My Mt. Hiei Climb Challenge 2014, Part 2
Scenic-View Picnic Area near the top of Mt. Hiei, Kyoto Japan 比叡山の山頂の近く -- Rest area near to of Mt. Hiei -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
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Scenic-View Picnic Area
near the top of Mt. Hiei, Kyoto Japan
比叡山の山頂の近く

This post picks up from My Mt. Hiei Climb Challenge 2014, Part 1, where I'd ended with having completed the ascent in good time and good form.

It was still early (12:45ish), so I decided to check out some of the temples farther into the mountains.

Lots to Explore -- Rest area near to of Mt. Hiei -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots to Explore
Must Be an Old Road judging from how the guardrail posts that line the road are collapsing down the mountain -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Must Be an Old Road
judging from how the guardrail posts that line the road are collapsing down the mountain
Even Older -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Even Older

Some of the paths in these mountains were laid out thousands of years ago. I'm sure these old guardrail posts aren't that old, but this next photo gives a hint to the age because the bigger post, which essentially looks brand new compared to the guardrail posts, is dated April 1936...

Brand New 78 years young -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
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Brand New
78 years young

Dotted here and there in the mountain are temple buildings of various sizes...

Enrikuji 's Sannoin Temple (延暦寺 の 山王院) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Enrikuji 's Sannoin Temple (延暦寺山王院)

This set of steps, off the main path, looked impressive...

Enrikuji 's Sannoin Temple (延暦寺の山王院) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Goin' Down -- Enrikuji 's Sannoin Temple (延暦寺の山王院) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Goin' Down
Oops -- Enrikuji 's Jodoin Temple (延暦寺の浄土院) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Oops

I surmised that a big tree must have fallen across the rail. I figured that such a thing might take out some of the stone lanterns along the side, and sure enough the two closest were much newer than the others....

Enrikuji 's Jodoin Temple (延暦寺の浄土院) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

The new ones are dated 2006, while the one in the foreground is dated 1963.

Anyway, continuing on, we come to a more substantial building...

Enrikuji 's Jodoin Temple (延暦寺の浄土院) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looks Peaceful Enrikuji 's Jodoin Temple (延暦寺 の 浄土院) -- Enrikuji 's Jodoin Temple (延暦寺の浄土院) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/2500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looks Peaceful
Enrikuji 's Jodoin Temple (延暦寺浄土院)

A map nearby indicated that it was a minor outlying building for a larger group a bit farther on, so a bit farther on I went.

Along the way I came across this little shrine in a flat area seemingly carved out of the mountain. I liked the grass, which you don't see often in this context...

desktop background image of small grassy shrine at the Enrikuji Temple complex (延暦寺), Otsu City, Shiga Japan -- Small Grassy Shrine at the Enrikuji Temple complex (延暦寺) -- Enrikuji Temple (延暦寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/6400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Grassy Shrine
at the Enrikuji Temple complex (延暦寺)
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After paying a $6.50 fee to get past a certain point, I came across a fairly standard gateish kind of building, but the light just seems so nice in the picture so I'll post it:

desktop background image of Entrance gate to Enrikuji -- Gate to Enrikuji’s Shakado Temple 延暦寺の釈迦堂 -- Enrikuji Temple (延暦寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Gate to Enrikuji’s Shakado Temple
延暦寺の釈迦堂
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Enrikuji’s Shakado Temple (延暦寺 の 釈迦堂) -- Enrikuji’s Shakado Temple (延暦寺の釈迦堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/5000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Enrikuji’s Shakado Temple (延暦寺釈迦堂)

I was feeling good about the hike, but the temple building didn't seem all that interesting from a photographic point of view, so I didn't get any closer than the shot above, taken from a bench in the shade.

Just off to the left, though, was a much more interesting building, of bare wood:

Beautiful Aged Wood -- Enrikuji’s Shakado Temple (延暦寺の釈迦堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/2000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Beautiful Aged Wood

It's not exactly a wheelchair-friendly place, so my first thought about the ramp in front of the doors is that it's for heavy equipment, making the building more or less a barn. But the windows on the left don't look very barnlike, so I'll have to check it out again next time I visit.

Not being all that interested in what I'd seen so far, I decided to head back home. In prior years I'd taken a train or a bus down — this mountain is convenient that way — because my knees normally have sharp pains on any kind of downhill slope. But this year my knees felt fine, so I thought I'd actually hike back down.

Not wanting to retrace my meandering path back to the scenic-view area, I looked at the trail markers for a more direct route, but the way they sent me was clearly the road less traveled...

Not So Well-Worn a Path -- Enrikuji Temple (延暦寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not So Well-Worn a Path
Getting Worse mostly overgrown -- Enrikuji Temple (延暦寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Worse
mostly overgrown
Ah, Civilization! -- Enrikuji Temple (延暦寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
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Ah, Civilization!

It turns out that civilization was right next to the grassy shrine seen above, and that I'd been sent on a round-about path through the woods to get there. Still hoping for a shortcut that might be faster than retracing my steps, I plunged back into the woods again...

This is a Well-Worn Path but little traveled these days, apparently -- Enrikuji Temple (延暦寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
This is a Well-Worn Path
but little traveled these days, apparently

This was very different terrain than the path leading up, or at least it seemed so because the path was so insubstantial.

Eventually the path dead-ended into another path, with no sign to indicate what might be where.

Looking Left the path heads up sharply toward the right side -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/7.1, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Left
the path heads up sharply toward the right side
Looking Right with the fallen remnants of some kind of sign that offered no help -- Enrikuji 's Jodoin Temple (延暦寺の浄土院) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/7.1, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Right
with the fallen remnants of some kind of sign that offered no help

I decided to try heading right, and soon came across a wall to a temple that I could mostly see over...

Looks Peaceful -- Enrikuji 's Jodoin Temple (延暦寺の浄土院) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/2500 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looks Peaceful

When I got out to the front, I realized that this was the same one I'd seen before (Enrikuji's Jodoin Temple, 延暦寺浄土院), the one just after the fallen-tree-bent railing at the base of the super long stairway.

Sigh, I'd again been sent on a wild goose chase looking for a shortcut. Had I had any brains I would have just cut my losses and backtracked on the known path I came in on. Or heck, had I just pulled out my iPhone to check the map I would have realized that I was going in the wrong direction for any kind of shortcut. But no, instead I returned to where the path had T'd a bit earlier, and went left.

The path got very tenuous, but eventually wound its way up to a small building of some sort...

Small Building of Some Sort in the middle of nowhere -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/800 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Building of Some Sort
in the middle of nowhere

The path beyond that seemed to evaporate into nothingness...

End of the Line at least for me -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
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End of the Line
at least for me

In looking at the satellite view for this location, I see that I was about 100 yards from a huge parking lot. I had no idea. I realize now that the bus from the top stops there on the way home to Kyoto, so perhaps good info for the future.

In any case, I retraced my steps back past the T junction to the Looks Peaceful temple for the third time, to start retracing the whole path back.

Heading Back Up I lost count of the steps -- Enrikuji 's Jodoin Temple (延暦寺の浄土院) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/3.2, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Back Up
I lost count of the steps

It took about 20 minutes to get back to the Scenic-View Picnic Area that I use as the goal of my hike up, so I considered it the start of my hike down.

Hazy View -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/13, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Hazy View

Drank the last of the 2L of drink I'd brought with me, and headed down.

Diving In there's no turning back now -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Diving In
there's no turning back now

Though my knees hadn't hurt all day, I've suffered the painful-knee-on-downhills problem all my adult life, so I was stressed at the thought that it might hit halfway down the mountain.

Indeed, it started to flare up almost right away, but looking at the path from a different view (from the top looking down) brought new discoveries, and I found a side-path that lead to near where the cable-car goes down, and I earned a nice view (or, at least, a view that would have been nice had the air been clear).

Northern Kyoto -- Hiei Cable Car (比叡ケーブル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/11, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Northern Kyoto

I did take the opportunity to buy another liter of sports drink at the cable-car station. I didn't think I'd really need it, but turned out to appreciate it over the next hour and fifteen minutes of knee-shredding ankle-twisting pain it took me to go down.

The knee pain didn't surprise me, but the number of times I twisted my ankle did. I had at least half a dozen big scares, including twice when I went crashing to the ground. What was up with me.... had I suddenly forgotten how to walk?

The path is anything but smooth, but on the way up the angle of the mountain puts the path right in front of your face, so my gaze is naturally just a yard or two in front of my feet, and it's easy to avoid the rocks and roots and random bumps that lie in wait for your ankle. In fact, one uses the bumps and such as footholds to get a better grip. On the way up. On the way down, though, your gaze is way off in the distance at the pretty vista always unfolding before you.

Combine all that with the fact that my knee pain was worse the slower I went, so as odd as it sounds, it hurt less if I ran down the mountain. But running down the mountain doesn't bode well if you're trying not to twist your ankle.

Each time I twisted my ankle I half expected to see a bone sticking out, and oft imagined the drama that would ensue, but it seems that I dodged a bullet each time as I appeared unscathed. Each time I would berate myself for a basic inability to walk and vowed to pay more attention as I continued, only to inexplicably repeat the process all too soon.

It became sort of a race, to see which would cripple me first: twisting an ankle, or the knee pain that was now almost unbearable.

But in the end I made it down to the little temple that marks the start of the mountain hike. Another 43 minutes of city walking and I was home.

As I neared home, I snapped this picture:

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/4000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

The people visible near the top of the building in the center are in the same spot where I took the Heian Shrine Gate From a New Perspective shots the other day, just outside of the room featured in The Lazy Photographer: Exposing for Single-Shot HDR.

In the shot above, it's a photographer, likely taking new shots for their web page. How can I tell from here? I'd seen them when I'd left six hours earlier, taking photos of the building from across the street. You can see them in the first shot of part 1.

I bet their day was more fun than mine, but I bet I have a better feeling of accomplishment (though I shouldn't judge until I see their shots 😉).

Afterward

Everything above my knees felt great, but my knees and everything below felt absolutely horrible.

When getting ready for a well-needed shower, I was surprised to notice a lot of blood on one lower leg, coming from a spot just at the top of the sock line. I didn't know what it was from, but two ideas immediately sprang to mind. One is that I'd smashed it during one of my ankle-twisting falls, and the other is that I'd been bitten by a tick or the like. Ewwwww.

I didn't think it was a tick because I'd positively soaked my shoes, socks, and pants (inside and out) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact.

Or at least it should. The little-used trails I was on gave ample opportunities for a tick to hitch a ride, and if the permethrin wasn't working, the first skin it'd find when crawling up my leg is right were I found the blood streaming out. So this is the stuff of bad dreams, but a week later I'm leaning toward the banged my shin side of things.

Anyway, the day after the hike I was in mostly good shape, except my ankles felt like they were essentially fused together, and I could hobble more than I could walk. Nevertheless, I went to the gym and did a hard session, and only later did it dawn on me that I wasn't just feeling normal soreness, but that I'd really beaten them up on the way down, especially with all the twisting.

It took several days, but I finally shook it off, and so ends my story.

Mostly.

Continued here...


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

Never done it-wish I had- when I lived there. But have heard from others the wild monkeys can be problematic for Mt Hiei hikers. I wonder if some of the paths you photographed are those used by pilgrims (?) undergoing a 1000 day 修行 which includes circling the upper portions of the mountain at night.

Monks more than pilgrims, I’d think. Yeah, I’m sure they use these trails. The thought makes me fear for their ankles, but if they’re doing this 1,000 nights in a row, they’re probably not wimps like me. Have never heard of monkeys here…. maybe my good looks scare them off. 😉 —Jeffrey

— comment by An Expat on June 8th, 2014 at 6:11am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Very interesting – you should publish a book on Mt Hiei as it is today. It’s on my to-do list for the next time we get to Kyoto.

I’m reading Royall Tyler’s newish translation of the Heike Monogatari, and the warrior monks of Mt Hiei figure prominently in it.

— comment by Jim Breen on June 10th, 2014 at 7:45am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

RE: Knee Pain

Just FYI, knee pain can be relieve effectively using Paida Lajin (拍打拉筋) as I have mentioned.

Please read the blog post below for more info, or you can contact me via email:
http://www.paidalajin.com/en/home/m_post.asp?id=210838423296

— comment by KF Leong on June 10th, 2014 at 4:47pm JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink
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