These Walking Dreams: Day 30 (May 12, 2017)

Tsuchigoya, Ehime β†’ β›° Mount Ishizuchi β†’ Nagasawa, Kōchi

Map of Ehime and Kōchi Prefectures with route between Tsuchigoya and Nagasawa highlighted. πŸ—Ί Open map in GaiaGPS ⇝

Closeup of pink akebono azalea flowers with the summit of Mount Ishizuchi blurry in the distance.

Looking up at a small gnarly tree growing out of a rock.

A small statue of a mountain deity with a huge nose and bulging eyes wears a white apron and a necklace of beads.

Pine trees with the summit of Mount Ishizuchi in the distance.

Two lingering patches of snow cut across a trail traversing a steep hillside, a broken wood bridge between them.

A snake, alert and looking into the camera, slithers across an undergrowth of bamboo grass and purple flowers. 🐍 Japanese forest rat snake (Euprepiophis conspicillata)

A very wide panorama of jagged mountains under a blue sky streaked with cirrus clouds, taken from the summit of Mount Ishizuchi looking north-northwest.

One of the two summits of Mount Ishizuchi with a sea of blue hills behind it. πŸ“ Mount Ishizuchi, Ehime

A village road flanked by a rock wall covered in moss and pink flowers.

The inside of a sawmill: planks, timber, wood-cutting machines, various tools, a blue wheelbarrow filled with sawdust and scraps.

Pink orchids and mosses carefully planted into old tree-stumps hang from the eaves of a house. πŸ“ Erimon, Kōchi

A cup of sake and four dried anchovies placed on the porch of a shrine as an offering to the gods. πŸ“ Shirakami Shrine, Nagasawa, Kōchi

The forest gods definitely needed a drink: two centuries-old cedars lay in freshly chainsawed pieces by the shrine, their stumps the size of dining tables. I had walked into Kōchi Prefecture, into valleys with no cellular reception, into a village with an immaculate public toilet but no grocery store or restaurant, just a Coke machine. The rain fell like a sea storm for 12 hours, and at midnight, a siren went off at full blast, reverberating off the walls of the valley. I slept under the eaves in the white noise of the downpour.

Heavy rain falling at night as seen from the porch of a shrine, with a harsh light shining straight into the camera. πŸ“ Shirakami Shrine, Nagasawa, Kōchi

Next β†’ Day 31, May 13

Prev. ← Day 29, May 11

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.