Continuing on the Trail:
Once you hit the Shige Pass, you’re at the mid-way point of the hike. From Mt. Shige, hike toward Mt. Tokura.Congratulate yourself, you’ve made it this far.The view of Suruga bay is particular lovely here.
The trail becomes even more challenging and requires a little rope-work. There are ropes nailed to the rocks to help you along. What never ceases to amaze me is that older Japanese hikers are very nimble on their feet. They certainly navigate these narrow, steep and rocky trails much better than I do. Usually, I’d step to one side and let them pass me by. I definitely can’t keep up with them. Be wary of rocks coming loose as you are heading up the trail. Some of the inclines can be pretty steep. It’s best to put a little distance between you and the hiker further up ahead so you avoid getting tiny rocks showering on you and dust on your face. Try not to cause a mini avalanche (like I did) when attempting part of the trail.
The hike from Mt. Shige to Mt. Tokura should take around an hour to complete or more.
Thereafter, you’d pass through Mt. Yoko and onto Yaesaka Pass. Heading downhill, you’d see a road. Walk along this road for around 120m and pick up the trail across the road, to your right. There are speeding cars here so, be careful. Once you are back on the trail, you are heading to the last peak, Mt. Kanuki.
Mt. Kanuki is a bit of a shock to the system after the rough-and-tumble hike through Mt. Washizu and Mt. Tokura. There are neatly-paved roads and very well-maintained trails circling around Mt. Kanuki, with a park, with proper park benches and a playground, joggers and small dogs.
The highest point of Mt. Kanuki is a bit of a letdown, with a radio/TV antenna tower and a sign that says “Mt. Kanuki”. The lookout point on Mt. Kanuki boasts some of the best views of Numazu city, Suruga Bay and Mt. Fuji. Another advantage to ending the trail on Mt. Kanuki is you’d get to see the sunset view from the observation tower. I have to say, it’s indeed gorgeous.
Mt. Kanuki is one of the most popular spot to look at the first sunrise of the year. Japanese people like to start the year right by looking at the first sunrise on the 1st of January because it’s considered very lucky.
From Kurose, at the foot of Mt. Kanuki, it’s a short bus ride or a 25-minute walk to Numazu station.
The city of Numazu has really fresh seafood, some of caught fresh from the Suruga Bay. Don’t miss out on eating some sushi here. There are fish markets at the port area and the “View-O” Water Gate which offers 360-degree panoramic view of the area. The Numazu Deep Sea aquarium is also worth checking out for its collection of frozen and stuffed coelacanths. Senbonhama offers a walk along the beach. For history buffs, the Numazu Imperial Palace was built in the 1890s, burnt down during the war and rebuilt in the 1960s.