These Walking Dreams: Day 11 (April 23, 2017)

Kihoku Ichinari, Kagoshima → Lake Miike, Miyazaki

Map of Kyushu with the route of These Walking Dreams highlighted. Maps © Thunderforest, Data © OpenStreetMap 🗺 Open map in GaiaGPS ⇝


Horse in a barn in Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz

An orange in Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz

Oranges in Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz

Tractor in Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima


Lunch on the ground in Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima

A splendid roadside lunch in shades of pink, eaten off the asphalt with chopsticks made of Yakushima cedar. I may be a bum, but I am a posh bum. For the next two and a half days, over a distance of some 100 kilometers, I would see no other store or restaurant, and my meals became simple affairs of crackers and coffee.


KFC bucket in a cemetery in Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz

Houses in the forest in Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz

Cat walking by a field in bloom in Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Fukuyama, Kirishima, Kagoshima


Large ginkgo tree at Ōsumi-Ōkawara Station in December 2015, in Takarabe, Soo, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz Photo taken on December 9, 2015

Kids playing by the Ōkawara Gorge in Takarabe, Soo, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz

View of Takachino-no-mine from the fields in Takarabe, Soo, Kagoshima. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Takarabe, Soo, Kagoshima

There’s a majestic ginkgo tree at Ōsumi-Ōkawara Station, where I once slept on the evening of a late autumn day. Now, on a spring afternoon, I lay under its glowing green leaves for half an hour, drained and alone, then walked into the Ōkawara Gorge, where kids lit fires and hollered like the wild things they were, then I walked over a pass, along a tea field tucked into the forest, and the magnificent red and grey cone of Takachiho-no-mine rose a thousand meters above the forest into the evening sky.


View of Takachino-no-mine from the fields in Natsuo, Miyakonojo, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Takano, Miyakonojō, Miyazaki


View of Takachino-no-mine from the eastern shore of Lake Miike, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz

Fallen tree on the shore of Lake Miike, Miyazaki. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Lake Miike, Miyazaki

In the gathering darkness I walked up the lower slopes of Kirishima, into a forest so quiet my grandmother remarked on the phone that she could hear me just as clearly as if I were in her sitting room, and when I shone my torch into the woods I realized I was followed by dozens of fluorescent green eyes, sika deer turned into forest spirits, watching a stranger in a land less strange by the day. On the opposite shore of Lake Miike, Takachiho-no-mine rose like a castle into the sky, and I picked my way around the lake through huge trees uprootes by this cold and wet spring.

Next → Day 13, April 25

Prev. ← Day 10, April 22


These Walking Dreams is a visual field diary of a 4,300-kilometer walk from one end of Japan to the other, in the spring and summer of 2017.