Friday 27.09.13 70,23 km
I woke up with a feeling that it ought to be morning soon. I couldn't figure
out the arms in my watch so I had to fumble for the light. It wasn't even
Now at 6.30am I've eaten breakfast. The sun is shining on the highest peak I can see above the impervious green wall that is in front of me across the river. It's somewhere in this green wilderness, I'll meet the soldiers... (Read Murakamis book for more information)
I heard faint two cars pass somewhere in the green, but beside it's peaceful. Only the sound of the river and a single crow that cackles...
This is what I've been dreaming of...
When I step out of the bathroom someone is sitting watching the river. It must be the swiss lady. And it is. One more of those who have been here several times and lived in Tokyo for two years earlier. We chat a little and start off with each our plan for the day. She's going hiking the Mt. Tsurugi and I've just thought I'd follow the gorges further on, probably to the two "vine bridges". It's a little more than 30 km.
When I reach Ochiai Village there's a sign for a viewing platform, and I crawl the 2,5 km up. It's worth the effort. You wouldn't have an overview of the village without it.
It's cool this morning. The big decrease in temperature came yesterday, I think. 14 degr. it says somewhere at the road. An occasional car - that's all. From time to time a bunch of houses squeeze around the road.
In the end I reach something called "Scarecrows village", a village, where they've gathered scarecrows in suitable numbers all over the village. You could get the thought that nobody else lived there. At least you don't see anybody...
The teacher and some very quiet pupils
From there it goes up steep for some km - and I've arrived. This time I have to pay for the sight - 500 Y. But there's value for money. There's a "male bridge" and a "female bridge", expressions that refer to the way they were used earlier, I guess, and then some cables and ropes crossing the river. You could if you were cautious walk on one of the lower ones and hold on to the upper ones, but it would be quite risky... That can't the meaning...?
The male bridge
Here I am having fun
Fortunately there's one other visitor. One that can read. It's for a small cable car, it was on the other side. Now I see how see drags herself out to the middle of the river. I eat my lunch and afterwards it's time to play....
Then I head home. When I sit somewhere and start writing, Caroline stops the moment I start writing the word swiss... We talk a bit again and she carries on in her hired Mazda.
It's a wonderful trip back. As usual I'm surprised I rode SO much up. I didn't realize the road was SO bad when I went the other way. It changes between fine pieces of two lane road and old punched pieces not wider than a truck. There are mirrors in every difficult turn.
This is the Japan I dreamt about. My "Lost Japan". (The title of a book written by Alex Kerr once in the 70'es - I didn't read it yet)
At the road are from time to time gravestones in varying quantities. You live and you die in the mountains as everywhere else. And where should you last resting place be if not here with a view of the river.
The camp site seen from the river - can you find my tent?