Saturday, December 5, 2009

Which do you like better, mountains or the sea ?

Since I was born and raised in countryside in Nara, surrounded by mountains, I had a vague longing for the not-yet-seen sea. Whenever I see the sea, I am amazed at its beauty shimmering in the sunshine and its endless horizon, while I didn’t appreciate mountains so much when I was young. Actually mountain trekking is a kind of acquired taste for me.

Marine sports are definitely no-no for me, because I can’t swim. Most people associate the sea with summer. Simply compared, like bathing suits show, the sea allows you to be open and extrovert and relax your body and mind ( putting aside all season divers or surfers). On the other hand mountain climbing requires well-equipped outfits and in a way being ascetic,introverted work but it could reward your struggle with a sense of fulfillment and wonderful bird's-eye views and moreover it could please you with every clear change of scenery all through the year. It seems to me that marine activities are for younger people while mountains are for middle-aged or over. Of course skiing or snowboarding seem to attract all age groups but most people I meet in the mountain trekking are in my generation or over.

Thanks to the road up to 2700m high, it became possible for us to access even “Japan Alps” easily. Several years ago, I had a chance to see the rising sun from the top of Mt. Norikura. We started walking with flash light around 4:00am and in one hour and a half or so, the sun began to dye the horizon orange and next thing I knew the orange sun appeared among white field of clouds behind black mountain ranges. Soon it revealed its whole figure, emitting sparkling sunshine. The thought that I was standing on such a high place(3000m) and overlooking the sea of thick clouds below and towering mountain ranges really overwhelmed me.

On the other hand, the rising sun in Bali or Cebe, seen from the resort hotel near the seaside where I was staying was also very impressive.

The sea and mountains both give you a great deal of comfort and energy and healing power. Strangely enough, one winter when I was walking on the trail in the mountain,shown here is at Mt.Takami , with earth and whole trees covered with snow all around, quiet and clear and serene, no sound heard, I felt like I was at the deep end of the sea.


  1. If asked what's missing for me living here in Nara, I'd ask it's sea. In Kobe where I lived until marraige, both sea and mountais are at hand. My elementary school was on the hill overlooking the sea of Kobe. On a sunny day I could see Kii peninsula beyond the shimmering water. Evening walk along the seaside is very ralxing. Occasional travelling to the mountains, while living where sea is easily accessible; it's my ideal life.

  2. I feel a sense of achievement,too when I managed to climb up high mountains.While speaking of sea, I remember around Great Barrier Reef or around Venice.Thanks to strong light I could see them very beautiful.

  3. The rising sun is spectacular!
    Only the climers on the top of Mt.noritake can experience that beautiful scenery at first hand.
    Unfortunately, I am neither a climber nor good swimmer.

  4. I loved both moutains and the sea. But now I don't climb or swim. I don't want to say it is because of age. Just I enjoy walking.The first mountain I climbed is Mt.Ishizuchi in Sikoku. Still I remeber that beautiful short bamboo field which I walked and walked across. I felt as if the bamboo leaves were whispering.

    I also love that quietness of falling snow. Does snow absorb sound?

  5. Both of them have great memories for me. Especially I was deeply moved the evening sun was sinking below the horizon in the US 4 years ago. Also I'll never forget the sun came up over the mountains,saw from the top of the Mt.Karamatsu-Dake in Nagano prefecture several years ago.

  6. I like both, becouse nature is beautiful.

  7. 雲上の世界、幻想的できれい! こんな風景が実際に眼前に広がったら、山登りにハマるのがわかる気がします。しかし、自然界、人間界とも、頂上までの道のりがなかなか険しい……。

  8. Yes, Koubou. But big difference is, unless you stop stepping forward in the mountain, you're sure able to see the visible result, but in life not always. Still life is worth living (or climbing), not bad, I believe.

  9. I was very impressed sunrising picture of Mt.Norikura.I also remind a beautiful sunrising
    of Mt.Oomine I climbed.

    I prefer mountain to sea. As you say,it is good for senior.


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