MAY, 2012



The number of mountains in the Nihon Hyakumeizan.  A personal selection of Japan’s most outstanding mountains by the writer, plagiarist, adulterer, former soldier, mountain climber, rebounding best selling, prize winning author, explorer and, in the end, probable mountain top stroke sufferer, Kyuya Fukada.


The number of mountains on Fukada’s list located in Western Japan.


The number of mountains on Fukada’s list, in Western Japan located in the Kinki or as it is more commonly referred to, Kansai Region.


The number of Kansai residents that would be found screaming of systematic Eastern Japanese bias, bigotry, racism, sexism, ethnocide, genocide, pesticide and insecticide due to the miserly total above, even if, before they were informed of the fact, they were more interested in pachinko, octopus balls and leopard skin tights than mountains.


The number of Kanto residents kept up at night fretting over this.


The number of lists of 100 mountains of the Kansai/Kinki region produced in response to this apparent oversight of Fukada-san’s.  The first list, The Kinki Hyakumeizan, compiled by experienced hiker Seiichiro Nakanishi, was in turn accused of a bias toward peaks in the south of the region at the expense of those to the west.  Nakanishi died in 1989.  A series of his articles being published in the Mainichi Shinbun newspaper was never fully issued.  In 1998 the Yama-to-keikou Publishing Company issued a second selection of mountains, The Kansai Hyakumeizan, which was regarded as a more evenly distributed selection of peaks spread throughout the region and based upon the opinions of its readers and mountain history and folklore.


The total number of mountains that are common to both the Kansai and Kinki Hyakumeizan lists.


The number of mountains that aren’t.


The number of mountains on the combined lists making up the aptly titled KINKAN Hyakumeizan which, actually isn’t a Hyakumeizan but rather a Hyaku-san-jyu-ni-meizan, which, in turn, is really rather too much of a mouthful to spit out when you’re breathlessly bragging of your exploits halfway up a hill or midway through a nomihoudai binge afterwards, so, Hyakumeizan it remains – at least in reference to our adventure.


Woops, sorry old girl, for you it’s a Hyaku-san-jyu-ichi-meizan.  Being a woman (tut-tut) you’re banned from one of the peaks on the list.  And, on the topic of mountain bans, cameras are banned from another so summit proof shots will be held in check at this number also.


Peaks completed on our adventure so far.


Obviously, the next mountain, Minetoko-yama.


Metres of Minetoko hillside rising above sea level.


The kid was back – we were a trio once more.


The bus caught out of Demachiyanagi Station in Kyoto.


When we caught it.


When it arrived at the trailhead deep in Kyoto’s Kitayama.

1 or 2

Number of conniptions I had due to various insignificant dilemmas arising within the first ten minutes of the hike.


OK, three.

3 x 3

Yes, yes, alright then, three conniptions in the first three minutes.


The number of leech attacks.  All said and done, not too bad.  It was Golden Week after all, still early in the season.

5 or so

Number of times, after reaching the messy Hacho-daira swamp up at some 900 or so metres and traversing to the lovely summit ridge trail, that we thought we’d arrived at the top, only to be greeted by another little bit of rising ground beyond.


The time we finally made it onto the summit.  Nice going Kiddo.


Steps taken in the day, according to The Missus’ telephone.


Kilometres covered from bottom to top and down the other side.


Kilo-calories burned.


Grams of fat burned.  Bloody phone reckons it knows everything.


Reasons to climb Minetoko:

– the gorgeous river hikes at the start and end of the traverse of the mountain,

– the unique wetland summit and its surrounds,

– the atmospheric Hanase district at the end of a hike, a little lost world just out of Kyoto.


Bus caught back to Kyoto.


Number of minutes stuck on said bus with a fit to burst bladder.


Estimated number of seconds taken to cover the distance between the bus door and Demachiyanagi Station’s toilets upon our return.

7 or 8

Number of people bowled over in the process.


Number of beers it took to bowl me over after that.

3 thoughts on “BY THE NUMBERS

  1. Wow, I was wondering what Kinkan referred to! I had no idea there was a seperate Kinki Hyakumeizan list. I’ve got the Kansai Hyakumeizan book, but it’s already falling apart because of the poor stitching.

    Which mountain doesn’t allow photographs?

  2. Hmm, how did we find that list? Just a random web search for a Kansai Hyakumeizan list I guess and it popped up on a Japanese blog.

    Miwa-san in Nara, just off the Yama-no-be-no-michi trail, doesn’t allow photos. Apparently the entire mountain is considered a living god. I think food isn’t permitted beyond the trail head also, but water’s OK.

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