Thursday, 14 May 2015

Another Nice Day with a Surprise Offer - 11th May 2015

Hikers start early on Mt Sanage; by 4:30am I was hearing people trekking up the path that ran beside the rest stop. I couldn't get the thought out of my head the presence of me and my tent might be discouraging them to use the rest area, so I was awake and packing up rather earlier than normal. It proved harder than I expect though, with people regularly stopping to have a chat, curious as to what I was doing. One gentlemen who sat down and had some breakfast with me told me he climbs the mountain everyday, and he occasionally meets people camping there who are walking the whole Tokai Shizen Hodo, although he had never seen a foreigner doing it. I thought he was about 10 years younger than he looked, but turns out he was 66 years old. I guess all that mountain climbing paid off.

What do you think?
I also met some trail runners who were powering up the mountain. I asked them how far they were going and they told me 25kms in the morning alone. Holy shit! Pretty extreme sport to be honest. Navigating up the mountain while walking was hard enough, with the benefit of having the ability to pause at any time to check exactly where the best spots are put your feet. I can't imagine running up it, or down it, without tripping and killing myself.

I was up the top of Mt Sanage bright and early. It provided a good view, as most mountains do:

Nagoya is getting closer

On my way down the other side I had a chance encounter that changed the plans for my whole day. An elderly couple who were heading in the other direction saw me and stopped for a chat. When they found I had had been camping for the last couple of days, they invited me to stay at their house for the night, even offering to come pick me up wherever I was at the end of the day. It sounded so much better than my tent, so I accepting their offer and agreed to call them when I was finished for the day.

Here are some photos from the day (I altered my course and took roads so I would arrive at Joukouji station, and easy palce for the couple to pick me up):

Unkouji Temple 
House built in the shadow of the expressway

Ceramic, human sized, Tanouki (Racoon Dogs), that are very popular in Japanese folklore. These kinds of statues are all over Japan, but I had never seen them this big before

The weather was great again

The abandoned "natural history museum of Aichi" with some kind of creepy symbol on the gate

This was an abandoned factory of some sort built on the side of the Shonai River

Panoramic shot

When I got to Jokoji Station, I called the couple and they came and picked me up. They took me to a hot spring, which felt absolutely wonderful after the day of walking. I did get in one bath though that was so hot my skin felt slightly boiled afterwards. We then went back to their house, they set me up in their spare room and cooked me a wonderful dinner of Japanese curry. I had planned to catch a train to Nagoya and take a day off the next day on account of a typhoon heading in our direction, but hadn't made a booking yet. When they found this out they insisted I stay another day, which Ms Inochi said would give me a chance to get some laundry done. I graciously accepted their offer. So I'm sitting here a little stunned by their kindness, taking me, a stranger, into their home, feeding me, letting me stay and asking for nothing in return. Such wonderful people.

Thank you very much

Distance: 23.4km

1 comment:

  1. I live in Tajimi and I regularly walk/hike the course around the Jokoji area and as creepy and abandoned as that history museum looks, it's still open for business !