The packing is getting done quickly, and the sun was shining today, so I took time out for a last hike. I wanted to do a loop of the interesting trails north-east of Yaizu:
- up Mt. Takakusa
- down to the Kurakake Pass
- up Mt. Mankanho
- down the Sakasagawa River and past its lovely tea farms
- through the 100+ year old brick tunnel under the Utsunoya Pass
- and down the historic Old Tokaido Highway to Okabe, where I could get a bus back to where I left my bicycle at the starting point
It was a lovely walk. Here are some of the sights along the way.
First, some of the early cherry blossoms. This is the major sign of spring in Japan, but actually I prefer the bright yellow nanohana flowers. They’re related to canola.
A patient stone Buddha at the temple at the trail head.
What could be better than a sweet potato and a view?
Terraced tea plants in the Sakasagawa valley. The slope at the top is about 45 degrees. The track in the foreground allows a motorized cart to haul supplies up.
You can always rely on Japan for this kind of thing: just outside the historic brick tunnel was a fiberglass model showing the pass and the evolution of the ways to get over/through it, first the original trail and then a series of tunnels, each one longer than its predecessor.
And the brick tunnel itself.