Ferry Boats & Solitude | Blaise
One of my favorite times of the year is the fall. When I lived in Sedalia, Colorado, I used to love the crisp fall mornings, cloudless blue skies, and warm-hued aspens. However, to fully enjoy the breadth of the season, my family and I would drive three hours south to our cabin in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. Since then, I have looked forward to experiencing fall in all the countries that I have lived in; Cairo, Egypt, Belgrade, Serbia, Falls Church, VA and now Tokyo, Japan.
Fall in Japan is glorious. Just like Colorado, the morning air is pleasantly chilly, the humidity and mosquitos gradually dissipate, and the afternoon "golden hours" seem to extend. This year, Japan was experienced an extra long typhoon season -- not a weekend in October was without an umbrella. Now in November, officially the peak fall season, the typhoon clouds have been pushed away on all sides.
In the hopes of enjoying the full extent of a Japanese fall, this past weekend I took my first solo trip to Nikogiriyama, a town in Chiba prefecture, to hike. My first solo hike. When I first looked up directions to get to Mt. Nikogiriyama, I was surprised to find that Google Maps couldn't find any trains to get to the base of the mountain. Blasphemy! No trains? In Japan? Nonsense- that never happens. Well, the no-train itinerary opened the door to a ferry ride across the Tokyo-wan harbor. Just an hour to Yokohama -- a 30 min local train to the port city -- a 15 minute bus ride to the port -- and a 45 min ferry ride to the mountain.
Ferries are held in a special place in my heart. Growing up in landlocked Colorado, I had little to no expereince on the water. I am not exactly sure why, but there is definitely something special, uncommon, freeing (maybe?) about traveling on a boat.
After looking back at this trip, I've realized a few things. --- First, I am in love with Mt. Fuji. Please see the photos below and you'll start to see my obsession. On that day, I remember running across this busy road in the town in the attempt to get a picture of Fuji, falling and scraping my right shin, and still making sure to get back up and snag a couple of pictures before the sun set.
Secondly... I find a lot of solitude and motivation from taking solo trips. I enjoy the process of figuring out how to climb a mountain by myself, get lost in my own thoughts and hike. It was fantastic to finish an hour climb and see one of the biggest Buddhas in Japan stare right back at you.
Finally, I want to adventure more myself... by myself I want to make the effort to take time and get lost with the time that I have here.