高山 Mt. Takayama
I wanted to go to Mt. Kongojido today. I got my MTB out of my car and headed off. 500 meters later, a guy said to me that you can't pass here due to road works. Apparently they will be working here till the end of June. NO WAY！！！Not after I came all this way. Oh well! Not much I can do about it. I'll go and explore around Uchiyama Beech House instead.
At an altitude of 500 meters, people began living here when the Mt. Takao Myoho-ji Temple was built in the Taiho Era (701 - 704). The farmers in this area gave themselves the surname 'taue', 'tanoue', and in-spite of the high altitude, began cultivating the land. Agriculture prospered here until recent years. However, the 16 farming households that were once here dropped to 7 households at the beginning of the Showa Period (1926 - 1989), and then to 1 household in 1935. In 1973, the last household moved down the mountain and the village became abandoned.
This area's beech trees and Japanese oak trees were used in everyday life as firewood, but now the area is designated as the Tango Kami-Seya Uchiyama Kyoto Prefecture Nature Conservation Area and the precious nature is protected.
WOW! That's a big snake! Man, that moved fast! I've never seen a snake move so fast. I've seen a lot of long slender snakes, but this one is solid. That speed is scary! I think it is a Japanese Keelback (Kansai type). There is a video of the same kind of Japanese Keelback at this link.