The storm hit early this morning and when two pegs got blown out at 6am my tent collapsed and I figured it was time to leave. The weather improved enough to stow the umbrella and a few hours later I was at Osorezan. On the way I’d been offered a lift by a friendly Japanese couple who turned out to be guides at the temple complex. I showed myself around, recalling what Alan Booth had written about this place. I think he said it was a place where the spirits of children that died during birth come. It’s another volcanic land of steaming rocks and sulfurous rivers. The piles of rocks are said to have been made by those spirits and many are adorned by colourful pinwheels from families who have suffered a loss.
Back in the car park I was drying my tent and sleeping bag as a group of old ladies came by, one dared to ask and soon news was spreading about me and my adventure. I could hear them passing it on “He came from Kyushu” they’d say, “walking” and “to Soya”. Quite a few people came to confirm the story themselves and wish me good luck. I wish I could have got it on camera but I know they’d have shied away or just smiled and waved instead of carrying on talking.
As the tour bus left I got waves from everyone and felt pretty good for the walk to the northern shore. Near the end of the road a car drove south past me, and a little while later it came back tooting its horn. The lady inside said she was Japanese though I’d have also believed native american, especially with flawless english, her Boston accent and braided hair. She offered me a ride but I had to decline,
“I’m trying to do the whole country on foot”
“Well you must have big feet then!”
So I made it to the coast and found a windy but soft campsite. 31km of Honshu left.
Word of the day: ka-zan = volcano
Distance today: 42 km