Person I meet: Hitori de?
Person I meet: Honto?
Person I meet: Ganbatte ne
This little conversation was repeated over and over, with the bus drivers and the people at the onsens and the people at the places I stayed. People had a hard time believing I was traveling alone.
The best part of “Hitori de” was in the woods. I was alone with my thoughts. I could hear the birds chirping and the streams running and the wind blowing in the tree tops. The hikes were difficult and while I didn’t often stop and take off the pack to rest (too much energy to take off and put on the pack), I did stop and stand still as often as I needed to. I could travel at my own pace, eat lunch when I felt like it, stop and take pictures of whatever I wanted. I really enjoyed being alone in the woods. In the warmer weather, I'm sure there are many people hiking, but in December, I was all alone.
Kumano Kodo Trip (the rest of) Day 2
I didn't feel the need to try to squeeze through this!
Next, I came upon Nezu-oji shrine. I was glad that most of the information posts were in English as well as Japanese.
And on I went. Tsurugi Sutra Mound was next.
I'd been going up hill for most of the hike so far, so when I saw this little side path, I almost passed it up because I couldn't tell what was up there and because it was so steep. I'm so glad I didn't pass it by because there was a wonderful view! I decided to eat my lunch here. When I got up to go, I noticed a little animal had been here before me!
I'm not sure what this next oji was.
The trail went along next to some isolated homes and I saw these welcoming, but silent "people", then some beautiful views. The clouds were low and it was trying to rain, but not quite. I didn't even need to get out the rain coat.
Takahara Shrine was next and I knew that meant I was almost done for the day. The day's hike from Takijiri was only 3.7 km, but very steep, so it took me two and a half hours!
That night I spent at Kiri-no-Sato Takahara Lodge. There were western beds with futons on top. I had a gorgeous view from my room. The onsen/bath was so nice! I went both before and after dinner! And dinner... They kept bringing more and more food - all of it delicious.
I’ll have day 3 soon!