The first (non)sunrise of the year

In the list of events I introduced to enjoy the new year in and around Osaka I finally decided to go to the Mount Kongo to see the first sunrise of 2009.

Woke up at half past midnight, I had a long way from Kyoto to the mountain. Trains were running all the night but with low frequency, so I had to be perfectly synchronized in order to catch the connections between 3 trains, 1 subway and 1 ropeway !

When I reached the last station before the ropeway in Gose city I've surprised to see two others foreign people. While getting out from the station they came to me and asked if I knew the direction to the ropeway, then we started walking together. We soon realized that we were all French, and even more surprising they were actually customers staying at J-Hoppers Osaka. They have read the information on the board and decided to come. I was very pleased about that !

Up to the ropeway station there was almost one hour walking. It started soon to rain and the road was steeper and darker as we were getting out of the city. Also the rain turned to melted snow just before we reached the station.

After 6 minutes suspended inside the complete darkness, the white and pure snow welcome us at the entrance of the hiking course to the summit.

It was so beautifull !!

A little temple to pray the Kami of the snow and prevent bad luck from what will follow ;-)

And we continued deeper and deeper in the woods and the darkness ... Hiking by night is quite an experience ! :-)

Near to the top (actually not so far) a big refuge with restaurant serving udon, soba, donburi, karaage, ... It looked good and there was still time until the sun rises so why not having a bit ! Everybody gathered inside this warm paradise.

Then we get out again to climb the few meters left and wait on the top of Mount Kongo. It was so windy there, I was literally pushed out of the way ! And so slippery and so cold and so foggy !!

But we perseverated and all stayed there looking impatiently to the east ... and ... and ... and ... nothing ! The fog was so dense and the snow storm so heavy we couldn't see nothing at all :-(

Then one gave up and all the others followed. At least we had some others beautifull landscapes when it got brighter.

It was a little bit disappointing of course but as a strange experience I don't regret it at all. And a small hike always make me feel better, so that's a good way to start the year isn't it ? :-)


Anonymous said…
Dear Pascal,

Your post is so interesting.
My name is Nguyen Thi Thu Le and I'm an undergraduate student at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Beppu, Japan. I stayed in J-hopper in Kyoto and Osaka and I liked it so much that I searched for the website and read J-hopper staff blogs sometimes.
I'm currently doing a Bachelor of Business Administration and I have chosen weblogs as my dissertation topic. More specifically, I'm hoping to investigate how blogosphere influences the way organizations communicate with the public. In order to do this, I am launching a survey on the topic and was wondering whether you would be willing to take part in the project. I am sending here the link of the survey if you would like to help:

Not many academic researches have been done in the area of business blogging and it will be interesting to see how the phenomenon is viewed from the organizations' perspective. Of course, you'd have full access to the final paper, and the usual undertakings regarding confidentiality/anonymity would apply.
I do hope that you will be interested in participating.
If you have any questions or comments about the survey, you are welcomed to contact me through my email:

Thank you for your kind attention.

Nguyen Thi Thu Le

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