|Lodge Mt. Kumotori|
Two expert-climber friends of mine took me to a 2-day trek to Mt. Kumotori which is the highest mountain in Tokyo. We start from Mt. Mitumine that is accessible by bus from Seibu-Chichibu station and the route from there is mostly a ridge walk and it is probably the lightest approach to Kumotori. The autumn trees did not unfortunately look great this year, and the clouds built up as we continued 5-hour trek the first day. We arrived at the Lodge Kumotori around 16 o'clock and it started raining in less than an hour. The lodge was a large and nice building, and we were allocated a room exclusively, so we could relax in the warm "kotatsu" heater-table.
Our friend who knew much of the situation in European Alps vocally complained the dinner with hamburg steak main dish was too poor!
It rained heavily all night and I was a bit worried about the second day, but it stopped raining just before the dawn luckily. The breakfast started at 5 and the check-out time was 7. The second day was longer with long, continuously steep zigzag downhills and the route was sometimes vaguely recognizable so you have to keep trying to identify pinkish ribbons tied to the trees. After arriving at Haccho Bridge followed a long forest road of about 1.5 hours walk to the nearest bus stop. I would decline the reverse route to take myself!
As there was not much gain in autumn tree watching, I had a quick return to Okutama area on a later day to seek more satisfying autumnal colors, and I took some photos around Mitake station and Okutamaen near Ishigami-mae station.