After breakfast at Minshuku Nakano, we embarked on our 25 km, 8-10 hour second day of hiking. We were in good spirits and the day went quickly with no issues!
The trail was extremely well marked with numbered markers, signs with arrows and even “not Kumano Kodo” when it forked.
There was a detour route 4 miles in that literally took us through a mountain.
It was incredible to look down after climbing straight up and really feel your elevation.
There were some pretty intense stairs made of rocks throughout the entire trail so we had to take some breaks.
5 hours in we stopped at a rest stop to eat the lunch the minshuku had packed for us- stuffed seaweed and rice.
At this point, a Swedish couple we had seen earlier in the day caught up with us and we hiked together for a few miles.
They were very kind and spoke excellent English. It was awesome to have some company to break up the day! They also graciously gave us some green tea since a spot marked “drinking water” on the map definitely did not have any drinking water, which I needed!
After we spilt up from them, we kept on trekking along the path, navigating the slippery rocks covered in slippery leaves.
1 mile from the Hongu Taisha shrine (our end destination) there was a beautiful lookout point and we were lucky enough to meet two guys from Singapore so we took their picture, they took ours!
If you look in the background of the bottom photo, you can see the largest torri gate in the world!
We hauled butt to the shrine in order to take a look around and catch the bus to the onsen town we were staying in.
16 miles and 9 hours later, we were headed to Yunomine Onsen.
It was a super cute town with a natural hot spring running through it.
We stayed at Minshuku Kuraya anther home opened to travelers.
This time there were only 5 people staying there: us, an Australian couple and a single European guy. We ate dinner once we got there (picture to be uploaded later). The highlight was dear meat sashimi which was actually quite good! Also fish, soup, cooked cabbage, mushrooms and meat, and other stuffs.
After dinner we went to the World Heritage onsen, where it was said a princess came and soaked in the waters and was healed of all her ailments. We also soaked in the medicinal bath which had all kinds of white floaty mineral stuff in it!
Then we fell asleep watching X-Men: First Class in Japanese. Lol.