So today is my nothing day. Well, almost nothing. I had to change hotels. They said I couldn’t stay another night at the original place so I got online and booked another haunt just down the road. I was greeted by this lovely lady.
She took me into the office gave me two bowls of miso noodle soup, a sandwich, and a salmon filled rice ball. She then chatted with me for a while about how this inn used to be the most popular in the area, and then finally showed me my room. Such a nice person. It's an old place and I’m the only one staying in the whole building.
So today I am going to lay in bed, let my legs recover, eat junk food and watch episodes of my favourite TV shows.
But before that, seven things I’ve learned in seven days on the Tokai Shizen Hodo:
1. Weight matters: If your path is relatively flat than weight does not matter so much, but the Tokai is up and down all the time and every extra gram matters. Tomorrow I am going to send forward anything I don’t need to a friends house.
2. Don’t be picky: When you get down from a mountain and head into town, don’t count on there being lots places to get food. Just go to the first place you see unless you are absolutely sure there is another further along. This will save you the hassle of either having to backtrack or go up a mountain hungry.
3. It’s hard: The track is very physically demanding. Day after day of ascents and descents turns your legs into jelly. It has been so much harder on the body than I expected, which leads me to my next point.
4. I should have trained: I really should have got my backpack, found some stairs, and walked up and down them 1000+ times before I came here. It would have saved me from a world of pain I have experienced in this 1st week.
5. Convenience stores are king: These places become your everything in Japan when hiking long distances; food resupply, toilet, an oasis from the cold, a place you can (possibly) use internet and get information about the area. I have found myself often having to bend my plans around where the next 7 Eleven or Circle K will be.
6. Elevation matters: How far you will be going up and coming down has more of an impact on how long the day will taken than the overall distance. So check the elevation of the tracks thoroughly before setting off.
7. The GPS map I downloaded is extremely accurate: I have had no problems with it whatsoever, so yes, I can now vouch for its accuracy.