Day 17 & 18 Iva C.A.R.E.S. Fund Raiser


Tokaido trek: day 17 & 18

東海道五十三次 徒歩:第17日、18日目

I don't know what it was: maybe it was the time to reset, or the end of the Blister Party, or the excitement of returning to the Tokaido without a backpack. Or perhaps all three.

何故か良くわからない:ひょっとしたら休んだからか、それか足のマメがおさまったからか 、リュック無しで東海道へ戻るというのでウキウキしているか、3つまとめてかもしれない。


Either way, I was bursting with energy. Too much energy.



Took a train back to Kanbara, where I left off, and began with a supermarket-picnic on a bench. As I was munching, casually gazing at the mountains, guess who decides to show itself?






So here's the thing: whenever I reach a spot where Fuji-san could be seen in full mountainous glory with rivers and houses at its feet, and locals saying how this is the perfect viewing spot, 75% of it is hidden behind clouds. 60% if I'm lucky. And never its peak.



But as I walk through towns and cities and casually check a gps direction or have have a picnic, there it is in clear view!!! I have yet to see all of it clearly, but when I do see a part of it during these unexpected times, I see it 100%. I am left speechless, everytime.

しかし、町や都市部を歩いている時にでも、GPSで方角を確かめたり、お弁当を食べていると、そこに晴れやかで綺麗な眺めがある!!! 私はまだ富士山を完全に晴れ切った状態では見たことが無いのに、こういう思いもよらぬ時に部分的に見える時は、雲に隠れていない。100%見える。なんとまただ、いつも部分的に見える時に限って、晴れる。


Today is was a beautiful walk!



Kanbara is my favourite town in Japan so far. Old houses, small unique gardens, mountains in the background. I get back into the rhythm of observing, experiencing, only peaking into local shops because it feels a bit wrong if I don't buy something haha.



I see an old lady stop to gaze at an ancient-looking house, and I use this opportunity to make talk.



"Sumimasen, kore wa nan desu ka," I innocently ask.

“スミマセン、コレハ、ナンデスカ。” 純情な感じで尋ねる。


Her reply is elaborate and enthusiastic (and incomprehensible), but we both venture into the house to explore. It has a traditional Japanese layout with tatami floors and from the signs and boards it seems like a big deal.



We go to the garden and meet a lady who works there. She takes us to this pebble-covered circle on the ground and puts a bamboo stick in its middle and gestures me to put me ear to it. As I do, she pours water to its bottom and I hear this metal tinkling sound (still don't know what I was listening to!)



After the old lady listens to the water-tinkling, we chat for a bit and then leaves. It seems like we're walking the same route so we talk (yay!) She's from Nagoya and armed with a JR pass, is out to explore and search for sakura ebi (shrimp).

お婆さんもそれを聴いた後に、すこし話をして離れた。どうやら同じ方向へ行くらしく、 (やった!)一緒に歩きながら話す。彼女は名古屋から来ていてJRパスを持っていた。桜えびを求めてきたとのこと。


Our joint walk is short and I am soon left with the Tokaido and a sign-board to the Satta Pass with a little drawing of Fuji-san by the sea. Perfect.



Satta Pass should be called Orange Groves By The Sea Pass. I've never seen so many oranges! As I walk through countless orange trees and views of the sea and faraway lands, I turn to see mount Fuji (you know where this is going, right?) hidden behind clouds. Should have known ;)



The path descends into ancient, towering trees. I stop by a bamboo forest and something about it calls me to explore it. I enter. I am in a different world.



The bamboos sway in the breeze and their leaves rustle and stalks clatter, but there is a stillness and silence to this world. I too become still and silent.



After a while, I walk up a steep slope, then turn to look down at Tokaido road and then my gps. It turns out that this bamboo forest is where the old Tokaido route was! There is no path, but I use the bamboo stalks for support as I go up the steep slope.

少し経ってから、急な坂の昇りになり、曲がると東海道が見下ろせる。 GPSを見る。この竹藪が昔の東海道があった場所だ! ちゃんとした道は無いけれども、竹の幹を支えにして、急坂を昇る。


Here and there are broken pieces of rock (from the old route perhaps!) and clinging onto the bamboo, I rejoin the new paved Tokaido route.



Had so much fun! :D



I arrive at Okitsu. Dour buildings come into view. Rusting tin roofs and on going construction. I hasten my walk. It begins to drizzle and turns dark. Another post station. I pick a jasmine flower (my favourite!) and breathing its scent in deeply, continue.



There's something special about walking at night. No one is around, I can sing out loud/dance freely  (though I was caught once by an equally surprised lady haha). It feels like another day.



Still bursting with energy, I walk on. I only stop because I have to go back and fix my website.



What an enchanting time :)



(Sheesh that was a long post!)




Day 18:



Sunny at first, then rainy. Very rainy.



I go back to where I left off (still backpack/blister free yay!) As I write this my mind is telling me to cut it short. Roads, houses, highways. There are no mountains and barely any wood in sight (I did see a car with a wooden frame!) More rain, strong winds.



As adults flee to the dryness of indoor, school children continue running and skipping around haha. I had a raincoat on, so no amount of rain was stopping me today. Soaking shoes included. At 4 pm I reach Shizuoka post station and my room just a 10 min walk away, so I decide to change socks/drenched trousers before continuing.



At this point, my energy is overwhelming and it needs to burn (who would have thought, eh?) I box, do squats,  press ups, the whole deal. Still not enough, but it helps. Its too late to venture on the Tokaido because I'll be away from a city/town and want to avoid the Hakone situation (haha) so I fix my website to where I am happy with it.



Finally, at 11:30pm, the energy ceases. I sleep.




PS. Can't post more photos because of a storage limit, sorry!