Day 24, 25 & 26 Of Iva C.A.R.E.S. Fund Raiser


Tokaido trek: day 24, 25, 26



Wow, it's nearly been a month!



It feels like half a year has past



It also feels like only a week or two



How is that possible???



(Time leans against a metal railing and draws in deeply from the cigar between its lips. "It just is," it answers, disappearing behind a wreath of smoke).

(時間は、金属製の手すりに寄りかかり、唇の間から巻きタバコを深く吸い込む。“ただそれだけ” と時間は答え、煙の輪の中に去る。)


So three day, how were these three days?



Before I go onto that, let me talk a detour for moment...



Walking this past nearly-a-month has acquainted to something called CHOAS.



(Upon hearing it's name, Chaos stumbles from its seat and half-runs-half-falls onto the stage. A wider grin takes over its already beaming face, "HIYA, GUYS!")



Physically getting used to doing long-walks



Mentally getting used to doing long-walks



Daily change of environment



Dealing with extreme highs and lows (when it's dark/I'm tired/don't know where I'm staying the night, I feel seriously lonely! haha)

とっても楽しいことや楽しく無い事もやりくりしてきた 。(暗くなると・疲れて眠い・夜どこに泊まれるか分からない、かなり孤独!笑)


While this is all part of the journey, and I am only grateful for it, there's something that keeps screaming out to me: a need to write.

全ては旅の一部であるが、有り難いことに、いつも私を追い立ててくれるものがある: 書かなければならないということだ。


I'm used to waking up in the morning, drinking green tea by a desk, and writing for 4 hours, but it's not only this habit that keeps tugging at me. It's the inspiration that this walk has built up (and heck has it been building up!) It's a wave that's been rising and rising and now, full of energy, it needs to come crashing down.



And I think that's it: the creative energy needs to be dispelled.



And for that, I need routine.



I've tried fitting writing into the chaos (Chaos jumps up and waves frantically, but before it can open its mouth to speak, gets hushed by the others) but alas, it hasn't been working.



So here's an announcement, dear readers: once I reach Kyoto, the end of the Tokaido route, I intend on staying put in one new prefecture for probably a month. Sure, I'll be explore-walking but AFTER 4 hours of writing, 2 hours of Japanese (I really want to talk to people/read Japanese works!!!), and some part-time English teaching to refresh funds.

そこで、ここで発表です。読者の皆さん:私が京都へ着いてこの東海道五十三次を終わらせたら、私は一箇所で多分一ヶ月間滞在するつもりです。もちろん、近くを歩きまわるでしょうが、しかし必ず4時間の執筆の後、それから2時間の日本語の勉強の後(私は日本語で人と話したり、日本語の本を読みたい!!!)、そして少しアルバイトで英語を教えて資金の調達 。


So that's that. I'm very excited to start, and it's given a new vigour to my walk.



...oh, back to the walk! (Walk stays holding its face between its hands and staring beyond-boredom, too beyond-boredom to even blink, mutters, "Yeah.")

おっと、また徒歩に戻らなきゃ!(徒歩は、顔に手を当てて暇をもて余して、あまりにも暇でまばたきもせずにしている。徒歩はつぶやく、“はい” )


Countdown! Countdown to Nagoya! Two days and over 80 km left!!!



Day 24 was a I-don't-care-if-the-world-backflips-on-its-backside-I'm-not-walking day.



Day 25 was a omg-I-have-to-catch-up-on-the-walk day. It was blazing hot during the day time, so I only started at 6:30 pm and power-walked till near midnight (only in Japan and I beat my km record!)

第25日目は、“しまったー。とにかく歩いて遅れを取り戻さなきゃ” という日。日中は、めちゃくちゃ暑かった。だから夕方6時半になってようやく歩き出して、ひたすら全開歩きで夜中まで歩いた(日本だからできる。私の自身最高距離記録だ!)


I began at Nagoya (my couchsurfing host is there, so I'm tracing the Tokaido backwards to Iwata haha!) and moving away from bright street lights I found myself on darker, smaller roads. There was barely anyone else around and while it was admittedly a wee creepy at times, it was mostly very interesting.



A place transforms at night time.



Take away people and sunlight, and you're left with the odd street light, shades of darkness, the silence of night. Even when the wind rustles, the trees seem more quiet than usual.



Everything feels different too. The giant bridges and highways feel bigger, wider. The rivers and trees feel deeper. And the houses oddly feel like something from nature rather than something man-made.



I passed a large shrine with tall stones, flags, a bridge, and a narrow river, and for a moment there was something a bit eerie about it. I could see the outlines of the forms, but most of them were shrouded in complete darkness.



There's a mystery, an intrigue to the dark, and I think that's what made everything so interesting.



There was a section where only large traditional houses filled the streets and these giant buildings with large wooden doors that seemed like old storage places. There were a row of trees that were covered in fairy lights which reminded me of Christmas (my favourite time of year!) Sometimes I'd hear some laughter and talking and then pass a lone Japanese pub with a small group of people.



When the Tokaido passed through brightly-lit streets, they seem like something out of a movie rather than normal life in Japan. Past a highway and a vast, rippling river, I hear the creaking of a train. I want to walk more but I can't miss the last train back. Next time :)



Day 26. A that's-it-I'm-planning-some-routine day.

第26日目。“もうこれまでだ、しっかりと毎日のパターンを計画する” 日。


Did some research, planning. Caught up on sleep, stayed in bed and read and then had a delicious Austrian dinner with a polish couple and our Couchsurfing host, and are later joined by two enthusiastic Italian ladies. We exchange travel stories (especially the crazy ones) and have a good time. Before I go to sleep, it dawns on my how much I'm going to have to walk tomorrow and the day after to make Nagoya...



(Walk stands up, its beyond-boredom stare gone. A little smile creeps in the corner of its lips and before it leaves the stage, it says to the lingering audience, "See you.")








(PS. Sorry about lack of photos! It was too dark for any proper ones)