Fuji-san: descent (下山)

September 11, 2011

After a hike up in the dark and a tour around the summit caldera in the morning light, we descended (下山, “ge”, down + “san”, mountain) from the summit of Fuji-san. A brilliant blue sky arched overhead; clouds of all sorts of morphologies stretched below.  We took a different route down the mountain than the one we used to ascend, this version of the Yoshida Trail sporting a plethora of switchbacks.

Torii, studded with coins, marked the entrance to the summit.

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Fuji-san: summit

September 11, 2011

我々はついに富士山頂に達した! After climbing Fuji-san all night in the dark until sunrise, all of the JAXA folks who started made it to the top! Morita-san had a harder time than he’d anticipated, so upon reaching the top he promptly turned around and jetted back down the mountain. The rest of us followed Dan-chan clockwise around the caldera rim.

The thing that impressed me most about the summit of Fuji-san was the diversity of basalt colors: red, black, brown, ochre, yellow, grey. These rocks are at least a thousand years old, and over the millennia, they maintained their intense hues.

Spelling something

We were trying to spell out JAXA but the cold had addled our brains.

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Fuji-san: climbing in the dark

September 10-11, 2011

山頂が雲の上にそびえている。 My first view of Fuji-san (富士山, “abundant soldiers”, “without equal”, or “immortal”, depending on what origin you believe) was through the window of Hayashiya-san’s car.  The caldera of the volcano emerged from clouds in the distance, suddenly dominating the view.


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