February, 17 th 2019
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Silence. I woke up at 7 am in the morning due to headache and body aches. I had a bad cold and it turned out overnight. I went down und curled up under the Kokatsu in my blanket. I didn’t know how to manage today’s hike. Unfortunately all of my closer friends were absent today. Lee in Thailand, Tomal in Narita, Mat in Fukuoka and Cat couldn’t do it spontaneously. Sayaka signed up, but it seemed unfair to me not to appear, especially because this time was the very first with less than five participants. Somehow I got up and went to station. It was much colder than expected. I would be cold all day. At meeting point Sayaka and a girl from Sweden joined and we took the train to Myokenguchi, where we met Dani. After some smalltalk there was silence and it felt a little bit weird. The trail was nice and guided us along a river through a forest slowly up to Myokenzan summit. It was not the scenery I was hunting for, but fairly it was very nice. I’m tired of brown forests and covered by brown rotten leaves. Or maybe I just couldn’t see the beauty today. The trail consists of loosen rocks and walking on them was very challenging and exhausting to the muscles of our ankles. I felt extremely weak and every step to the top was challenging my body. I sweat, while it went tangible colder with each meter of elevation. There is a temple at Myokenzan summit und due to grey clouds and cold almost anybody was there. The
chilliness and loneliness brought a very special and mystical atmosphere. This place touched me. We made a short break on summit to have lunch and got back
on the trail as soon as possible. Cold is something very interesting, it put itself around your should and make your body slow and heavy. When I am cold I can feel desperate rising in me with the fear of never getting warm again. Cold is not physical, but challenges your body at any time or even make it sick. Back on the trail I had to wear all I had was packed like an Eskimo. The trail went down through a very green forest and it seemed that it had been a very long time since the last people passed through. We passed an abandoned house which created the same atmosphere as the abandoned ghost village at Mt. Ikoma. In the woods were several shrines, which were kind of lost places as well. There was silence. Absolutely. It started snowing and created a sharp contrast to the moss covered shrines and monuments. It was spooky. We arrived at a temple. It was hidden in the mountains and the most beautiful I have seen in Japan so far. Usually there are always people at this places, but nobody was there. We were completely alone. I have no words to describe the feelings which raised in me. We stayed a while and continued. I got almost warm and we passed a little village surrounded by mountains. Unbelievable that the mertropole of Kansai is nearby. This village was my imagination of Japan. Traditional Japanese houses between rice fields and surrounded by mountains. I would love to live there. After the village we entered again the forest and couldn’t believe our eyes. There was a pond with clear turquoise blue water. It was incredible and I have no idea where the colour was coming from. Dani takes wonderful pictures and I watched him today a while and got a lot of new inspiration. Also Sayaka likes shooting pictures and we enjoyed a lot. The silence was no longer strange. We enjoyed and I felt very calm and deep connected to nature and my fellows. After the pond there was another lake with emerald green water. A damm divided it from a valley. I laid down and closed my eyes. For a moment it felt like
summer and I enjoyed the cold fresh air petting my skin. I felt no cold, just deeply happiness. We continued and unfortunately I choose a trail which lead to another mountain, Mt. Utagaki. The climb was not long, but it was killing me. I was so happy when I arrived at summit. The bus station was very close and the way steep, but fast. Unfortunately there was a bus to Myokenguchi station, which came hourly, but not at 5 pm. That meant one and a half hour of waiting while it was freezing cold. The only option was to continue walking to stay warm. In the end we walked 22 km instead of 14 km. I was extremely happy when I say the bus’s lights in the dark. This hike was very different than usual, but I’m very thankful for this experience. Again again I realised how much I love this country. How much I love Japan.