they sell each fish one at a time. It goes really fast and each person moves about 100 fish in 10 minutes and there are probably 10 auctioneers going at the same time. The guys are really animated and excited and they seem to be having a great time.
It was a really fascinating thing to watch. Once we got shuffled back out, we walked around the busiest, largest, coolest and most dangerous (due to the small trucks speeding around without any consideration for the American tourists!) fish market ever.

Then we headed back to the New Sanno hotel and had a fabulous buffet breakfast, (Maxwell worthy) had naps, then headed out for lunch and a temple session. It was neat going to the Temple of the Lord after having summited a physical temple the previous day.
After the Temple we headed back to the hotel, swam and then went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner. It was nice to be able to have American food again. You just need to have it once in a while. I even had a hamburger in front of Janeen (our healthy eating friend) who ordered two half salads. I thought that was funny but definitely not unusual for her.

It has been a great trip and I am ready to go to bed and go home tomorrow. Thank you Emily for being a lone woman in Misawa with the boys while I did this. (Though it sounds like you have been partying with your girl friends a lot!) See you soon!


Linz said...


The New Me said...

Wow great job! Mike and I want to hike it next year before we move. Now I know what to do to get ready!

fancypants said...

congrats and kudos! I was supposed to go last Wednesday, but I cancelled due to some other things coming up. But next year for sure! You must have been on the same trip as my friends from Misawa, they came down at the same time.