Japan Trip 2023 – Day Fourteen

May 17th

Another sunny day, another delicious breakfast; today had the addition of black goma dofu. Very good.

Plan for today is slow forest walking. I wish to visit the Nanato waterfall, or, as my map names it, waterrtall, and I want to walk the Shin-en-no-Mori, (forest of the gods, track), it is a one way only trail and I have yet to find the entrance.

Back at the shubuko, is only early afternoon, but my legs are tired and now it is quite hot. The waterfall and the path to it was breathtakingly beautiful. Very steep to reach, but worth the journey.

And the water was delicious.

On the way back from the waterfall, decided to have another look at the plateau lookout where the goat-antelope were, as it was such a cloudless day. Saw a snake, or at least bits of a snake, as it did not want to be seen. I doubt it will be visible in the attempted photographs.

Came across the two French women who arrived at the shubuko last night, (saw them at breakfast), they were Very Serious Walkers, moving so fast I do not know how they saw anything.

Actually found the entrance to the Shin en no Mori.

It was a very narrow path, much drier than all the others, (of course, it also wasn’t pouring down rain today, but still, had that drier feel to it).

Saw a very tiny, very beautiful little bird that paused long enough to be noticed, then flitted away in the way most forest birds do, too fast for a photo.

Bought a couple of universally expensive beers on the way home. Shopkeeper asked if I wanted them opened, but as I was going to drink them in my room, I said no, then walking away realised I had no was to open them once back at the accommodation. Looked at other souvenir shops to see if they sold bottle openers, they did not. Went back to the shop I bought them from to see if he did. He laughed and gave me one for free. So now I sit and rest my weary legs, drinking said beer.

Had planned to do the Shinto prayer ceremonies tomorrow, as advertised on the website and room handout, (500 yen), but seems that is also no longer available, according to the priest son.

The old woman who runs the place keeps wanting to chat and because I will say occasional sentences in passable Japanese, like, I saw a snake, she launches off in non stop Japanese and I have no idea what she is saying.

She did show me some calligraphy this morning that says something like, the mountain is always quiet. Apparently quiet is the philosophy here, even the taiko taught here is said to be more quiet, she said.

Kai Cho

Leave a Reply