Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Autumn Colours 1 - Sengenrei

In Japan, where coherent seasons are culturally meaningful and still in fact exist, kōyō (autumn colours) are to this time of year what sakura are to spring. Temperatures fall, and a cooling wave sweeps the green of the trees into reds and golds, progressing south as winter approaches.

It is a fine time to hike. The summer inferno has passed while the freezing bite of winter is yet to come, and clear skies are frequent. Here is the first of several examples: the Sengen Ridge, out west of Tokyo in the Akiruno (Akigawa/Itsukaichi) area. Another, the South Takao Ridge, will follow on here shortly, with likely more to come after that.

Sengen Ridge
Length: Approx. 10km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Height: Up to 890m, starting from 255m. Early ascent (occasionally steep) is followed by relatively level and gentle paths along the ridge until a steep descent at the end.
1) Go to Haijima Station (Ōme Line from Tachikawa, or Hachikō Line from Hachiōji, both short distance), then change to the Itsukaichi Line to MUSASHI-ITSUKAICHI STATION (also short).
2) From Bus Stop 1 outside the station, take bus No.10 to Hossawa no Taki Iriguchi (Hossawa Falls entrance) – 22 minutes, 460 yen. The walk begins from that bus stop.