Climb Mount Fuji

1

When it comes
to travelling,
the Far East
has always been
my favorite part
of the world.

And, it’s hard to
beat Japan for culture,
charm, and historical landmarks.

The people are friendly,
Osaka is world class fun,
and the countryside is beautiful —

But,
the highlight,
surely,
is hiking Mount Fuji.

Mount Fuji,
( 富士山, Fuji-san )
the traditional sacred
mountain of the Japanese,misstokimatsu

– and Japan’s highest peak-
is located on the largest island Honshu, about 60 miles southwest of Tokyo.

The Mountain is named after the fire goddess Fuji of the indigenous Ainu people.

Actually, it’s the most sacred of three ” Holy Mountains ” ,

……. the others being Mount Haku in the Ryohaku Range,

and Mount Tate,
the home of the famous Shomyo Falls
( the highest waterfalls in Japan ).

It’s about a two hour bus ride from Tokyo,
and on a clear day, you can see Mt Fuji from there.

It is an active volcano, and
it last blew it’s stack in 1708–
… although many Japanese
scientists are predicting
another eruption at almost anytime now.

That doesn’t mean you
shouldn’t go for the
summit, though.route

I mean, you survived the Maya ‘apocalypse’, dint ya ?

And if it’ll make ya feel any better, you can visit the
shrine of the goddess
Konohananosakuya-hime,
near the summit, whose
responsibility it is to keep
the sacred mountain from erupting.

Seriously, though…
this trek is made by an
estimated 250,000 folks a year,
……… and about 100,000
of them are tourists.imperial

While it is definitely a strenuous hike to complete in one day, if one breaks it into two or three parts, it’s accessible to just about anyone in reasonably good condition.

But, the average Japanese who makes the trek- leaves in the afternoon, hikes all nite, and makes the summit in time to enjoy “Goraikō” — the sunrise breaking atop Fujisan.

There are 10 ‘stations’ along the route
from the base to the summit,
and there are paved roads
that go all the way up to the ‘fifth’ station, 10
which is about half way up.

If you go in climbing season,
which is about 6 weeks long, and starts July 1, you can ride a bus up to this point.

Most of the rest of the year, you could drive up there and park.

Entry points to this 5th station are on each side of the mountain, and the most popular trails are accessed from here.

There are actually eight major routes from which to choose, depending on the length of your desired hike, and the difficulty involved.

There are four trails that start at the foot of the mountain, and four more starting at ‘fifth’ station.

The most popular routes
can be accessed here, Lake Kawaguchi2
with it’s large, comfy rest huts,
and Fujinomaya — the highest of the ‘fifth’ stations.

The Yoshida trail, with it’s many old shrines and facilities like teahouses and rest huts, is also accessible from here,

— but beware– it’s crowded as all get-out in season.

It’ll take the average person about 6 hours up, and 4 hours down.

The oldest trail, Murayama, on the seaward side of Mount Fuji, has been in use for at least 1200 years, extends from the base of the mountain, and has deep roots in Shinto tradition.

Depending on the route you take,
and how fast you’re moving,
it can take from 4 to 9 hours
of walking to ascend from fifth station to the summit.

Footing is pretty good on these trails most of the way, but it’s important that you take your time, especially if you’re hiking at night.

The trails are mostly well packed, but with some looser stuff close to the top, and of course, a steep grade.

3And let’s not forget how high up you’re gonna be — so high altitude sickness is a possibility.

( Remember — breathe , step, breathe, step — and don’t forget to hydrate! )

Rest often, and be
aware of your limits.

You are the best judge of what you’re capable of..
…………. don’t push too hard.

Once you make the summit,
you can hike around the crater —
500yen ( yes, I told you —
it’s a volcano ),
for about a mile-

……… and it’s as level as trail as you’ve ever been on, thankfully.

On this trail, you will reach a marker that identifies it as kengamine
… the site of an old radar station,
and the highest point in Japan.

Sounds easy enough, huh?

Yeah… right.

An ancient Japanese saying says it all:
“One would be a fool not to climb Fujisan once,
….. and one would be a fool to climb Fujisan twice.”fu

It’s certainly worth doing, but, there is definitely some stuff you’ll want to bring with you.

This list is not all inclusive, I guess…
…. your mileage may vary,
……. but you wanna have this stuff at very least.

A light backpack to put the rest of this stuff in.

A good head-mounted flashlight and a small hand-held one.

Water and food.
Enough.
Not too much.
Remember, you gotta carry it.

Layer your clothes… mtfujitop
bring something light, and something warm.
( You’ll need em both, even in August, on Mount Fuji.)
and gloves.
and a rain poncho.
… and good boots or walking shoes.

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Other Stuff to Do :

Now, if you decide that all that uphill stuff ain’t for you, you can still use the Ochudo Trail, to see beautiful Mount Fuji.

It is also road-accessible from 5th station, where the very mild trail picks up and winds around the mountain at roughly the same elevation, and is about 5K long.

Down the access road towards the base of Fujiyama, be sure to check out the gorgeous Five Lakes.

Or, if you’re feeling very adventurous and have taken all your meds…..

You might visit
Aokigahara
” Sea of Trees” —-4

otherwise known as the famous ‘Suicide Forest’ at the northwest base —

this place is so creepy that ….

…… well, some peoples say it makes em crazy.

Come to think of it ……
— forget I mentioned it.

If you’re ready for more information,
why not visit http://www.japan-guide.com/
……… for all kinds of stuff from where to stay to how to get there.

Totemo tanoshii go ryokou wo !!

And tell Miss Tokimatsu I said ‘hello’ !!!!!


Miss Tokimatsu

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Get With The Glow

lab

Let me start by saying that I was originally going to write a ‘part two’ for a post on weird and dangerous radioactive products,

And then,
it suddenly dawned on me that most people probably hadn’t even seen part one–
— because it was in my ‘drafts’ file.

What a dumb ass.

So, anyhoo….

I have combined the new post with the old draft ….

So you get two, radio
two,
TWO posts for the price of none.

Pretty good deal, huh ?

Ok,
so whatdaya want fer nuthin’ ?

Ahem.

I had read somewhere that radioactive used cars were being sold in Japan…..

I’m sure you probably haven’t forgotten about the
earthquake ,
flood,
and resultant nuclear catastrophe a couple years ago in Japan…. abcradiumcigs

Well,
maybe somebody has.

Apparently,
some cars that should have been destroyed
after being irradiated,
due to the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster,

— had been retitled,
and sold– protolz
by unscrupulous used car dealers.

One car measured over 300 times the safe radiation level.

Unscrupulous used car dealers ????

Who’d even imagine you could put those words together in a sentence, huh?

I couldn’t be more surprised if you told me that Gulf-coast shrimp had a piquant aftertaste reminiscent of 30 weight oil.
repo man
Or that ‘spring water’ they get 2 bucks a bottle comes out of a tap in Cleveland.

I imagine nobody really thinks that driving a radioactive car is that good for ya.

Xceptin’ maybe the guys in ‘Repo Man’ .

But, back 100 years or so,
heck, it mighta been a selling point.

Cause it wasn’t all that long ago,
when people thought radioactive stuff was medicinal and health-giving.

Take the case of industrialist Eben Byers, in 1932.radithor

Eben was living the high life —
he was a Yale graduate,
and inherited the presidency of the Girard Iron Company from his daddy……

He was traveling by train,
home from the annual Harvard-Yale football game, in 1927,
when he fell from his berth and injured his arm.

He saw his doctor.
who suggested he try a new product on the market that was having remarkable success—–

——— it was called Radithor” .ae

The doctor did seem to have failed to mention that he was receiving a 17% commission for each bottle he sold…….

Five years later,
Eben’s jaw had disintegrated,
his bones scorched,
and he died a frighteningly horrible death of radiation poisoning —

—– he had to be buried in a lead coffin for chrissake.

Ahhhhhh..
the wonders of medical science.

And the same genius, one William Bailey,
who had created this fine product,
went on to create several other fine products—radiumdrink

— like a radioactive water fountain, and a radium paper weight.

Wow….
how can I get in on the vast money making opportunities of dangerous patent medicine cures?

Well you may ask.

But alas, the ‘unnecessary and invasive’ noodling of governmental officials into the ‘affairs of free enterprise’ for the sake of the health and safety of the ‘public’ have made this impossible, unfortunately.

For some reason,
they have come to believe that radiation might actually be bad fer ya.

Of course, codn
you could still buy one of them radioactive “Hot Springs”, I guess.

In the twenties and thirties especially,
many different kinds of radioactive products were sold —

from beauty cream to toothpaste —-
— from laxatives to linaments —
from contraceptives to chocolate.

Yep– contraceptives.

This is what you call a “Nutex” radium condom.

Rather an unfortunate choice of brand names,
if you ask me, but still…vigor

Nutex actually marketed several interesting items in the 30’s,
including a mysterious ‘hair remover’ that worked a bit too well,
until the secret ingredient was revealed.

Awww….
you guessed.

Anyhoo…..

The concept of a radioactive ding-dong didn’t appeal to consumers all that well,
despite the inference that the radium would keep sperm from getting loose and impregnating folks……

I mean,
that’s what the latex part of the condom is supposed to do, right ?

woolIn order to get your radium fix back in the late 1930’s, assuming you had one,

…. you didn’t need to roll it down on your John Thomas, or get it by ‘injection’ ….

Ok..
I’ll stop,
I’ll stop.

You could wear it —
in your clothes.

There was a particularly strong advertising campaign for radioactive wool in baby clothing in the 1930’s….

And radioactive wool was expected to be the boom product of the 1940’s.

And then the world went boom,
instead of the radioactive wool market.

Go figure.

Or,radioactive chocolate

You could simply ingest it— in chocolate.

This fine late 1930’s German product —

( oh, yeah…
you could always trust the Nazi’s to insure product safety )

— contained a sizeable dose of real live Radium—

A dose that today would be considered a years worth of safe exposure.

Assuming you could get anyone to tell you eating this stuff was in any way safe.

And note on the label — “Auslandspat“— it’s for export only.

Oh, those wacky Germans. pastilles

Or, say,
perchance,
if you were part of the U.S. 7th Army occupation force HQ in Germany after WW II,

and your breath got a little on the übelriech side while chatting up all the cute little frauleins —

Well, you were in the right place —

’cause Heidelberg was the home of these ‘special’ breath mints…..

Mmmmmm…..
tastes minty, with just a touch of toxic waste .thor radia

But for deceptive and dangerous advertising,
you have to love this next ad.

“As discovered by Doctor Alfred Curie” —

—– the miracles of radioactivity can now make you beautiful.

You may be wondering what relation this Fred Curie had to the famous discoverers of radium , Doctor and Madame Curie……..

Interesting question.

None.

“Doctor Alfred Curie” had no more qualifications in nuclear science than that ugly little Chihuahua on the Taco Bell commercials did.

He didnt exist.

And that dog, at least, could speak a second language.

But no matter.

In 1933,
” Tho-Radia “, foot
was introduced as a full beauty product line, that included:
rouge powder, cleansing cream, skin powder, and lipstick——

—— all infused with the radioactive elements Thorium and Radium.

Wow….
would that bring out a woman’s glow.

After World War II,
another radioactive product hit the market…

radioactive toothpaste

Yes, it was engineered by Nazi scientists,
but didn’t get released until after the war.

Just think of all the fun they woulda had if they had gotten the Bomb first.

Ahem.

Doramad Toothpaste was advertised as:

‘radioactive radiation increases the defenses of teeth and gums… cells are loaded with new life energy, the destroying effect of bacteria is hindered… it gently polishes the dental enamel and turns it white and shiny.’

Uh huh.

Use em before you lose em, I guess….
flash ’em those pearly whites.

.

sparkMost folks never even knew that Firestone made automotive spark plugs ,

Never mind radioactive ones.

Polonium was a material used in the Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan —

—— and in these things.

It’s not a metal, it’s not a gas, it’s not a liquid.

Nobody knows quite WHAT it is.

But it is highly radioactive.

And I’m sure it’ll give generate quite a spark.

Boy howdy, will it ever.

.6

Hey…. here’s another wonderful piece of advertising —

This fine product was also made
right here in the good ole U.S. of A. —

In Denver, to be exact.

They were called Vita-Radium Suppositories —

The ads said they turned ‘weak discouraged men’ into strong, heroic males that would ‘bubble over with joyous vitality’.

They were supposed to be kinda like a 40’s Viagra,
……… exceptin’ that you stuck em up yer ass, and they didn’t work.

Not yer particular bread and butter , huh?

Let’s see…. golf

Are you of a sporting nature?

Well,
why not put some bang in your golf game with some radioactive golf balls?

It is such a boring game, otherwise.

No?

Hmmm…..

Alright….. 7

how about this one………..

It’s radioactive bread .

Made in Czechoslavakia —
Bohemia, I think…

it was supposedly good for growing boys and girls,

……………………. and used only the purest of radioactive water.

But maybe the funniest —
or weirdest —
or worst —
( depending on your perspective , I guess )
example of products representing the “Better Living thru Radiation” theme,
was this:
radioactive cig holder
It’s a cigarette holder, sure….

But not just a cigarette holder….

It’s a “LIFESTONE cigarette holder” , from the 1960’s.

In this holder, the smoke passed thru a small amount of radium.

This “wondrous efficacy of radium emanation protects your health from injurious element in a cigarette and makes it sweeter and milder,” and claimed the holder would protect users from lung cancer, not to mention beautiful faces and excellent health.

Ahhhh…

….. it’s nice to know we’re still securely wrapped in the security blanket of big business, huh?

HOY!

And now,
our Daily Pin Up.

a1

She’s Really Crazy (About You)

japanEvery damned time I get to thinkin’ I’ve seen everything…..

My friends in Japan set out to remind me that I haven’t seen anything yet.

You mighta read my post about the Japanese fad of:
Hamuketsu’
( Hamster Ass )–

( if not , there’s a link to it )…..

Well, my co-worker Aoi doesn’t want me thinking that reading hentai and photo books featuring nothing but rodent butts represents the wholeness of Japanese cultural idiosyncraticism —- oh no.

She’s been living in America long enough to know that we’re kinda squares when it comes to that kinda thing.j1

” Horny Hutterite Housewives of Humptulips, Washington ? ”

” All American Bruce Jenner now wants to be a girl? “

“Ancient Alien Red Neck Rocket Scientists ? “

Come on, man —

….. you gaijins gotta try a lot harder than THAT, she’d say.

And, it’s true —
— so very true —

The folks in the Land of the Rising Sun can out-outré us any day of the week.

Things that guys who go over there always do when they return–
is to rave about:

the beauty of Japanese women —
the perplexing mix of katana, kanji, and romaji–
—   and the absolute inedibility of most of the food.

I agree on all counts.smoked

You think you know your way around (a bit) until faced with a sign like this:

And you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten fried octopus balls.

Yes, the women are lovely, smart, and charming–

But you never really know a woman until you see her angry.

Aoi is a pretty good example, now that I think about it….

And judging from this newest Japanese TV fad she told me about,

…..maybe that beach house on Kabira Bay ain’t such a wonderful idea after all.a

A show on Nippon TV started in 2012 called :

I Want A Beautiful Woman To Get Angry With Me ” —

….. and this show featured…
well, random beautiful women screaming at the camera.

The title does kinda say it all, I guess.

Unfortunately, some folks felt the show lacked focus.

Random women screaming insults and obscenities just got kinda old hat after a coupla minutes, ya know?

So, the producers have changed the show.

It’s now called ” I Want To Be Scolded by Risa Yoshiki “.

And it’s in it’s second season now.um

Risa Yoshiki is a pretty well known singer and internet model practicing another Japanese trend —

that of jigadori
—–pretty swimsuit models doing sexy selfies.

So, naturally, the show’s creative geniuses figured she was a natural, and would fix the lack of viewer interest problem, too.

And boy howdy, did it.

The show is now as popular as tuna belly at a sushi festival.

aaAdmittedly, Risa is pretty good at hurling nasty insults while still maintaining that classic Japanese-female sense of detachment —

So much so,
it would be hard to take her insults personally,

…… even for a guy with such a fragile ego as mine.

Of course, it helps ,
at least in my case,

……… to have such a miserably bad grasp of the Japanese language.

But, she can really dish it out — and there are subtitles:

“What are you looking at, you lecherous fogey ? “

“I’m gonna kick your weakling ass “

“Hey, hey, hey! Hello? Is there something wrong with you?

“Just knock it the hell off already, ass!”

“You’re in your late 30s! Stop farting about ! “

“Dumbass, when people are talking about pancakes, don’t you look at the waitresses underpants !”

“You’re way too damned old to be getting excited over manga!”

and of course,
who can forget the immortal —

” Before you laugh like a moron while drinking with young women, first train your subordinates properly!”

Yes, indeed — words to live by.

Lest you forget , however,
that Risa is harboring no actual hard feelings for the viewer,
………… she always closes her show with these comforting words:

“I love you guys, dammit!”

And you know,
I feel the same way about ya.

Thanks for reading —
Hoy !

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Varied and Sundry Weirdness

soundlocatorsThis reality is getting weirder all the time.

Not that I’m complaining, exactly, ’cause I might just be part of the problem.

Still.

Ugh.

Beach weather has hit Charlotte hard —

it was almost 100 today, and on my motorcycle, it felt like 120 —

Maybe that explains the moron who was wearing flip flops and a bathing suit bottom in the weight room of my gym this afternoon.

( Keep in mind, we’re four hours from the nearest beach.)

But I don’t want you to think I called him a moron to his face.

I called him an idiot to his face.

He stormed off and complained to the desk….
who told him that he couldn’t wear flip flops in the gym — he might get hurt.

I’ll second that. chrome

And I know by who.

Ok– sorry.

By whom.

.

Summer brings out all the clods into the gym….

A guy last week mounted the squatting leg press backwards,

and proceeded to make “Wooooooooo!!!!” yelps after each awkward-bended-knee-WTF-is-that rep.

I watched him load up in disgust and apathy, and sauntered off to do weighted dips.

I had my headphones on full blast, but I still could hear him from across the place.

munsterI was about to draw up a sign that says “Munster Go Home”,

…. when I see a couple of guys whizz past me, and the next thing I know, an ambulance arrives.

Apparently, his alternative style workout ended badly.

Awwwww.

Or should I say “Woooooooooooooo” .

A brain is an awful thing to waste, man.

.

Has anybody ever used a TV service called Hulu?

My latest TV hard-on has been for Tattoo shows —

( I guess I’ve posted on that subject before. )bad

I can’t explain the appeal…

… it’s like a train wreck , ya know?

Anyhoo….

I’ve watched all the Ink Masters and the Tattoos After Hours and the Bad Inks , etc, etc, etc available on Netflix …

— and I still can’t get enough.

So, I saw that this Hulu Plus thing had a tattoo show called “America’s Worst Tattoos” —

Worst Tattoos, you say?

I’m in, man.

Except I wasn’t.

I had to jump through all these hoops to sign up and then I find out:
The damned thing only offers ‘previews’ and 1 minute clips of the show —
—- no complete episodes were to be had.

It also seemed to crash incessantly, and really offers very little, over and above what is available elsewhere.

I would demand my money back, but it was on a week’s free trial.

Which was actually 6 more days than I needed to get disgusted with it and cancel it.

Hey NETFLIX— MORE TATTOO SHOWS, Please.

.

I was reading about a guy who went down to beautiful Brazil for the World Cup and got bit by a Brazilian Wandering Spider ( Phoneutria Nigriventer ) —

He went to the hospital for anti-venom, since it’s one of the most venomous spiders in the world, and was fine…

Except for an erection that lasted two days.

brazilAs funny, and as fun, as that might sound,

( and where else could you really USE a 2 day erection better than Brazil )

he had to finally have the air let out of it….

……….. in a manner of speaking, of course.

Doctors told him there could been permanent damage done,

but that he would probably be ok.

Talk about gettin’ somebody’s Spidey-sense tinglin.

.

I don’t get to travel in my job much anymore, which is a total drag, but I still have several friends at work who do.

One of them, Aoi, a native Japanese who has gone Yankee, certainly has an interesting sense of humor, I’ll say that for her.

She called me Monday from Osaka, to tell me she was bringing me back a copy of the latest craze in sexy Japanese literature.

And here it is. hamuketsu

It’s called ” Hamuketsu “

… which translates as:
Hamster Ass “.

When she gave it to me, I was figuring that she got the book at some weirdo novelty store in the airport, but NOooooooooo.

She bought it in a real book store, with a whole bunch of other people buying the same ones.

Somehow, Hamuketsu has become the latest big thing in Japan–

hamu2More than 75,000 copies of two books on the subject have been sold in the last 6 months.

A third is due to be released any day, now.

And don’t think that there’s anything else in ’em, either.

It’s all Hamster Ass from cover to cover.

No guinea pigs, lab rats or tit mice allowed.

Not even honey badgers.

Hmmmm…..
well,
just maybe their asses are just being reserved for the next Japanese best-seller.

Hoy !!!!

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