JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


Most viewed - Climbing Mt. Mikami 三上山(近江富士)
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View of Mt. Mikami from Omi-Fuji Karyoku Koen Park in spring.389 views
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141 views
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View of Mt. Mikami-yama amid rice paddies in Yasu. Elevation 432 meters.131 views
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View of Mt. Mikami from across Lake Biwa. Famous for the Giant Centipede folktale.121 views
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119 views
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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).94 views
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94 views
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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.89 views
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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88 views
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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.87 views
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View of Mt. Mikami from Karasaki, across Lake Biwa.86 views
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After passing through a bamboo grove, there is a clearing with the Tempo Gimin Monument.79 views
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Lookout point on Mt. Mikami in Yasu.75 views
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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.74 views
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Time capsule to be opened in 2042.74 views
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Cherry trees bloom in early April in Omi-Fuji Karyoku Koen Park (also called Omi-Fuji Green Acres), Yasu. MAP72 views
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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 MAP71 views
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Cherry blossoms71 views
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Great view, but hazy when I was there. Ishibe is toward the left, and the shinkansen tracks toward the right.70 views
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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..68 views
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Sandwiched between the foot of Mt. Mikami and Kibogaoka Bunka Park, Omi-Fuji Karyoku Koen Park (also called Omi-Fuji Green Acres) is about flowers and greenery, including cherry blossoms. 植物園68 views
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Garden of various cherry trees.68 views
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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.67 views
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View from Mt. Mikami, Yasu. Ishibe is toward the left.67 views
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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.67 views
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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 pa66 views
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Chain railing is helpful.63 views
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Sato no Ie thatched-roof house now a display space. 里の家63 views
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Shrine and torii at the summit.62 views
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I visited this park after coming down from Mt. Mikami which was full of green and brown. So seeing bright colors in this park was a great sight.62 views
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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.61 views
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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.&q61 views
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Shrine and torii at the summit.61 views
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Sacred rock where the god lives.61 views
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Weeping cherry tree in Omi-Fuji Karyoku Koen Park (also called Omi-Fuji Green Acres) in Yasu.61 views
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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.60 views
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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).60 views
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60 views
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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59 views
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Inside Sato no Ie59 views
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The trail is rocky and rooty, with lots of tree roots.58 views
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Sometimes log steps are provided.58 views
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Beware of snakes (mamushi). Never saw any. Never saw any monkeys either.58 views
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Steps57 views
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Roots57 views
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Trail to summit.57 views
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500 meters until the peak.57 views
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Going down to the lookout point.57 views
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View from Mt. Mikami, Yasu.57 views
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Route 8 crossing Yasu River57 views
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This trail goes around the side of the mountain. Not recommended.56 views
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No sign for this little shrine.56 views
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Steel railing to grab.56 views
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Looking toward Ritto56 views
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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.55 views
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Roots55 views
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The sign is almost totally unreadable.55 views
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Sign pointing to a lookout point, slightly below the shrine.55 views
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55 views
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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.55 views
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Mt. Mikami and slide55 views
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Small torii and shrine.54 views
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Kokegatani54 views
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Gods here must be happy to see such grand views.54 views
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Large stone walls54 views
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Furusato Yakata for nature workshops54 views
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This is almost near the mountain's peak.53 views
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53 views
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Prevent forest fires.53 views
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Bridge over the highway53 views
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Sign52 views
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The path on the left leads to the mountain's peak.52 views
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Getting close to civilization.52 views
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Summit in sight.51 views
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On the right, Route 8 can be seen crossing Yasu River.51 views
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In spring, the cherries bloom in the botanical gardens. Lodging facilities, walking trails, playgrounds, and workshops are also provided. Water fountain. 近江富士花緑公園51 views
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51 views
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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50 views
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Going down from the summit.50 views
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1.4 km to Karyoku Koen Park50 views
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Yuba-no-Futokoro49 views
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Camping lodge49 views
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A shrine with a view.48 views
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47 views
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Sign at the summit.47 views
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Just beyond the tree is the peak.47 views
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Entrance/Exit to Karyoku Koen-gawa Tozando47 views
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Chain railing really helps.47 views
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47 views
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850 meters to Karyoku Koen flower park.47 views
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This park and surrounding area has a number of different things to see and do. Walk further more and you will reach Kibogaoka Park.47 views
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To the peak.46 views
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"Take home your trash"46 views
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Water fountain46 views
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BBQ46 views
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Chain railing45 views
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Log steps45 views
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Mt. Mikami45 views
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Grassy lawn45 views
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Lots of ferns.44 views
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Tree trunk44 views
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42 views
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Weeping cherry tree41 views
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