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Training Log Archive: simmo

In the 7 days ending Nov 16:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Walking4 6:20:00 16.65(22:49) 26.8(14:11)
  Total4 6:20:00 16.65(22:49) 26.8(14:11)

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Saturday Nov 16 #

Walking 1:05:00 [3] 3.3 km (19:42 / km)

First walk on the Kumano Kodo after arriving from Koyasan at 2pm. From Hongu Taisha to Yunomine Onsen, basically a big climb followed naturally by a big descent. We were going to walk the remaining 2km to our hotel at Watarase Onsen, but it would have been on a road and as we passed the Yunomine egg boiling pool (I kid you not) a local woman offered us an egg each, so we decided to wait 15 minutes for the next bus.

Onsen at the hotel was good, first time we've been able to bathe together in a private bath. Dinner was just out of this world.

While in Hongu we signed up for pilgrim passes, and should make the cut by the time we finish on Thursday. Now we just have to do the Camino some time.

Friday Nov 15 #


More sessions of general walking around, with a bus ride between. Arranged for cases to be forwarded on to tomorrow night's hotel, so we don't have to lug them for distances of 1km or more between hotels and bus stops. We're staying in a buddhist temple tonight, so don't really need to carry much more than a change of underwear and our IT gear.

From the hotel to the bus station to buy tickets (for some reason they're not on sale until the day of the journey), then to Kurasu and back for coffee - around 2.5kms all up. Then on the bus to Koyasan, a sacred place for the Japanese with many temples and ther religious sites. A remote valley in the mountains at 900m asl, and to day it was freezing - minus 1 to 12, and even colder tomorrow.

On arrival we walked up to Okunoin, where the monk who founded Koyasan - Kobo Daishi in 816ad - is said to reside in 'eternal meditation concentrating on the liberation of all beings' in a vast mausoleum surrounded by thousand year old cedars and a clear mountain stream. The trees are really impressive, tall and thick, and there are thousands of them, but they are outnumbered by the 200,000 gravestones and memorial pagodas in the park.

Next we walked to our overnight accommodation at a temple (with real monks) for a typical Japanese room, onsen, and vegetarian dinner and breakfast (dinner was delicious). Then we walked on to visit a large complex of temples and pagodas, and on further to the Koyasan gate on a saddle with a view beyond to rows of mountains and supposedly the inland sea - not visible due to haze. Sunsets here are supposed to be specatacular, but we didn't want to wait for an hour in the cold, so returned to our temple for a ( very) hot bath.

Total for the day around 6 kms. Off to the Kumano Kudo pilgrimage tomorrow where the real walking begins.

Thursday Nov 14 #


A few kms of walking today in total, but not really worth recording. First we went to our coffee shop Kurasu and back. Then caught the subway and a walk for an appointment to be shown the tea ceremony. Walk back to the subway for a long trip to the northern terminus, then a bus to Ohara and a walk to Sanzen-in temple which we had been told was currently the best spot to see autumn leaves. Some other interesting things at the temple include a 3m gold Buddha with a very old and beautiful painting on the ceiling above him - sort of a buddhist version of the Sistine chapel. As well as beautiful gardens, photos on PP's fb page.

Wednesday Nov 13 #

Walking 30:00 [3] 8.0 km (3:45 / km)

Philosopher's Path in Kyoto, including three temples and their gardens, then to the Nishiki Market.

Tuesday Nov 12 #

Walking 2:00:00 [3] 6.0 km (20:00 / km)

Walking in Kyoto after arriving at lunch time - to the Kyomizudera Temple and then wandering through Higashiyami and Gion. Along with several thousand Japanese schoolkids, and thousands more Japanese and foreign tourists. Later, we took the subway and walked 2-3kms to a vegetarian restaurant and back, and earlier in the day we had walked 2kms or so in Hiroshima visiting some gardens which were closed so we ended up in the Catholic Cathedral which was built after the A bomb and had some beautiful mosaics and windows, and some very interesting printed information about Hiroshima and the bombing.

Monday Nov 11 #

Walking 2:45:00 [2] 9.5 km (17:22 / km)

Walking on Miyajima Island, Hiroshima's equivalent of Rotto, except it has deer instead of quokkas, not to mention a 535m mountain and numerous Shinto/Buddhist temples. Plus numerous food and souvenir outlets.

From the ferry we set off up the first part of the mountain, meeting some deer within the first 400m. There was a road for about 2.5km to the ropeway (Japanese term for cable lift), which we had intended to take, and goes to around 450m, but still a good km from the summit. It saves around 2km of steep path - mostly steps actually, and 250m of climb, but is 1.3km long (according to my gps: I left it in the distance, because I can). The first part of the lift, around 800m long is in a small car taking 6 people, then you go up about 50 stairs to get on a bigger car with a capacity of about 30 for the remaining 500m. Fantastic views across the inland sea and back to Hiroshima with mountains behind.

On exiting the cable car, with a full day ahead (we had to get back to do the Peace Park and museum) we decided to give the summit a miss. This still meant 5km or more of steep, mostly down but with several uphill sections to go back a different way eventually coming out at the temple at sea level ( parts of it are literally on a beach). Mostly stairs too, and mostly tricky rock stairs.

We did stop off at a shrine which claimed to have a fire lit by a monk 1200 years ago and burning continuously since. Supposedly it is a lovers' shrine, as the flame represents eternal love, so we bought an incense stick each and lit them (see PP's fb page).

The stairs were hard on the knees, but we made it back down and searched fruitlessly for an ice cream shop which had been highly recommended, PP's phone was running low on battery by this time so couldn't use Google maps.

A 20 minute ferry ride, 30 minute train and 20 minute tram took us to a vegan cafe near the Peace Park where we had one of the best (and cheapest) meals of the trip so far, before visiting the very moving park and museum. Probably walked around here for at least the distance that I squibbed on the cable car, so there!

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