Death by mountain

After today I am totally ready to admit that I may have had an idealized image of Japan. In my mind the adventure of climbing OoYama, the big mountain, was a moderately difficult hike with tons of beautiful sights along the way and never any bad weather. I guess I picked a bad time to revisit the mountain because today was just.. painful.

I woke up quite early and managed to get to the starting point of the hike well before 9AM, which is when the cable car service starts. Not to worry, since I had plenty of time I didn't mind hiking up all the way from the start. Or so I thought. Japan's summer weather here is around 30 degrees with crazy humidity levels. It seems my brain has conveniently forgotten that my natural state in this kind of weather is liquid. Sweat, sweat, sweat I did. I feared the climb because my physical condition had gotten a lot worse since I left Japan, but it was still quite doable. It seems I'm still in better shape than I was when I climbed the mountain for the first time when I couldn't even make it to the top.

Soon I reached the halfway point, and right after that it started to become cloudy. Visibility decreased and the hiking experience turned into something most similar to walking around in a damp bathroom after a shower. There were some interesting mosquitoes which, although I did not catch them doing it, bit off substantial portions of my skin and left large crusty areas of blood where they bit me. Since I was sweating so much the sunscreen just dripped down my face right after I put it on.

Despite all that I did surprisingly good time. I didn't hang around at the peak because it was too foggy and damp so this was probably the fastest run I've ever done on Ooyama. The walk down was speedy, but when I finally stood still to wait for the train I found that my leg muscles were twitching. Energy level: zero.

[jsgallery size="large"]

Somehow I quite like these painful moments. I think it has something to do with my memory, which is exceptionally poor. When I feel strong emotions or physical pain/exhaustion/whatever, I remember things more easily. Maybe that's why I tend to like the extreme moments; I simply can't remember the less extreme ones.

Posted in Japan , Travel