I’ve been to Takao Station several times. But today was the first time I came near the face of the Tengu.
The Tengu is a symbol of Mt. Takao and was erected in October 1978.
When I see the stone carvings, I always think about the high level of skill of the stonemasons.
Because they are probably the first and last to make such a big Tengu sculpture, right? But how can they make such a well-balanced piece?
Michelangelo may indeed be great, but I think Japanese stonemasons are also great. Seriously.
This is the Takao station building. It still has the same elegance.
There are many people waiting for each other. I wonder if they are going over the Kobutsu Pass. (I don’t think so.)
A short walk takes you over the Minami Asakawa River. Takao Station was called Asakawa Station until 1961. In other words, the station was named after this river.
This is the site of the Kobotoke barrier. It is written in difficult old characters. It used to be located at Kobotoke Pass, where I are going now, and was moved here by the Tokugawa Shogunate.
At that time, in order to pass through this barrier, you needed a Citizen Pass issued by the Master. I did not have one, but since there was no one else around, I was able to pass through this barrier.
There was a large monument at Komakino-juku. The signboard next to it says that Komakino-juku is 12ri from Nihonbashi.
I found the construction site of the Ken-O Expressway!
I don’t feel any fear when I’m driving on the highway, but when I look at it from below, I wonder how they can drive on such a narrow road at high speed. The distance between the piers is also long, but I’m sure it’s strong enough to hold a 10-ton truck full of cargo in traffic for a long time, right?
By the way, doesn’t this picture look like an optical illusion? The crane itself is on the other side of the structure below, but the jib (arm) is in front of the highway above. The lower structure and the highway extend in the same direction and seem to overlap each other, so the jib looks like it is swaying. Can’t you see it? Let’s go next.
The entrance to the Jataki Suigyo Dojo of Mt. Takao Yakuoin.
There were few ups and downs along the way, but I could feel that I was gradually entering the mountains.
This is the Asakawa International Trout Fishing Area. It’s nice. I want to go fishing. The water looks clean, so I’m sure the fish they catch will be delicious. By the way, why do most of the trout fishing spots have the keyword “international” in their names?
The Chuo Line enters the Kobotoke Tunnel.
The route bus also turns back at this Kobotoke stop.
Finally, I had to cross the pass on my own. I was a little nervous.
I wore walking shoes even though there was snow on the ground. I wondered if I could make it up the mountain path safely.
It was almost three o’clock and the sun was beginning to set.
There was still snow on the trail in places, making my shoes slippery, and at one point I thought about turning back. But as I climbed up the trail, it became dry. It was a bit strange.
Just before Kobotoke Pass, the view toward Tokyo can be seen. This may be the town of Hachioji.
This is Kobotoke Pass. It was rather wide, so it looked more like a summit than a saddle. The elevation was 548 meters. There were five or six people I met on the way up, and two at the pass.
There was not much snow on the way down, so I was able to go down as fast as I could.
About a kilometer from the pass, I found a power pylon!
This pylon is special. It comes with a gondola!
Since it’s hard to climb up here, is it a parental wish to at least have the steel tower climbed by gondola? But where do they go in and out? There doesn’t seem to be any cable to suspend it, but is it self-propelled? Maybe the power is supplied directly from the power lines?
As I walked along wondering, I found a sign for Biyotani Hot Springs!
nfortunately, it says that day-trip bathing is not available, but the handwritten letters give it a nice flavor.
Incidentally, the name “Biyotani” comes from the birthplace of a beautiful woman named Terutehime.
There was an exit from the Kobotoke Tunnel on the Chuo Line, and I felt like I was finally back in the middle of nowhere.
I thought it was a historical building of Obara-juku, but it seemed to be a tourist center called “Obara no Sato”, which was built by Sagamihara City Hall. It was already past closing time.
Unfortunately, this Obara-juku Honjin Yashiki is now closed. But since it’s only about 1.5 km from Sagami-ko Station, I’m sure I’ll have a chance to come back again.
The slope is called “Endo-zaka” including these stairs. There were at least two signs telling us to go down this slope and come out in front of Katsurakita Elementary School. It’s easy to get lost, so I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the locals.
I managed to get to Sagami-ko Station in good light.
Today’s walking time was nearly four hours. But if I took the train, it would have taken 8 minutes.
It took 30 times longer. But I enjoyed it 30 times more. (Really?).
Course: JR Chuo Line Takao Station -> Hachioji-juku -> Komakino-juku -> Kobutsu-juku -> Obara-juku -> Yosejuku ->JR Chuo Line Sagamiko Station