Thursday, December 4, 2014

2014 Autumn Colors Walk Day 3 Tokuyama to Kushi


The next leg of the walk was to take me inland into the mountains to the next pilgrimage temple at Kano. There is one main road that runs all the way but I chose to walk the first section a little further west on a smaller road that climbed up and along Kikugawa Lake, which is actually not really a lake but a reservoir. It was still too early and the sun was just hitting the tops of the surrounding mountains so there was nothing to photograph. From there is was a but further with more climbing until I dropped back down to the main road which ran along Kodo Lake, another reservoir. By now the sun was high enough to illuminate the foliage. The lake is very long and narrow.


The road continued north but the road alongside the river was never steep. The temple, Kanyo-ji, was just north of the town of Kano, and on the way through the town I stopped in at the major shrine of the area,  Nishoyamada Shrine, listed in the engi shiki. There was plenty of foliage on the approach to the shrine, and the sun was still more out of the clouds than behind them. A secondary shrine in the grounds was completely surrounded by maples.


From the shrine is was just a short walk to the temple, and while there were a few people out taking photos at the shrine, there were many more at the temple, though nothing like the crowds that can be found at less remote locations.


Kanyo-ji has a series of gardens, mostly karesansui, designed by Shigemori Mirei, generally considered to be the greatest 20th Century Japanese garden designer. They were delightful, and there was enough sun about to help with the photography.


The forecast is for heavy rain tomorrow, so I had a choice, walk 30k today in fine weather and 30k tomorrow in rain, or, walk 40k today and 20k in the rain. I chose to keep walking as every kilometer covered would mean one less in the rain tomorrow. My route was now west towards Yamaguchi City, roughly following the route of the Chugoku Expressway. This would be the remotest part of my weeks walk, with no accommodation options other than to sleep out. I managed to make another 14k before the light gave out and I found a nice isolated shrine with a thatched roof to spend the night.


  1. Thank You very much for this wonderful travel diary which emphasizes the exciting details of the journey makes on foot!
    Excellent photos