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  • Writer's pictureNigel

🌲Wild Wakayama 和歌山県

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

2023 年 11 月 25 日


I had arrived at the small town of Kii-Tanabe on the west coast of Wakayama Prefecture. This is south of the metropolis of Osaka, which seems on another planet now.

The first thing I did on arrival was to walk down to the beach......oh wow....

まず、ビーチに行きました

The light is golden.......黄金の光

...and we are about 30 mins away from sunset....30分もすれば暗くなるだろう

The next morning the scene is rather different. The clouds race in from the Pacific and the rain is hammering at the window. The house creaks and groans with the onslaught........

翌日は雨が降り、風もとても強いです

It doesn't last all day though......it clears up by lunchtime...later..天気は良くなってきています



 

My plan was to tackle a section of the Kumano Kodo, a trail through the hills that ultimately ends at a holy temple site. But that will have to be put off until tomorrow. In fact I think that today I shall simply walk along the beach, explore the cafés and anything else which I find. And I usually find something. You never have to go far in this strange land before you are brought up short by something peculiar.

But first things first. I need a bakery 🥐 and a conbini (convenience store). The latter to buy some tissues. The tissues in Japan are all so small and flimsy. Give me a solid Kleenex any day! But then again this is partly a cultural thing. You never blow your nose in public. So what happens? There you are on a commuter train, hanging on to the ring from the ceiling. You can't move. And the man behind you is sniffing. Yes, sniffing, sniffing, sniffing. If JR (Japan Railways) have a suggestion box, my contribution would be:

1. Announcement

"We shall soon be stopping at Yokohama. For the convenience of all passengers please make use of our tissue service "

2. At this point an army of staff would go through the carriages, armed with boxes of Kleenex, and a waste paper bin.


But you would need a cultural revolution for this to happen.


グーグル翻訳:

しかし、まず最初に。 パン屋とコンビニが必要です。 後者はティッシュを買うためです。 日本のティッシュはどれもとても小さくてペラペラです。 いつでもしっかりとしたクリネックスをください! しかし、繰り返しになりますが、これは部分的には文化的なものです。 人前では絶対に鼻をかまない。 それで何が起こるでしょうか? あなたは通勤電車に乗って、天井のリングにしがみついています。 動くことはできません。 そしてあなたの後ろの男は鼻を鳴らしています。 そう、🤧 嗅いで、嗅いで、嗅いで。 JR (日本鉄道) に目安箱があるとしたら、私の貢献は次のとおりです。

1. お知らせ

「まもなく横浜に停車します。乗客の皆様の利便性のため、ティッシュペーパーサービスをご利用ください。」

2. この時点で、スタッフの軍隊がクリネックスの箱と古紙箱を装備して馬車を通過します。




 


Back to my little town.

The small harbour down the road is quiet, with only a couple of boats in evidence.....

港は静かです

Under a massive sea wall....防潮堤

The place is littered with ropes and stuff....

All very quiet......

I stumble across these curious rock strata at the end of the beach.....(They are not in the guide book!)

ガイドブックには載っていない岩です

It's Art really......

....and then there is this infuriating sign in Katakana. Infuriating because there I am trying to read it...."...Tu-ri-mu-ko- - su...."...when it turns out that all it means is "Trim Course" - i.e. fitness path. Don't freak out Nigel. I don't know why they invented Katakana. Hiragana and Kanji would have been enough for me 🙄.

Here is a citizen of Kii-Tanabe getting into trim shape....

この人は健康になるだろう💨

I actually got a bit lost at the end of the town, but getting lost doesn't have to be a bad thing. I discovered this lovely Jinja - Shinto shrine, nestling in the trees.....

ビーチの近くにこの美しい神社を発見しました






 

Now although this was a quiet little town there were tourists. But not normal ones. They were all hikers - with boots and rucksacks. This is because the town is near one of the starting points of this pilgrimage trail - the Kumano Kodo. It's an ancient network of paths converging at an important Shinto shrine complex in the middle of the peninsular. For centuries, rich and poor struggled through this mountainous terrain to absolve their "sins" and think about life. A bit like the Camino de Santiago route in Spain. Here's a link.....https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4952.html


So now it was my turn. The next day I was on the squeaky clean bus which laboured up the valley to the starting point. Once there I went into a little shop and ordered a cup of coffee (not very penitential eh?). Delicious. In the meantime all the others hikers were on their way. Except for a small group of Chinese, who were absolutely delighted to have their photograph taken.

So let's get started............Once I had got ahead of the Chinese group (one of them had tinkling little bell to scare off bears).....The silence of the forest soon descended, and the first challenge were roots....lots of them....

最初の課題 - 根

......and then the trees themselves.....

大きな杉の木

...and the rocks.....so it was worth bringing my hiking boots to Japan!

岩。 ブーツを日本に持ってきて良かったです

But pay your respects at the wayside shrine and the gods will be help you on your way.....

停止。 神社を尊重しましょう。

This caught my eye....

竹

...and these signs were hard to miss........

とても良い兆候

...and at certain points there are look-out platforms.......to pose for a selfie....

丘からの眺め

....and to admire the view....

I saw little jewels along the way.....a camelia....

はすみじろ蓮見白

...a something bush.....これは何ですか

and fir trees fruits.....

.......and an isolated dwelling.....

眺めの良い部屋

Although the weather was fantastic, at this time of year the sun goes down at about 4.30 pm. I didn't want to be walking through a cold dark forest, so after a few hours walk I descended the side of the valley. Here I passed lush rice fields....

ここで緑豊かな田んぼを通り過ぎました…。

...and eventually found THE bus stop.......The buses were not very frequent.

バスの本数はあまり多くありませんでした。

The last part of the name "...gawa", gives the game away. We are at a river. The Tonda river, which passes through a region called Ichinose (hello, I know that name....🎹), before reaching the Pacific at Kii-Tonda. A fresh, clean mountain river, picturesque in this season.....

富田川



........with huge quiet rock pools at the edges. It is probably a dangerous torrent in winter....

冬は危ないかも

Amazing where plants find a foothold.....

面白い

The gods were favouring me it seems.....extraordinary....

並外れた

A last glance at this lovely spot before boarding the bus home.....

最終的な見解

Home sweet home.....

ホームスイートホーム。

with a drip coffee which only the Japanese could have invented....."only in Japan"

Stay tuned. For now it's time for our weekly manhole. Except that in this case it is a fire hydrant....I've heard of Bob the Builder....was there a Fred the Fireman? After my time....




 

🌲Thank you for reading "..Wild Wakayama.."

 "..和歌山県.."を読んでんでくれてありがとう



 🌲 Feel free to share the blog with friends.

よろしければ、リンクを友達と共有してください



    🌲 And it would be nice to hear from you...!

そしてコメントしてください...


😋




THE END

🥾

終わり








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