JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

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Image search results - "mikami"
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View of Mt. Mikami from Omi-Fuji Karyoku Koen Park in spring.
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View of Mt. Mikami-yama amid rice paddies in Yasu. Elevation 432 meters.
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View of Mt. Mikami from across Lake Biwa. Famous for the Giant Centipede folktale.
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View of Mt. Mikami from Karasaki, across Lake Biwa.
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Mt. Mikami as seen from JR Yasu Station train platform. The south exit of Yasu Station has a tourist info office where you can get maps and directions to the bus stop.
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From Yasu Station, it's a short bus ride to the foot of Mt. Mikami (get off at Yamade-mae 山出前). Then backtrack along the road to see two hiking paths. There are two trails, the Front (Omote, seen on the left)) and Back (Ura, seen on the right).
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Sign shows the way to the "Front Mountain Path" (Omote Tozando). I recommend taking a bottle or two of drinks. There's a vending machine near the bus stop. If you miss the bus from Yasu Station, it's a 40 min. walk. Taxis available. 表
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Way to the "Front Mountain Path" (Omote Tozando). Be aware that this is the steep trail, going almost straight up the mountain. You will be going on all fours much of the way. Gloves recommended. 表登山道
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The "Front Mountain Path" has a gate to prevent monkeys from escaping to the residential area. Be sure to close the gate after entering.
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Sign shows the way to the "Back Mountain Path" (Ura Tozando). This is the less steep trail to the summit. Notice the peak on the left. I went on this trail. 裏登山道 MAP
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After passing through a bamboo grove, there is a clearing with the Tempo Gimin Monument.
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At the foot of Mt. Mikami is Tempo Gimin Monument dedicated to the farmers who were tortured to death after the 1842 Tempo Ikki (天保一揆) uprising against the government's unfair land taxation surveys..
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Time capsule to be opened in 2042.
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Map of Mt. Mikami. It says the trail is 1.3 km long, taking 40 min. For normal people, allow 80 min. to reach the peak. I took about 90 min. to reach the top, while taking time to take pictures.
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Hiking Rules: No smoking. Do not make fire. Don't break tree branches or damage any trees. Don't take home any rocks, wood, etc. Take home your own trash.
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Gate to the Back Mountain Path. Be sure to close the gate after entering. I don't know how it would prevent monkeys from climbing over the low gate. Between Sept. 23 and Nov. 3 during mushroom season, 500 yen admission is charged for the Front/Back pa
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Hiking up the Back Mountain Path. The trail actually goes mainly toward the side of the mountain rather than the back. The back of the mountain has a trail going down toward Kibogaoka Bunka Koen Park.
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Two wooden signs pointed in opposite directions both say "To Mt. Mikami summit." Go right to continue on the easier Back Mountain Path. Or go left to get on the steeper Front Mountain Path. The large white sign says "Take home your trash.&q
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Sacred tree. The bark from this tree is used for the roofing of the shrine. Do not scratch or damage it.
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Steps
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The trail is rocky and rooty, with lots of tree roots.
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Sometimes log steps are provided.
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Halfway point called Uchikoshi 打越. It's a small clearing and crossroads for multiple trails. Also a good place to harvest matsutake mushrooms during the fall (Sept. 23-Nov. 3).
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Sign
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This trail goes around the side of the mountain. Not recommended.
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Trail to summit.
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500 meters until the peak.
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Roots
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Chain railing is helpful.
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Roots
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Steel railing to grab.
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Small torii and shrine.
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No sign for this little shrine.
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Kokegatani Valley. There's a small dip in the trail, going down and up again. This is a small valley near the peak. Visible as a small notch next to the peak. 苔が谷
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Kokegatani
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View from the dip. There should be a better view on the other side too, but too many trees block the view.
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Yuba-no-Futokoro
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The sign is almost totally unreadable.
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Summit in sight.
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Shrine and torii at the summit.
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Shrine and torii at the summit.
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A shrine with a view.
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Gods here must be happy to see such grand views.
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This is almost near the mountain's peak.
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Sacred rock where the god lives.
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Great view, but hazy when I was there. Ishibe is toward the left, and the shinkansen tracks toward the right.
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Sign pointing to a lookout point, slightly below the shrine.
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Going down to the lookout point.
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Lookout point on Mt. Mikami in Yasu.
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View from Mt. Mikami, Yasu. Ishibe is toward the left.
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Looking toward Ritto
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View from Mt. Mikami, Yasu.
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On the right, Route 8 can be seen crossing Yasu River.
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Route 8 crossing Yasu River
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The path on the left leads to the mountain's peak.
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To the peak.
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Just beyond the tree is the peak.
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Summit of Mt. Mikami. Only a small clearing with a bench. It was a great day for hiking. It is quite a popular mountain for climbers. Even for families with little kids. Didn't see any monkeys. No bears.
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Sign at the summit.
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"Take home your trash"
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Going down from the summit.
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Log steps
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Large stone walls
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Chain railing
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Chain railing really helps.
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Lots of ferns.
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1.4 km to Karyoku Koen Park
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Downward slope and trail. This trail is called the Karyoku Koen-gawa Tozando which starts from the Karyoku Koen flower park. 花緑公園側登山道
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Tree trunk
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850 meters to Karyoku Koen flower park.
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Entrance/Exit to Karyoku Koen-gawa Tozando
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Getting close to civilization.
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Beware of snakes (mamushi). Never saw any. Never saw any monkeys either.
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Prevent forest fires.
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Camping lodge in Karyoku Koen Park. There are more trails within the park and other sights like cherry blossoms. To get back to Yasu Station, walk to Kibogaoka Bunka Koen Park and the bus stop is at the Kibogaoka Nishi Gate next to the parking lot.
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Mt. Mikami in the distance.
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After you get off the bus at Mikami Jinja-mae, you see this small road leading to the rear entrance of the shrine. MAP
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Rear torii gate of Mikami Shrine
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Front entrance and torii gate of Mikami Shrine
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Front torii of Mikami Shrine
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Two-story Romon Gate, Important Cultural Property. 楼門
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Figure in gate
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Haiden worship hall, Important Cultural Property. 拝殿
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Haiden worship hall 拝殿
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Honden (left) and Haiden. The shrine worships a deity called Amenomikage. The shrine also has Mt. Mikami as a sacred mountain. 天之御影命
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Mikami Shrine's Honden in Yasu, a National Treasure. It is a mixture of Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple architecture. It dates from the Kamakura Period, about 700 years ago. 本殿
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Mikami Jinja's Honden. This was Shiga's first Shinto shrine building to be designated as a National Treasure. 本殿
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Rear view of Honden
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Rear view of Honden
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Honden
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Wakamiya Shrine on the left of the Honden. 若宮社
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Sannomiya Shrine of the right of the Honden. 三宮社
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Rear view of Haiden and Two-story Gate
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Mikoshi portable shrine storehouse
   
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