Falling Down

I decided that it was time to take the family to Myokenzan Mountain, the temperatures had started to cool off and it seemed the perfect way to spend an afternoon, especially since I had promised the family that we would not be taking any long trips for a while. When Brennan woke up, however, he decided that he didn’t really want to go, so we agreed that we would leave him at home. By the time Justin got up and was ready to head out, it was early afternoon. Trudy noticed dark clouds hovering overhead as we walked out of the house, but they didn’t overly concern us at that point.

We left our second cell phone with Brennan, told him to keep the door locked, and headed to Ishibashi station. By 2:30, we had reached Myokenzan Guchi, the station at the end of the Nose line. Unfortunately, the next bus which left for the cable car was in 20 minutes. We therefore decided to walk to the cable car, especially since I had walked that route once before and knew it wasn’t too far. We had almost reached the other end of the bus route when it started pouring rain. We ducked under some overhanging bushes on the side of the road in order to have some cover from the downpour. As soon as the rain let up a little, we decided to make a mad dash for the cable car building.

By the time we reached the cable car, we were all pretty wet. Since it was leaving at 3 pm, we all climbed on board- just before the sky opened up again and the rain began to fall with an increased fury. The ride up the mountain was interesting; the lights of the car flickered on and off as it slowly climbed through the rain. On the other end, the driver offered us umbrellas to use for the remainder of our walk. Trudy considered waiting the 15 minutes and taking the cable car back down, but the rain slackened again before then and we headed out into it once again.

When we reached the chair lifts a short time later, we were surprised to see that they were still running, despite the rumblings of thunder in the distance as well as the threat of more rain. We all climbed aboard, one right after another- first Justin, then Trudy, then myself, each still clutching their umbrella. Luckily, the rain held off during our 15-minute ride up the mountain and we soon had reached the base of the peak which contained the modern temple, along with other various shrines.

Since it was almost 4 pm by that point, the time that I had previously determined to be closing time at the temple, Justin and I quickly clamoured to the peak. Trudy, however, was tired, wet, and cold- so she decided to wait for us at the base. The inside of the temple was beautiful, so we explored the nearly deserted structure for a while. Our best find, however, was that it contained a vending machine full of hot drinks, of which we purchased three: cocoa for Justin, coffee for Trudy, and milk tea for me. We returned from the peak bearing these drinks, in addition to our pictures and stories.

The first time I had visited the mountain, I had taken the chairlift back down, only to be disappointed that I could not meet the trail halfway down the mountain. We therefore decided to walk all the way down from our current position, the sign at the base of the peak said that it was 1 mile to the cable car station at the bottom. The part of the trail down that could be seen from the top of the chairlifts didn’t look too bad- complete with a paved walkway and stairs leading down. We soon found that this was not representative of a majority of the trail. The paved part passed some old stone buildings and soon gave way to a steep, rocky, incline. Since we had already descended a fair distance, we decided to scramble down the slope in search of more paved areas.

While we did find more paved areas as well as stairs, these were interspersed the whole way down with descents that could be only described as “expert” slopes. Justin and I worked to help Trudy down these parts, who was having less and less fun the farther we descended with no end in sight. To top it off, we had tried to call Brennan to check on him and, after repeated attempts, had gotten no answer. Finally, after 45 minutes of rough descent, we came to a quaint collection of shrines with a waterfall behind them. The path appeared to be paved from this point onward; a sign said that we were 2/3 of the way down.

At the next collection of shrines, I stepped onto some stairs which led down to a fountain that was shaped like a dragon with water coming out of its mouth. Unfortunately, the stairs were covered with moss and were still slick from the day’s rain- I slipped on them and sat down hard on the concrete. I was a little scratched up, but I had been holding Justin’s camera at the time, which got knocked against the stairs as well. It now read “lens error”, the same thing that our camera had read before I took it in for repair.

We made our way back to the cable car station from there, returned the umbrellas that we had borrowed, and found out that the bus had left 10 minutes before we arrived and didn’t return for another hour. We found ourselves walking the road to the train station once again, but this time soaking wet, with a broken camera, and me with blood on my shirt from where I had fallen. It had been quite a hike!

We returned home to find Brennan safe and sound; he had forgotten the phone upstairs and had not heard it over the sound of his video game as well as the television, both of which had been on. Despite our recent hike, Justin and I walked to the pizza place to order dinner (I still didn’t trust myself to call them) as well as to the store Trudy and I had found to get drinks. We all enjoyed nice dinner as we relaxed in front of the T.V.

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