⛩ Nikkō, Tochigi

Map of Tochigi with author’s route across Nikkō highlighted. 🗺 Open map in GaiaGPS →

A Scotch egg in a clear plastic box. 📍 Nikkō, Tochigi

Scotch eggs should perhaps have been expected at a British hill station, but I had been unaware of their existence until I bought one at the supermarket and my friend Miklós Tallián informed me that these delicious little hemiovoids of salt and fat, very much at home in a country where the cuisine is heavy on eggs and fried food, were, in fact, British. A closer look revealed that they weren’t a case of convergent evolution either: spelled on the package was スコッチエッグ, Scotch egg” rendered in the katakana script.

Small ferns planted on a dry branch.

Looking down between the huge trees of the Cedar Avenue of Nikkō.

Closeup of the trunk of one of the cedar trees on the avenue.

A man in the distance walks down the path between the huge cedars. 📍 Cedar Avenue of Nikkō, Tochigi

Cedars planted in Edo lined the avenues of Nikkō for a day’s walk, and they looked tailor-made for strolls in the soft summer rain, but a week into the rainy season, the heavy clouds swirled dry. There has been no rainy season for three years,” the owner of a guesthouse said. I sat in a beautiful, dim café, he stood in the alley with a friend, and we discussed the weather through the window. The rains come in the autumn these days.” I walked into the quiet dusk of Imaichi, my coffee cups empty.

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.