Kumano Kodo – Day 3

Last day! Our final day (the 24th) of hiking the Kumano Kodo started with a nice breakfast at Minshuku Kuraya of a hardboiled egg, tofu, pickled vegetables (I want fresh veggies!!!!), miso soup, beans and other stuff. (Picture coming soon)
This day was supposed to be moderate, only 8 miles (5-6 hours). We took a bus from the Yunomine Onsen toΒ  Ukegawa where we got stuff for lunch and met two guys from Oregon. They said they were doing ANOTHER walk/hike after the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage, and couldn’t believe how difficult this hike was so far! We thought we’d meet up with them on the trail at some point during the day, but never did – we’re too quick!

Today, we were tired. Shoulders hurt, feet were sore and the scenery was stuff we’d already seen before. Like all the days, the hike starts with climbing up a mountain the first half of the day, and climbing down the other half.

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This time, the climb resulted in an amazing view!

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You could see the tallest peak in the mountain range!

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4 miles in, my feet were done. So we picked up the pace to just get it done.

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And finally we saw the town where we were staying!

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We left Ukegawa at 9ish and got to Koguchi at 2:15. 5 hours, 8 miles — not too shabby. We’re staying in a converted schoolhouse that’s more of a lodge than a minshuku.

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It’s called Shizen No Le and it’s super nice! Big room, nice grounds -a good place to get to early.

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The hall of rooms.

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They were so sweet and put Abe’s name in English on the door!

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We took showers and rested until dinner at 6. We were the first ones to arrive at the lodge, but at dinner realized that there was a HUGE group of older Japanese hikers here too!

Sidenote: Older Japanese people are SO ACTIVE here! Almost all of the people we’ve come across on the trail are “elderly” by American standards.

Dinner was beautiful. Sashimi, tempura, sesame noodles, fish, beef, barley tea, honey tea and…. pickled veggies whyyyyy

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Probably one of the more western meals we’ve had.

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Beef with cabbage.

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Beef, chicken, shrimp soup.

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Over the flames!

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Ps I’m getting super good at cleaning my rice bowl πŸ˜‰

After dinner we went for a walk around town in our yukatas, which Abe assured me was normal but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t…

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There was also a bridge behind the lodge just being too be explored.

This area is beautiful.

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And then it was off to bed so we could catch our bus to the coast (to truly finish our journey) in the morning!

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