Tagged Onsen

Japanese hot springs

Kumano Kodō Day 5: Hongū

A gloriously bright morning greeted me on Day 5, the Kumano-gawa River acting as a perfect mirror to the mountains and sky above. Leaving the ryokan just before 8 am, I walked back to the Hatenashi-toge pass trailhead by way of Yanagimoto-bashi bridge. Read more

Kumano Kodō Day 2: Omata

After a good nights sleep at Sekisho-in temple, I got up early to attend the 7 am morning prayer service. It was cold to the bone in the main hall which I was surprised to find packed to overflowing with adherents and curious bystanders like myself. I sat next to a mother with her disabled son who had a special prayer said for him. Read more

Shizuoka Road Trip

After a particularly sticky summer in Tokyo, autumn has arrived and the temperatures are finally beginning to drop. Looking back, it’s been a pretty good season for adventures and while my memory is still fresh I wanted to share a few interesting spots we visited on a recent road trip to Shizuoka Prefecture (静岡県), a few hours west of Tokyo. Read more

Day 48: Ōkubo-ji

Dark clouds hung from the sky as I set out to conquer the final temple this morning. Usually this would be a cause for concern, but with the end in sight it only emboldened me to walk faster. Read more

Day 42: Heatwave

I woke with the sunrise in the curtainless tsuyado at Unpen-ji (雲辺寺 – 66) this morning around 5am. Nobody was around and it was great to wander the mountaintop temple with nothing but the sound of birds singing. Read more

Day 36: An Unexpected Surprise

I woke extra early this morning at 5am since I wanted to get as much walking done as possible before the forecasted rain due late morning. On the way out I met Tom who’d had a similar idea but was going to take some shortcuts by train since he’s running out of time on his tourist visa. Read more

Day 33: Iwaya-ji

I had a bit of a scary moment last night. Having fallen asleep in my tent around 10pm I was suddenly awoken by a bright light. I checked my phone and momentarily thought I’d overslept before realising it was still night. Read more

Day 19: Kokumin-shukusha Tosa

Waking with the sunrise at 5am this morning I shuffled out of my sleeping bag to conduct the usual temple rituals before bidding farewell to Kiyotaki-ji (清滝寺 – 35) around 7am. Read more

Day 9: Asa Gongyou

After the 30km double-mountain hike of yesterday, it was hard getting up this morning but I dragged myself out of the futon at 5.30am in order to make the 6am prayer service (Asa Gongyou) at Byōdō-ji (平等寺 – 22) right next door to Sazanka where I was staying. Read more