One Man Walking

2008-06-18 Not just mileage

June 18th, 2008 · No Comments

For most of this morning I thought today was just about the distance. Putting my head down and getting it done. The walk was pleasant. Soon reaching the Tamagawa Dam view point where I charged some things and dried out others. After a while the view of the man-made lake disappeared and with dense forest on either side it was just me and the simmering tarmac below. I reached the Tamagawa Onsen Visitors Center shortly before 1pm and wasn’t going to bother going to it except the sleeping workmen at the road-side building said they had no water and that was my only choice.

It turned out to be, as Alan Booth would say, worth the extra boot leather. The center was air-conditioned and the sole employee had seen me on the road yesterday. A big 3D map inside showed Mt. Yakeyama and some hiking paths over it! Though the man told me it was too late to start the “5 hour” track, and there were bears so he’d worry about me, I saw a hut near the peak and figured that would do. First I swung by the onsen to enquire about prices. It was another case of not being listened to or understood. I was told the price for one person one night and tried to ask if two people for one night was double that. Three times I stated the doubled price but before I could finish saying “….for two people” he’d correct me and say
“No. This is the price”
“For two people”
“No, just for one”
“Right, then ¥16,200 is…”
“No. It’s ¥8,100″

Anyway, I should have tried the water at the onsen, I’d misunderstood and thought it was free upstream, but found that was just where people sat under umbrellas or in the small shacks breathing in the fumes. According to the English pamphlet “The waters of Tamagawa Hot Springs are medically efficacious”, but it was baking hot already and I don’t need to sweat any more than I am already.

Healthy steam stream 

So I headed up Mt. Yakeyama. I paused to listen to a hiker tell me about take-no-ko (bamboo shoots) and boiling them for 30 minutes. Since I don’t have the fuel or water to do that I put the shoots back into the forest once he was gone. Besides, they wouldn’t taste as good as Ohashi-san’s.

After a…..

……what was that? A fast moving black shape just shot across the floor and made the wood pile shuffle. I think there is a mouse in the house…..

…….not too steep climb the trees stopped and the path crossed the tell-tale white chalky rocks that show the crust here is thin. I reached the mountain hut with plenty of time to get down the other side, but I’d rather be up high for sunrise. I hear it might rain tomorrow. If the clouds come early maybe I’ll be above them. If they come late I’ll be reaching town and it’s time for a wash.

Mountain path 

Mountain path 

Word of the day: Ken-ko = health

Distance today: 37 km


Today was mostly an Up day

hiking  ·  movie  ·  photo

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