Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tokyo walkaround & prep for tomorrow

Today we spent the day walking around Tokyo, picking up last minute items, doing some shopping, and generally having fun. One of my favorite hobbies whenever visiting Tokyo is to pick out all of the great signage and ads to see how creative one can get with them:

As usual, we spent a great deal of time zipping around the city via subway, where we had some fun and entertained other riders.

We also walked from Roppongi down to Tokyo Tower, where we rode up the shoe box sided elevator to the very top, which was swaying like mad from winds. It was a nice reminder of where we are headed tomorrow, and how buffeted we are going to be when at 12,000' and completely exposed.

Tokyo Tower is the highest point in Tokyo, so you get quite a view from the top. We did come across this one great sign embossed on the bannister, which directs you to Mt Fuji way off in the distance. Wow, how great, we all thought and gazed out at a snow-capped mountain that was plainly visible. Then two thoughts raced through my head: (1) Wow, that's alot of snow we are going to have to hump through, and (2) why is the sign in braille?

After a great team dinner of oysters and extremely delicious Japanese food, we all returned to Hardy Barracks where we packed and prepared. We also found a website that had some recent pictures of the Fuji Subaru Line above 4th Station, where we plan to park our van and begin our assault on the mountain:

Snow. Lots of it. That means snowshoes from the get-go, and slow going the whole way up. It also means being extra vigilant for snow conditions. One last check of the forecast revealed this:

Temps are dropping like a rock again, and winds aren't showing much relief. This is going to be a slow and cold experience. Because of that, our gear is overflowing with what we are bringing- and that = heavy packs.

Oh well, it's going to be fun for sure- we are all completely excited!

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