Climbing, hiking and camping. These are all things I have not really done outside of more casual occasions, yet those times live on as warm memories inside of me. Despite being years ago since I last did any of these, my fondness remains the same as if it was yesterday. If possible, I would like to give them a try again – especially in the case of climbing or hiking.
The more casual strolls, which could barely be labelled hikes, have been when I’ve travelled to Hawaii, mostly following some easy and touristy trails. It could either be through a forest or upwards a mountain, but it was never anything particularly challenging other than not wearing yourself out in the heat. If I go there again I would love to explore some more difficult places.
In high school, however, we once did an excursion. It was a terrible day by all means, being just a few weeks into the first year when nobody knew each other. Furthermore, we had to travel a bit by bicycle in so-so weather conditions and were later divided into two groups – one more or less being placed in a swamp and the other on refreshing meadows. Guess which one I ended up in!
Before heading home, however, the teacher told us to come with her on the final part of the excursion. Nobody knew exactly what it would be about beforehand, only that we needed durable clothes and possibly some food. It turned out we were supposed to climb up a mountain!
It was by no means a long or challenging feat, but it was incredibly fun. First you had to make your way through some tight tunnels before eventually reaching a vertical wall requiring you to climb using a rope. When we were all on top of the cave, or the very small mountain depending on the label, we sat down and had something to eat while enjoying the view over the forest with the sun about to set in the distance.
That moment alone really whet my appetite for further climbing or hiking adventures. Sadly, this is very hard to come by in Sweden as they are few and far between if you want spectacular views. Caves are easier to come by, and while also fun, they are simply not the same thing.
This is one of the reasons why I would like to travel to Japan one day, however ridiculous it may sound. Japan is a very mountainous country and there are a lot of possibilities to either hike or climb, often ranging from easily accessible to more difficult ones. One mountain I would like to climb in particular is the famous Mount Fuji and see the sunrise, as it would be an unforgettable experience that would hopefully satisfy my hunger created during the excursion in high school. Mount Fuji seems to be the perfect choice as it is not excessively demanding while still requiring some tenacity.
As a result of this, the short story in Yama no Susume 2 where the main characters climb precisely Mount Fuji excited me. The whole series manages to capture the joy of hiking and climbing, so it reminds me a lot of what I felt during the excursion. It also helps how well-produced it is overall, having multiple episodes done by individual persons, and often boasts breathtaking views. Yama no Susume 2 makes me want to go out on an adventure right here and now.