Part 4: Japan's Oldest Path

December 14, 2017

Sorry for the gap since the last post, I was pretty busy with translations and preparations for our Christmas trip to France. The diary of my last Japan journey comes slowly to an end. Here is the story of a hiking trip in the Nara prefecture full of history and persimmons! And tomorrow, I'll post the last part.

30th of October 2017 

Typhoon number 22 made landfall yesterday. It was not so severe as the previous one and this time we didn't have to evacuate :-).

Today, I'll go hiking on the oldest road mentioned in Japanese records, the Yamanobe-no-michi trail. Situated south of Nara City, in an area once known as Yamato, this ancient path cross the cradle of Japan's history.
My journey starts on the northern end of the trail, near the city of Tenri. From the railway station, I walk about 2 km through an old and pleasant shopping arcade with a Fukusuke socks shop (Fukusuke is not only my nickname, but also the name of a famous socks company)!

Then, the real trail begins at the Isonomaki Shrine. From there, I follow the well signposted path through old villages, rice paddies and countless kaki (persimmon) trees. Every now and then I meet small groups of foreigners on bicycle and of Japanese seniors chatting and buying kaki or vegetables at one of several stalls along the way.

The trail connecting multiples shrines and temples isn't very difficult and the landscape is so pleasant. No spectacular spots, only nature and small villages, a beautiful reminiscence of Old Japan.

3-4 hours and a myriad of kaki trees later, I arrive at the last site of interest, the gorgeous Omiwa Shrine with its atmospheric entrance path, remembering me of Izumo Taisha.

From there, I walk to the Sakurai railway station and travel back home, the head full of beautiful rural landscapes.
 

 

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