Friday 21 December 2018

Nishitetsu にしてつ Let's Hike event: Aburayama 油山 2018.12.9

Nishitetsu にしてつ Let's Hike event: Aburayama 油山 2018.12.9

Earlier this month I took the kids to a group hike event at Aburayama. These events are organised by the Nishitetsu company and take place around once a month. No prior registration is required all you need to do is turn up at the start point. Full details can be found here Nishitetsu Let's Hike events the website is in Japanese only however if you need any help with understanding it please feel free to get in touch. The next hike is Inoyama (previously covered on this blog) which will take place on January 19th. 

Upon arriving at the start point we were each given a fabric sticker with an assigned number on to attach to our bags or clothing. As a treat we also each got a small packet of caramel sweets as well and a form on the bag of sticker which we needed to hand in on completion of the course. 

 The trail was well marked with temporary signage for the event as shown above. The group was fairly large with a good range of ages. On completion of the course Elementary school age and younger are given some stationery as a gift. On this day it was a choice of stickers or pencils in the design of a Nishitetsu bus and train. 

Due to a mistake by the event organisers which meant that buses from original endpoint Mo Mo land do not run in from December the hike officially ended at the nature park. However we continued on and did the course as it was originally planned and arranged to be picked up at the end. 

After reaching on the summit of Aburayama we descended and took the path to Moo Moo land it really wasn't too far. We walked around the animals and the kids petted the cows and goats before we finally headed to the car. It was a great day and it was fun for the kids to be part of the larger group and get some freebies! 

Thursday 6 December 2018

December, the end of Autumn and trail running previous trails 2018.12.1/2/6

December, the end of Autumn and trail running previous and well known trails 2018.12.1/2/6

December has arrived and the weather has so far been still pleasantly warm. Surprisingly there have still been some beautiful views of Autumn leaves to find so I took the girls to Mt. Homan to take advantage of them I have shared some of the best shots from the day below. 

The end of Autumn 2018 at Mt. Homan 

Trail running Tenpaizan and Shioji 2018/12/2 & 6

I have also started a new twist to the hiking, trail running. Popular in the UK as fell running or else where as hill running or trail running Fukuoka's fairly small mountains and accessible courses lend themselves well to the sport. I have gotten to know some of the courses well which has made running them all the more satisfying. The hazards such as rocks, branches, steep drops and slippery leaves become unique challenges which you end up committing to muscle memory as well as actively (and quickly!) accessing with every fall of your feet. This site has some good info for trail running in Japan Trail running in Japan

Gear: You can't use hiking boots for trail running. I have been using my standard asics walking trainers. But ideally you want to get yourself a pair of trail running shoes as they will provide better grip and more cushioning. You can get plenty of cheap products on the internet or spend a fortune if you want the best money can buy. Aside from the shoes you need a lightweight tight fitting backpack with multiple straps, some models even have water bottles built in. You also should dress light sports clothes are best as you will get a lot warmer than with regular hiking.  I have the following websites useful for looking up gear and getting an ideas of the pros and cons for products Switch back travel

Below are the pictures I took over two days of trail running.