Wednesday Nov 3 was a national holiday in Japan, called Bunka no Hi, or Culture Day. As to why it is a national holiday, I know only that on Nov 3, 1946, the new Japanese constitution, drafted by the then occupying Americans, was announced. So as not to waste this great opportunity to escape the city, me and Masa, my Japanese friend, woke up early in order to hike up Mt. Kongo (1125m), a mountain located about 100km south of Kyoto. We took the train at 8.30 AM from the Shin-Hōsono station near my house and arrived at the base of the mountain two and a half hours and 1500 Yen later. We wasted no minute and started hiking. As culture day is one of the statistically clearest days of the year (according to Wikipedia), it should not surprise you that the weather was beautiful, with temperatures at 11°C at the base, and 5°C on the top of this holy site for both Shinto as well as the Buddhist religion.
|A couple of the "500 Stairs".|
|The Flamin' Sattva.|
|The path leading to the shrine on the top of Mt. Kongo.|
|The Suntory (サントリー) stone pole among other sponsors' poles.|
|Me and Masa on top of Mt. Kongo. The city behind us is Osaka.|
|View from Mt. Kongo, looking to the south-west.|