Friday, 27 March 2015

Kumano Kodo (Mar 27, 2015) - Day 5 Koguchi to Nachisan

A day to remember walking to Nachisan over 14.5 kms in 4.75 hours. Rarely have I pushed myself so hard as the ascent of 800 meters was a never ending staircase made of stones placed centuries ago.

The walk was incredibly inspiring so time flew by and thankfully I was very strong today. 

Last evening at the Minshuku Momofuku I had the best meal, without any question of the Kumano may have been my best meal ever! In reading comments in the guest book many previous walkers commented that this was their best meal in Japan!

Incredible Supper!

Yes I ate every last morsel of the 13 dishes however had a small serving of rice. The tempura alone was the best I have ever had. I even was able to sit on a chair! It took me close to an hour to finish!

Next the Japanese futon bedding was again the most comfortable of all the places I have stayed on the Kumano Kodo...even had a real pillow instead of a small bean bag!

Super comfortable!

After a great nights sleep breakfast was waiting for me

Now there is a delicious and filling breakfast!

As I left I thanked Mr. and Mrs. Nakazama as best I could. I told them "best food", "best sleeping" and "best hosts" on the Kumano Kodo! They seemed so turns out Mr. Nakazama is a guide on the Kumano Kodo..."Japanese only he laughed"

My final comment was that I would really like to come back some day (by bus) with my wife Dawn to spend one night at Minshuku Momofuku...Dawn you would love this place!

I am a little taller than Mrs. Nakazama!

Mr. and Mrs. Nakazama

Oh I forgot to mention in yesterday's blog that one does not have to freeze at night in Japan. It turns out the air conditioners on the wall are both heaters and air conditioners...dah!

So at 7:30 I left for the day under perfectly sunny skies...again.


The start...

Kumano Kodo for those who can't read Japanese

A sampling of the many different types of stairs that awaited me...

Every once in a while a small break!

Finally after close to two hours I crested the pass (note climbing was not done for the day as mountain trails are like a roller coaster)

The last comment on the Echizen-toge Pass picture written by a famous Japanese poet in the 12th century "This route is very rough and difficult. It is impossible to describe precisely how tough it is" what really struck me is was written around year 1200...expect not much has changed on the route since then...neat stuff!

A few pictures of the last few hours prior to arriving at Nachisan:

Heading into Nachisan

Heading into Nachisan

The Nachisan area is incredibly beautiful and important in the Japanese culture...I wish I would have been more knowledgeable about the history of this great shrine area. While I cannot pretend to appreciate it's full importance I was in awe.

Nachi-San Seiganto-ji Temple

Entrance to Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine
Grand shrine of over 4,000 Kumano shrines in Japan

Tori gate
Small shrine

Three story pagoda and Nachi waterfall

Nachi waterfall - highest in Japan at 133 metres
Picnic area where I ate...does it get better?

Incredible Bento box lunch prepared by Minshuku Momofuku

So that's it for what has been an unforgettable walk and experience on the Kumano Kodo. 

Tomorrow I leave for a few days in Tokyo and then home sweet home! Here is what awaits me in Tokyo!

Rose (grand-daughter on far right) holding hands with BFF Elizabeth in middle

Yonde kurete arigato!

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