Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Away From the Hustle and Bustle

There are days when I miss life away from the city. I miss the green trees and peace you feel when nature surrounds you, I've never been a concrete jungle kind of gal, all the people and traffic just start to get to you and start rubbing you the wrong way! Zack has been asking what we can do away from the city so I broke out a magazine that was given to us when we first arrived, if you live around Yokota I suggest checking this one out:
"Visit the Tokyo's oasis where you can explore the nature and history"
My plan is to eventually check out the 9 other highlighted villages/cities/towns. But with being 7-8 months pregnant we have had to avoid the hikes and some activities listed until after the Baby is here, with all my back and hip issues Zack was just looking out for me! But we got the Boba 3G carrier ordered and plan on getting this family out into the outdoors more! 

After thumbing through and having a few options shut down we decided to head up to the Okutama Lake and get a feel for the area. Once Zack saw the map he was sold, he's been wanting to go driving and find "fun roads", thank goodness no one in our family gets car sick!!!

That yellow road in the bottom left hand corner is no joke.
Probably one of the most twisty roads I've been on!
The first trip we made up to the area was a Saturday, we had no agenda other than to get away from base. Not 30min into the drive we were ecstatic to leave city behind and wind through little mountain towns that are so peaceful. Here are just a few pictures from our first trip, we didn't get out of the car it was mostly a scouting adventure and Sawyer napped almost the whole time!
 I was in LOVE with the area the second we left all the traffic lights behind.
 I could spend every weekend up here!

View of Okutama-ko Lake from the road

Just one of a few awesome bridges along the drive

Little area of Vendors near the restroom stop!
(Learned from our second trip up here they must only be open on weekends)

Not everyday you see a Ferrari Testarossa
After that short drive we knew that it would be an area we would frequent. Two weeks after our first visit to the area we went back, on a mission to check out the Dam. We picked up lunch from the commissary and headed toward the trees and water to enjoy a nice family day! There are many picnic areas at Ogouchi Dam, we didn't know until later so we just plopped down at a table under the wisteria near the parking lot.
The family eating lunch
These Crazy Caterpillars were EVERYWHERE!!!

 Once our bellies were nice and full we decided to explore the area and walk as far and as long as my pregnant body allowed! We walked all the way across the dam where we found a second set of picnic tables. We also discovered walking trails and paths along the other side of the lake. The rain started to blow in so we made our way back to the car to drive up the mountain a ways to see what kind of view we could find.

The Boys checking out the sites.
(Yes, Zack had a tight grip on Sawyer's ankles!)

Walking Trail around the lake I want to do one day!
Looks like a nice easy path!
Zack exploring with Sawyer, this path goes up a small Mountain!
The other picnic area across the dam
Sawyer running across the dam.
We drove around the lake and turned to go up. (The yellow road in the map picture above), We finally found a pull off at a spot that was 993m (3258 feet) from sea level and the road still kept climbing but we decided to turn around and will leave more for later!
Sawyer checking out the view,
Those buildings at the edge of the lake is the dam where we were.
Sawyer standing by the sign :)
Me and My Love
We have really just seen the tip of the iceberg up there and plan on exploring way more. There is also Okutama Town which we have yet to poke around in. With caverns, waterfalls, shrines, camping areas, and many hikes we have grown to love an area that will occupy many days off as a family of four! I look forward to watching the seasons change and seeing how the area differs during different seasons. Until our next adventure...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this review, I can't wait to visit this area with the fam this summer :)