Today started like any other, got up, cooked this yummy breakfast
As I was packing up my things a guy came over and asked me in Japanese about the fish in the river. I told him I had no idea, that I was here hiking, and he just smiled, thanked me and left. It’s little experiences like these that have convinced me Japan has changed in the seven years I have been away from it; I get the feeling now that people expect foreigners to speak Japanese more than ever. In my experience on this trip I get addressed in Japanese almost always, and people definitely don’t seem as shocked when I can speak a bit of their language as they did the last time I was here. I can’t remember it being like this when I lived here before, but it is kind of a nice change. I don't have to keep going through the same routine of them being shocked and awed by my ability to speak a little bit of their language.
So today was mostly about mountain roads. Parts of the track were rerouted for whatever reason so I had to take the mountain roads down.
These road were seriously dilapidated in sections, with obviously no cars coming up them.
Then you have other sections where it is obvious recent work has gone on.
I don’t really get it, cars can barely get up these roads but they still spend a lot of money maintaining them in certain sections. It doesn’t make sense from where I am standing. With all this said, there is a certain awesome Road Warrior feeling you get when you can walk down the middle of the road without fear of being run over.
The trail led me yet into another valley village. I was getting rather hungry by this point, so I stopped to have something to eat, when this guy came up and joined me.
And then he followed me for a while.
|More like me following him|
It was nice to have a companion for a bit, somewhere along the road he got distracted, ran off and I never saw him again. So I proceeded through several villages, all as sleepy and harmonious as the next. At one point I saw three people sitting around boiling wood in a big pot (for purposes that remain unknown to me). I was running low on food and looking for a store to resupply when finally I came across this place in the village of Nishizato.
They only sold vegetables and eggs. The lady told me there was nowhere else, so I stocked up on the local produce, including pickled garlic.
I put it all in my bag with great care, but the next time I opened it everything stunk of garlic! It had leaked everywhere. I made my best attempt at cleaning my stuff and ate most of the garlic up because I didn’t want it to go to waste. Lucky I am the only one in my tent tonight because I don’t think anybody could stand the smell of me.
I started up the last mountain road for the day and found this spot half way along to have a wash in.
|Yes ladies, I'm naked|
It was freezing but I felt great afterwards, particularly my feet. Having them in the cold water for a good ten minutes made them feel like new. I think I am going to be dangling them in river streams more often.
And so I kept walking up the middle of this:
And so I ended up here, the Hozumi Shrine half way up Mt Ryuso.
No one is around, so I think I am going to set up my tent and get some rest. I even have a vending machine to get my morning coffee at.