Kōzanji 高山寺 to Kiyotaki 清滝

Marcin picks up the story from here.

"Two weekends ago (has it been that long...?), we went for a dayhike in the mountains west of the city. We being Hideyo-san, Miki-san, Ted-o-san, and your reporter. The plan (successfully carried out) was to do some walking down a river valley, visit some rural temples, and culminate the trip with a celebratory swim in the river.

We cycled across to Ni-jo station on the other side of the city and caught a local bus heading into the mountains. Thirty minutes later and we were at the trailhead where, exhausted from that gruelling journey, we headed straight for the nearest noodle shop for some noodles and a local micro-brew.

Refreshed and refueled, we set off for an afternoon of walking. First came some temple-hopping. We went inside some. We looked at a few more. And at the last one, we tossed clay 'bad luck' disks, praying they would carry our misfortunes with them to the bottom of the cliffs. At 400円 temple admission fee, 100円 per 'bad luck' disk, and 600円 a microbrew, hiking in Japan can get quite expensive.

Our spiritual well-being taken care of, we set off for the earthly part of the walk, heading downriver. Early September is a good time for hiking in Japan, the weather having started to cool off a bit after the heat of July and August. Indeed, it's not too long now before the leaves will start turning soon with the cooling weather. But not yet. We walked for a few hours, following the river-side trail and taking in the view. But when it was finally time for our swim, the sun had set and the air had taken on an autumn-like chill. Led by Ted (O Brave Ted!), we nevertheless stripped down to and/or changed into aquatic attire and plunged into the river for a few minutes of soaking, splashing, and drifting with the current. Likely the last time this year, given the changing seasons.

And then, we completed the last kilometre of the hike in the dark to catch a nearly-empty Kyoto-bound train. Straight out of Miyazaki's
"Spirited Away" it would seem..."

(Marcin's original post can be seen here. The Hodō actually branches off toward Sagano near Kiyotaki, well before we took that swim.)

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