Day 11: Gorogoro-ishi

I left Nushima minshuku a little after 7 am under a sky that was threatening another damp day. Instead of walking through the 639m Mitoko Tunnel I decided to hike over the Kome Pass.

Kome Pass

This turned out to be a bit of a mistake as the recent heavy rain had swept down lots of debris making it an obstacle course. After 30 minutes the trail disappeared altogether but instead of turning back, I decided to continue in what I thought was the right direction.

Charcoal production

After thrashing my way through the dense undergrowth I eventually found a small road which led to a clearing where a forester was making charcoal in huge clay ovens. It reminded me of the fascinating primitive technology channel on YouTube.

Estimated Tsunami Inundation Area

Making it back to Route 55 I continued southwards along the coast, passing Ikumi Surfing Beach where the prospect of rain seemed to have little effect on the surfer’s enthusiasm.

Nearby, the village of None provides a short detour away from the highway. Passing the cemetery I could see many family graves where, judging by the age of the headstones, multiple generations were interned. It was amazing to think of people staying in one tiny village their whole lives.

At around 11.30 am, just as I reached the gorogoro-ishi section proper, the clouds decided it was time for a biblical shower and my shoes were almost instantly soaked for the second day running. A heavy goods lorry passed right at the wrong moment and, upon hitting a massive puddle, sent buckets of water straight into my face. I could only grin and bear it.

Route 55

It’s a shame because in better weather the coastline would be spectacular. I think Jeremy Clarkson and co. would enjoy the winding roads here too.

I had originally planned to make it as far as Shiina but in the end, stopped 5km short at Tokumasu minshuku. Since it’s only 20km to Cape Muroto there was no point in staying out in the rain any longer.

Katsuo no tataki

This turned out to be a good decision since the dinner provided was a delicious feast of katsuo no tataki (鰹のタタキ) sashimi, steamed fish head and tempura.

While eating I reflected on the fact that it’s been almost two weeks since I began this adventure. Since then I’ve not read any news or used the Internet (except to blog and research the route). My diet and levels of physical activity have also drastically changed. So far it’s hard to say what the impact of this will be but the chance to radically alter your lifestyle, if only for a couple of months, is definitely a journey in itself and one I’m excited to continue.


Distance walked: 22 km / 36,500 steps
Temples visited: None
Overnight lodgings: Tokumasu (民宿徳増) – Minshuku

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David avatar

7 responses

  1. Chen avatar

    The fish head doesn’t look so happy.
    Hope tomorrow is a clear day for you.

  2. Stay safe walking on those busy roads!

  3. James Boddy avatar
    James Boddy

    The rain and low cloud add mystery and atmosphere to the journey. I miss the Japanese cuisine of the pilgrimage. Did you eat your fish head?

    1. Absolutely, everything except the eyes 🙂

      1. Chen avatar

        It is said that if you eat the eyes, you will be good at maths.

  4. Staffa avatar

    Great read about a great adventure! Enjoy it and thanks for sharing!

  5. Athena avatar

    Rain and mountains… ah… you described it spot on. I’m excited to read until the end of your journey and see what this experience did for you.


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