I did, indeed go hiking, but because I ended up on the wrong bus (if there is a wrong bus I'm sure to get on it...every time it seems), I didn't get to the start of the hike until 1:00 pm. The hike started at a shrine, and the caretakers didn't seem to want me to start going up the trail. I think this was because the shrine closed at 5:00 pm and the hike up to the top of Mount Nantai takes about 5 1/2 hours. I paid the 500 yen, though, and started up. The trail was steep and slippery in spots, and I didn't make it up to the top. But it was a nice hike. I made it back to the bottom shrine just before 5:00 and hopped on the right bus back into town.
I spent the next morning shuffling around the shrine district (which is a UNESCO World Heritage site). It was nice to leave Tokyo, if even for only a few days. My next trip will be next weekend when a colleague and I hike up Mount Fuji (a 5000 foot elevation gain!).
Scene from a Japanese garden
Detail from a gate at one of the shrines