Another of those not so well planned trips, which happened, just like that, out of the blue….. I was at Dryja’s office, talking about the autumn colors. Somebody walks in and says, it is even more beautiful in the mountains! ‘Why not go there in the weekend?’ I ask. Okay tells Dryja, and we were at Gozaisho.
Saturdays morning, we started a little bit late, could have made it a bit more earlier though! We drove to Yunoyamaonsen in Dryja’s car. A good drive, like any other drive to the mountain; through the country side, through paddy fields, through small towns, and a small climb to Yunoyamaonsen, where we parked our car; well finding a spot was the tough part.
“We’ll sprint up now, take some snaps and then roll down”; said Dryja. ‘hmm..’ said me.. well the hillock looked scalable, after all I had this Himalayan experience giving me an aura of confidence, but what I forgot was, after the spiritual adventures on the Himalayas, I had got back to my good old weight gaining ways.. add to that umpteen parties back at Dar es Salaam and here in Nippon Land, I was back to the Udzungwa days..
As we started the trek, the mountain started showing its true colors, this was no hillock, this is the highest peak on the Suzuka ranges, standing atall and majestic at 1212 m. The gum drop sweets, the mint chewing gums, the cold water bottles together were not enough to beat the cold winds, the treacherous path and my weariness. My back pack was feeling heavier and heavier by each step I took, Dryja offered to carry my heavy jacket, and I happily handed it over to him.
We continued like that for some 3 hours or so, and reached the half way point. It started getting dark; though it was only 2 in the afternoon; and fear of not being able to reach the top and return before evening came to our minds. Well, there are times, when you got to come face to face with failure, and there are times when you got to accept that you were staring at a mightier force… this was one of those.
Coming back was easier. We spent more time clicking our cameras, had our sandwiches at a small shop in the mountains, and rolled back to Tsu, where we found an Indian restaurant and had our dinner.
One thing, that you got to do, when you face failure, is to make sure, that this doesn’t stop you from attempting the mission again. This time prepare better, and try harder.. (or find ways to cheat!) And this is what both of us did, though we didn’t speak it out.
The whole of the week, I thought only of Gozaisho, I had to reach the top. Opportunity presented, when I found that, the next week, I had a holiday.. So off I went again. Took the train this time, changed trains at Yokkaichi. Reached Yunoyamaonsen around 10 in the morning.. I had already made up my mind to cheat this time and happily took the cable car to the top..
The cable car ride took about 15 minutes. The splendid autumn colors, the majestic rock formations, the way up was a window opened to an enchanting view of the mountain side. You can find the video here.
Atop, there were couple of curio shops, a restaurant, a ski station, a small play ground, and then the nature at its best. The scenery that any point presented is beyond description. Many more incredible rock formations, couple of temples, many picnic spots where people gathered, cooked and ate, the pure mountain air, Gozaisho is great!
I walked around enjoying the sweet scent of the mountain air, clicking the camera joyfully, awed by the mighty rocks, and the beauty with which the sculptor in the wind has carved them.. No wonder, people say.. nature is the best artist..
The mountain top is also home to the Suzuka National Park, and large number of mountain goats.
After walking around for more than 4 hours, I returned to the base again by the cable car. Had coffee at a nice small cafe and left for the railway station. I was back at Tsu by around 7:00 pm. Find the video here.
The other day Dryja told me that, he too had gone to Gozaisho alone, after the first failed attempt. Well, now I got to visit this place again in the winter, spring and summer. They say, it is extremely beautiful in winter.. But next time, no short cut… I got to take the tougher route…