Information on the Tokai Nature Trail
With climbing Fujisan on our plans for following days and in order to be well prepared for the strenuous climb we decided to hike part of the Tokai Nature Trail to loosen our muscles and to get our feet used to wearing hiking boots again, after having worn flip-flops for the weeks before. Our traditional Japanese inn, Fujitomita, was conveniently located near the hiking trail. The Tokai Nature Trail is a long distance walking trail that passes through eleven prefectures and has a total length of 1697km. In case you think of hiking the whole trail, it takes between 40 to 50 days from beginning to end. The route goes past beautiful spots like Mount Takao near Tokyo and the Minoo Otaki waterfalls near Osaka.
Climbing Mount Ohira
Our rather shorter goal for the day was to climb Mt Ohira, a mere 1295m high and only a little hill in comparison to Mt Fuji. Leaving the inn, we turned left along the road, past an army barracks where we could see some soldiers running around on the field. Some army vehicles passed us until we were well into the forest and on a narrow dirt track. The Tokai trail was fairly well signposted and therefore not difficult to find. The area was very rural and we got a few interested looks from the locals and the odd person was even brave enough to ask where we came from. A local football team of boys, about the same age as Jerome were all smiles when we greeted them with “Konichiwa”.
One thing I have always admired about Japan (there are many things…) is that every bit of free space, no matter where it is, even on the roadside is planted with colourful flowers. This always made me feel like walking through a large garden than just along the average backstreet of a village. There were sunflowers, cosmos and even the lush green rice fields looked like they were part of the picture. The houses