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October, 24 th 2018
The start of the hike was Takao (Yamashirotakao) and the first bus we went in was wrong. A passengers tried immediately to help us and the driver didn’t charged us. From Karasuma station we took the bus line 8 towards Takao and enjoyed our 55 minutes ride. By the way both busses were much delayed and I was wondering that this actually exist in Japan. We arrived at Yamashirotakao station around 12 o’clock and started hiking. First you have to go back and take some stairs down to the river. The way was closed, there might be a lot damages due to the typhoon as well on the way, so we should take care. We met another guy from France who also came to that area to take pictures and enjoy nature, he also has a working holiday visa and was working in hotels in Hokkaido, Okinawa and now Kyoto. I gave him my contact, so there is might a chance to get a job soon. First we visited Saimoyoji Temple. I was wondering this area is famous during spring and autumn and there were’t any tourists around. We started hiking along the beautiful small river and it took only a few minutes to get the feeling of being deep in nature. It was completely calm and no other people were around. There were only the few sounds of Katsura river, wind and nature. I enjoyed it and could feel the happiness raining up in me. After a while we climbed down to river and crossed a little bridge, we made a break there and I ate my self made rice balls with tuna and mayo. This was my dream of Japan. The water was fresh, clear with a slightly turquoise shine. The sun was shining. The leaves were still green and started to get coloured at some places. Amazing. We continued and followed the small path along the river. I had neither a map nor a guide, we only read this small description on the website I found, but I didn’t need it. This was the feeling of freedom I was looking for all the time. Being in nature without a plan or map and just wandering my way. I wished I had brought my tent. Next time. Looking back three years ago, I was such a scared cat, I never would have imagined wandering in Japan’s nature without any map or stuff or person who guided me. I grow the person who guided their self and also grow up enough to guide other persons. I cannot believe how much I changed and I’m excited about how much more I might be able to grow up. Half way there was a train junction to Kuya-no-taki Waterfall and we climbed up that road. No tourists again, but it looked like a crowded place during season. On the stairs up to the waterfall I could see the damages of the typhoon. The torii at the waterfall shrine was completely destroyed. It gave a sad and desperate atmosphere and it seemed the waterfall itself was crying about it. Although it was impressive and amazing. I got very close and could feel the drops on my body, drops of happiness. What a beautiful place… We passed a small village and talked to an old local couple, they showed us the house with a traditional old stove. I would have love just to try rice made in that stove, but it was closed today. Sure, I agree because there were no tourists around beside of us. A price I’m happy to pay at least. The continued along the river and at some point the way was that damaged we had to climb. But I cannot stop saying it was beautiful. Calm. I really wanted to go for swimming in one of the deep calm and torquise pools in the river. Next time. We got back to the street and went through a tunnel and there it was. We had an amazing view in the valley where the small river we followed merged into another one and got bright as a lake. I really like the trail it was like a tale, which got more and more exciting with the highlight at the very end. Sure it was the highlight. We stayed there a while, took pictures and just enjoyed. Happiness flooded me. I was in Japan. I was in nature. I was free. It was amazing. We followed the road which took us to Hozokyo train station still along the river. The train was coming every 20 minutes and the (direct) ride back to kyoto main. station took 20 minutes. Unbelievable that we were still that close to Kyoto. By the way the bus ride was 520 ¥ (from Karasuma station) and the train back just 250 ¥ and it took us around four hours for hiking 11 km. Enjoy the following picture.