Bowling and Mt. Takao Trip

On a late April or early May friday, we got together with the Grants, and went to the base bowling alley. Richard had hurt his shoulder pretty bad a while back, so he wasn't sure if he could bowl very well...but of course he wound up with the best score...:) Here is his wife Jennifer bowling.

Teresa takes a try, and comes up with some nice scores for the two games we did.

Here is Richard and Jennifer's daughter, Christine. She also did very well.
And here I am. Can I blame my bowling score on anything or anyone? I had fun with my good friends tho...:)
And of course the bowling pro, Richard.
The next weekend Richard, Jennifer, Teresa and I took the train to Mt. Takao to climb to the top. Here Teresa and myself pose by a monument rock near the bottom of the mountain.
When I say "climb", what I meant is that we would take the ski lift up half the way...:) Richard is making his standard "Hello, my name is Richard" face.
The list lasts about 10 to 15 minutes, and takes you a good distance up. The view behind of the Tokyo basin is pretty good, especially when the weather is clear. It was a bit hazy that day.
A view from the top of the lift, about half way up Mt. Takao. Mount Takao is a mountain in the city of Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan. It is protected within Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park.

Visitors can climb Mt. Takao by taking a cable car or lift to a point 400 m up - halfway up the mountain. They can also climb to the top along one of three trails, each of which takes about one-and-a-half hours.

I got some of the other many tourists to take our group photo.

Mount Takao is closely associated with tengu, minor kami from Japanese folklore, and the daitengu Naigubu. A Buddhist temple, Takaosan Yakuoin Yukiji, is located on the mountain.

There are many shrines on Mt. Takao.Standing 599 metres (1,965 ft) tall and located within an hour of downtown Tokyo, it is a popular hiking spot, with eight hiking courses and more than 2.5 million annual visitors. The Tama Forest Science Garden is also located at the mountain's base.
The Yakuoin Temple, officially known as Takaosan Yakuoin Yukiji Temple, is one of the Daihonzan temples of the Chizan School of the Shingon sect. This temple, believed to have been built in 744 by Gyoki Bosatsu under decree from Emperor Shomu, is dedicated to the Medicine Bhudda, Yakushi Nyorai. This era, the Nara Period, was the most magnificent in ancient Japanese history. It was during this time that the Great Buddha Hall of the Todaiji Temple and other important historical structures were erected in Nara, and a provincial monastery, known as a Kokubunji, was established in each of Japan's 60-odd provinces. Gyoki Bosatsu played a central role in the construction of all these temples
Ancient documents preserved on Mt. Takao The Yakuoin Temple was damaged in a fire in 1504 and again by a fire in 1677, which caused extensive damage to Yakushido (Hall of the Yakushi Nyorai). Later, in 1717, a typhoon caused the stupa and the temple's five-storey pagoda to collapse. In 1929, another fire destroyed the temple's kyakuden (guest hall), shoin (study), and kuri (kitchen). In spite of these calamities, more than 2,500 documents, dating back to the Japanese Middle Ages, have survived and still remain at the temple
Takao, which had been flourishing as a sacred place of ancient mountain worship, had become an important area for supplying timber used for the construction of castles and other structures during the Warring States Period. During the Edo Period, feudal lords respected and revered the temple and it even became a place of worship for the Kii branch of the Tokugawa clan. There are 304 documents dealing with the Kii family alone. As Shogun Yoshimune is a native of Kii Province, it is possible that the famous magistrate, Ooka Echizen, also visited the temple.
We stopped at the top of Mt. Takao for lunch. We brought our own food, but bought water.
Heading back down, we stopped at the Monkey Park. Just outside is this cool cut-out, which we all posed for. Alright, I'll admit it, I sorta made everyone pose....:)
Me and Teresa. How come I had to be the small racoon?
An attendant is always present at the park and will explain (in Japanese only) the relationships and social order found in monkey communities and how they are similar to those of humans. The attendant will also take questions from visitors.
The monkeys each have their own individual names and some will respond when called by their names.

Some also perform little tricks, such as jumping from a branch or a pole towards the attendant when summoned, or even perform a tightrope walk worthy of a circus act

Two baby monkeys were born in the park this year and there are now a total of 49 monkeys living there in harmony. I managed to catch a shot of one monkey leaping from a perch into the attendents's arms, in response to a treat offer.
A view from the Beer Garden, near the top of the tram. It is open from July 1st to Sept. 30th (open every day, regardless of weather.) It has a "All you can eat and drink buffet". Maximum buffet time is two hours. (Extra charge for overtime) Takao Beer Mount is one of the most popular sites along the Keio Line. It offers visitors a panoramic view of Tokyo and Yokohama. The Beer Mount is popular not only with beer drinkers and couples, but is also a favorite with families. It is particularly popular with young women
After we came down from the mountain, (We hiked down, and did not take the tram or ski lift), we then crossed the river and went to the Mt Takao Trick Museum. It is a amusment place that specializes in optical illusions. Here Richard points to what looked like a small pile of 1000 YEN notes, but it's actually just a painting. The Takao Trick Art Museum, located at the foot of Mt. Takao west of Tokyo, opened in April, 1996.
The history of trick art is old, and dates back to about 2,000 years ago. It had become an established art form by the time of the Renaissance era. The theme of the concept at the Takao Trick Art Museum is essentially the same as the illusionism of that era, namely creating the optical illusion that depicted objects really exist, instead of being just two-dimensional paintings. Surrounded by the rich natural environment of Mt. Takao, the museum is right across the road from Takaosanguchi Station on the Keio Line. Here an illusion is helped by covering one eye.
Teresa walks across the clouds of a trick floor room...
I scratch a fish's chin...
My mirror image is my better half!
Teresa is making a mess in the building...
Teresa looks thru a giant Kaleidoscope...
Jennifer "loses her head" for a moment...
Teresa finds a two dimensional kitty to play with...
Here is an illusion...this is what it looks like from the side...
But when you peek in the view hole, it looks like a real cup of coffee...

Here is our "we paid for it" souvineer photo. Richard and Jennifer got one too. As soon as they send me a copy of a scan, I'll post that...

We had a great time, and the weather was very good. Not too hot, and not too crowded.