What's New at Hakkoda?    

Updated 10/21/07! First Snow and Japan's Top Site!
Well we finally got our official first snow at Hakkoda. The Japanese Meteorological Agency issued the first snow announcement. The next step will be the announcement of the first snow cap which should be very shortly. Right now it is not yet photo worthy!

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Updated 10/9/07! Autumn Tours in Full Swing!
Come with me up in the Hakkoda mountains and check out the colors we saw just a few days ago! Now is the time to be hiking in the Hakkodas. These colors will not last long and you will have to wait another year to see such beauty! Hope to see you soon!

Yours truly deciding what mountain(s) to hike today!

This is the lower Kenashi plateau, looking up to Mt. Tamoyachi on the left.

And now the upper Kenashi plateau, look down at the route through the marshes that we just hiked.

Updated 10/8/07! Mt Fuji!
Took a quick weekend trip to Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji turning red at daybreak just as the sun hit it Sunday morning.

Sunset from the 5th station at Mt Fuji from the southern face at Fujinomiya, 2300 meters high

Updated 9/30/07! Simon's Tour goes Country!
Saturday, September 29th, I guided a caravan of American volunteers from Misawa Air Base to the 22nd Annual Takko Town Beef and Garlic Festival!
After a month of practices and sore feet, our wildly willing crew put on a electric performance of country line dancing for the ecstatic international audience.

Yours truly! The Town Hall hired me to be their stage show MC for the day. The show included introducing our special guests from the sister cities in Korea and Gilroy, Ca. Helping the two Garlic Queens play paper, rock, scissors with the audience. Holding a raffle and giving away prizes for all the ticket holder of the Texas Bar-B-Q (Japanese style). And introducing the 690 year old Japanese dance show and Hawaiian show as well!

But without further delay, I would like to introduce to you. The Misawa Air Base Country Line Dancers!

It took us a month to get everyone to levitate all at the same time down to a T!

Slappin' leather and dancing with the shadows! The venue was held at the foot of their ski resort. What a beautiful autumn day! Did someone say snow?

The Misawa Country Line Dancers! Back row left to right: Janet, Frank(our sensei), Eva, Suzanne, Brian, Mike, Simon, Karina. Front row: Josh, Jim, Ashley and Mika.

Updated 9/24/07! More Autumn Colors!

The autumn colors have turned but only at the top of the mountains! This is a look back from Mt. Akakura to Mt. Tamoyachi where the gondola is on the other side. It was such a beautiful day for hiking and spending some lazy time at the top of each peak! You can see some of the autumn colors on the top but only green at the bottom.

Here you can see everyone hiking along the blown off crater of Mt. Akakura This is also known as the Baku Retsu Shamen in Japanese, what might be translated as "the explosive run". This is the steepest pitched run in Hakkoda. It is a heart stopper for sure and can only be done in the spring under perfect conditions. Not for the faint of heart!

And last, a look at the crater of Mt. Ido with Mt. Odake in the back ground. I would say that the colors will peak on top of the mountain in the next few days and in a week from now all of the mountains will be blazing in autumn glory! Catch it soon, it does not last long and is a amazing sight to see.

Updated 9/06/07! Bike rides and Autumn Colors!
We are still doing a lot of off road biking, but also the foliage of the trees in the mountains are starting to turn ever so slowly. Hiking is starting to be super enjoyable now that the summer heat has died down. Be sure to contact me for some of the autumn hiking tours I have planned!

Rene waving to the passengers on the local express that just happened to pass us on a back road we were biking on Saturday.


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