Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Family trekking to Daimonji-Yama

The company that I work for, ROHM, organizes trekking twice, during spring and autumn. During spring, Shanthi and Anto stayed back assuming that the trekking course would be difficult for our little Anto, while I trekked with my colleagues. But in spring it was no trekking but just walking, along the Kamogawa, to the takaragaike-park near the kokusai-kaikan. It was such a dull experience that I did not take out my camera once. Yes not even once. In the end the company provided subsidized packed lunch with beer and snacks, which we had to eat out in the cold-windy-day.

Many of my colleagues who trekked along with me wanted to meet Shanthi and Anto. So, when the autumn trekking was announced for Daimonji-yama, I signed up for Shanthi, Anto and me, immediately. I had read about this trekking trail in some of my friend Jeff’s posts. After I signed up, the leader of the trekking-club expressed his worries that it would be difficult for my 4.9 years old Anto, and also to the inexperienced Shanthi, who had never climbed a mountain in her entire life.


So, as a precursor to the trekking club’s event, Shanthi, Anto and me attempted to climb Daimonji-yama. A day after the tiring Sunday full of sporting events at Anto’s Kindergarten, we started out early in the morning toward Kinkakuji. I had seen the Japanese kanji “大” in the mountain near this temple and assumed it to be the “Daimonji”. When I landed in Kinkakuji, full of energy, I found out that the trekking course was near the similar sounding temple Ginkakuji. I lost half of my energy at that point. Around 4 years back, I planned to take Shanthi and Anto to Kinkakuji and took them Ginkakuji, by mistake. Anyway we took a direct bus from Kinkakuji to Ginkakuji, and in due course lost an hour.

We reached the Ginkakuji-michi bus stop, and immediately started our climb. It was kind of tricky to find the right way till the mountain trail, and we kept asking people around us till we reached the trail. Anto and Shanthi were full of energy. It was around 1115, and we started our climb just forgetting our lunch.


Anto was carrying his jacket and snacks in his own bag, which was kind of cute. We climbed along the trail, which was crowded. We soon came across Anto’s class mate, which made me think that this trail is popular among Kyoto-ites.


Anto posing with full of energy, while Shanthi had lost more than half of her health-points. Till half-way it was mostly mud stairs followed stone stairs. Note: It seems that the stone stairs was built by my colleagues father.


After climbing this never-ending-stairs we reached a place which we thought was the goal. With Kyoto in the background we took a lot of snaps one of which is our family photo.


Anto was given a lot of “funny” poses … which made me think that he has grown-up a bit ;-)




Soon we learnt that this spot was just the mid-point and we had to climb for another 30 minutes to reach the top. At this point, Solomon still retained all his health points, while Shanthi had lost all hers, and I started feeling hungry.DSC_0067

Solomon tried hard to pump-out energy from this stone for Shanthi and me, which refreshed both of us ;-). From this point on it was just climbing-climbing-followed by more climbing. But first came this steep-yet-narrow-dirty-stairs.


After climbing these mad and narrow stairs and walking we had to do some more rough climbing. I thought this is the first time for Shanthi, she was both frightened and exhausted, while Anto continued to try pumping out energy from the rocks for Shanthi. DSC_0075

45 minutes after leaving the mid-point we made it to the top, where we accidently ran over a colleague of mine. He also came along with his 4 year old kid.


This is Anto gazing at Kyoto. If you see carefully you can see the Kyoto tower in this snap. Actually my colleague shot a few snaps of our whole family here which was awfully off-focus. It was around 1315 when we reached the top. We were slow, but we made it, with my yet to be 5 kid putting an end to the worries to the trekking-club leader.

Oh wait! but we have to get down which is equally tricky as climbing.  We initially thought of descending towards Yamashina, but after finding that there were not many going in that direction, we decided to take the same route that we ascended. We were hungry which drove us to walk faster, and Anto was continuously slipping, which made me put away my camera and I took his hand. We walked-walked and we reached the foot at around 1500. Solomon still had enough health-points to play around.

DSC_0096I had always wanted to trek with Shanthi, and when I found that Solomon was enjoying climbing, I was very happy. In fact I was a bit proud that he walked this trail without any fuss.

But here comes the best part, I told him that we will taking the same course next week along with my colleagues. And he answered, “During this trek I had enjoyed fully, and so next week we can try something else”. I think he is correct, climbing twice is no fun. So … I have decided to trek to some other place .. hopefully Atago-san.