After summiting Tateyama our next goal was to climb the 925 meter Mount Atago, west of Kyoto. Perfect for a daytrip from Osaka! We took the 8:00 train and arrived about 2 and a half hours later at the foot of this sacred mountain in Kyoto.
Then there was a warning sign, in English, wow. Must be specifically for tourists! Since ” people having accidents have happened” we were glad we got there early to finish this 5 hour hike before sunset :)
Let’s go! So the trail started with some steps…
But wait! more steps!
You basically walk up a kilometer long stairway to the top of the mountain!!! Imagine 3 hours of climbing stairs. Yeah, we still have muscle aches haha. But we saw more then just steps! The forest of Atago is very beautiful and a bit mysterious.
And a lot of wildlife. We spotted some deers very closeby.
This is the “black gate”, which means you’re almost at the top. It really was a lot colder the higher we climbed.
Every year in summer there is a fantastic ritual at mount Atago during which people carry torches aaaall the way up the mountain to the shrine on the very top. It must be really exhausting!!
The view from the top was beautiful, you could see the whole of Kyoto.
The shrine on top had a very eerie atmosphere. some parts were really overgrown.
We rested there for about thirty minutes and bought a souvenir from the priest, then headed back down on the other side of the mountain. From there on the trail became creepier and creepier!!
It’s easy to get lost with the overgrown trails and many different routes, and most people just take the same route down as they went up. But we’ve had enough of stairs. so we carefully followed the signposts to the tuskinowa temple (“temple of the full moon”)
This temple was very … mysterious. There were “do not enter!” signs lying around everywhere, and the whole shrine seemed to be collapsed and overgrown. There was a statue of a Buddha but not many people around.
We quickly followed the trail further down.
There were small shrines everywhere along the route.
Some creepy creatures too, such as this huuuuge mukade whose bites cause excruciating pains. Better leave it alone!
The further we descended, the straighter the trees became!
After about five hours, we finished our total hike of mount Atago and were back at the base, but we decided to take a little extra detour alongside the Kiyotaki river.
This area is very popular in summer, but was completely abandoned now. I don’t know why but it had a very creepy atmosphere even though it was really beautiful!
Maybe because of the (human??) bones lying around…?
Or that weird old .. television..?
Or that abandoned dam facility??
And what about that nest of huge and deadly Japanese hornets…?
Or that snake?!
And this forest looks creepy. right??
Wow Kiyotaki is a very creepy and mysterious place! We also found a rusty old camera, but it didn’t have film in it anymore (can you imagine how scary it would have been if we found photos)…
But there were some beautiful things too!
Still I was kind of glad that after an hour we reached the little town of Takao, with teahouses and a busstop that would take us back to Kyoto.
After an exhausting hike of 6 hours (of which 3 hours were nothing but stairs), we celebrated with our favourite ramen (noodle soup) ! Which mountain shall we climb next??