Mt.Hiei was the first mountain I climbed with my girlfriend Ashley nearly 10 years ago.
I have ran it countless time in training, and headed there for days of solitude on my own when I’m feeling down.
It is also the home of the ‘Marathon Monks’ who perform an ascetic practice called the Kaihogyo, considered to be one of the most challenging physical practices in the world, and at its peak involves completing 30-84km by foot almost everyday for 7 years.
Reading a book about these monks when I was younger sparked my fascination with ultra distance running and still inspires me today.
Last year I raced one of the most difficult ultramarathons I have ever done on this same mountain, running up and down various trails, on terrain that was pretty rugged in places, containing almost 4000metres of vertical gain over 50km.
We have climbed it together multiple times since then, including one time in thick snow when it started to get dangerous and we were starting to suspect that we wouldn’t be able to reach the summit as we kept slipping down.
Out of nowhere a guy showed us along a ‘secret’ path through the dense forest that took us to the top, and then disappeared.
We are leaving Japan in 3 days, and felt that hiking Mt.Hiei would be a fitting way to spend our day.
You could certainly say that this mountain has a very happy place in our hearts.
I am a highly experienced professional English teacher, Yoga Instructor, Tai Chi teacher, Nutrition Consultant and Personal Trainer from London, UK. I recently left London to work and travel around Japan on a Working Holiday Visa with my best friend and longtime girlfriend Ashley (who is also a teacher on Cafetalk : https://cafetalk.com/tutors/profile/?id=54542&lang=en ).
We love sharing adventures travelling, teaching, exploring and understanding new cultures. We hope to speak with you soon!
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