Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hiking near Tokyo: Mt. Jinba

Since I moved to the Kantou region (Tokyo and surrounding prefectures), I have only hiked Mt. Nokogiri and Mt. Takao. This post reports on my third hike around Kantou: Mt. Jinba (陣馬山).

First, take a train to Fujino station (藤野駅). From Fujino station, get on the bus no.8, and get off at the last stop (和田, Wada). You are 355m high now. The bus ride is 247yen (as of Sept/2015) and takes 14min. You can pay either with an IC card (e.g. suica or pasmo) or in cash. You can check the timetable on google maps by specifying 神奈川県陣馬自然公園センター (Kanagawaken Jinba Shizen Kouen sentaa) as your destination. My bus departed at 9:50 and the next one was leaving at 13:10. Make sure that you check the departure times in advance.

Walk on the same direction as the bus. After 3-4 minutes you will find the entrance to Mt. Jinba on your right. Then, walk up until the top of Mt. Jinba (855m) which will take you about an hour and a half. At the top of the mountain there is this phallic sculpture of a horse. Notice that the name of the mountain is composed of two Kanjis: 陣 (Camp) and 馬 (horse). If you are lucky, Mt. Fuji will be visible from the top. But don't count on it during Summer or Autumn. From the top, I could also listen to quite a few amateur radio stations.

Walk down the mountain using a different trail (栃谷尾根, Tochiya One). There are several trails and it's a bit confusing. Make sure you follow the one indicated by the sign in the picture above.

Whereas the walk-up is mostly inside the forest where you can't see much, the walk-down has much better views. After approximately 50 minutes of walking, you will see a sign with the letters 陣馬の湯 (Jinba-no-yu) or 陣渓園 (jinkeien) written on it. You can have a hot bath and some tea there for 1000 yen (Sept/2015).

After a refreshing stop, continue walking down. For some reason, I found many dead snakes on the road. Fortunately, I also saw many insects alive. After 30 minutes, get on bus no. 8 back to Fujino station (陣馬登山口バス停) or just walk your way to Fujino station. It's not that far.

Conclusions: this is a nice super-easy hike perfect for a 1-day trip from Tokyo and surroundings. With only 580m of ascend and 740m of descend, you can complete this course in less than 3 hours. Most importantly, it's not crowded like Mt. Takao.

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