A few days ago, as I mentioned in some earlier posts, my entire school (students and staff) climbed a local mountain, Mount Eboshi. The name comes from what the mountain appears to resemble from a distance: an eboshi, which is basically an old school Japanese hat.
The students’ 24 km hike began behind the school.
From there we all began walking down a nearby street, past a private high school and some corn fields before reaching a gravel road. We marched for 6 km in the surprisingly warm morning sun before resting at a checkpoint.
That’s where I stopped. My supervisor and I checked students as they entered and left the checkpoint. While I was there I chatted with my coworkers, some volunteers from the community, and a few students who, because they didn’t eat breakfast that morning, were too tired to go further. I also took some more photographs.
It was interesting seeing what the students decided to wear when they didn’t have to sport their school uniforms. Most students wore their Sports Day t-shirt. Last year the student body had the opportunity to design their own shirts for Sports Day. They decided on polo t-shirts in various primary colors that say “V.I.P. Diverse Ladys and Gentlemen” on the back. Members of various sports clubs wore their uniforms, including the ski team whose members donned spandex pants on a hot summer day. Still there were other students who wore their own outfits. One student in particular caught my attention. He wore a black fedora with small skull and crossbones and a t-shirt that said, in all capital letters, “Kick you in the brains!”
The organization of the event was impressive to say the least. Teachers were stationed at various checkpoints and communicated clearly, regularly, and professionally through walkie-talkies. Students who couldn’t make it all the way to the summit were driven down the mountain to a checkpoint. Groups were mandatory and at least two people had to wear bells at all times to help make bears in the area aware of their presence. Students who were absent were required to attend school on Saturday or Sunday when they would climb the mountain by themselves.
All in all a fun and interesting day. However, I didn’t get to see the summit so I returned a few days later with Julie.
Returning to the Mountain
We began hiking in the sun but a few kilometers in we began to feel rain drops. About halfway through the trip we had to put on our rain gear before continuing. Photos:
After a few hours, we reached the top of Mount Eboshi.
And finally, the wildlife:
This post is pretty photo-heavy, but if you’re interested in seeing more please click here.