It's a helluva thing, the gift of walking the world.
April 24, 2020 10:52 AM   Subscribe

This is lovely. Some years ago, my wife and I walked the inland Kumano pilgrimage route. In some ways, it's a strange hike -- muggy and steep, with much of it through tree farms. But then you'll come to a valley filled with low walls from an Imperial summer house a millennia ago, or come to a sudden vantage down to a river shrine far away. The landscape is culturally altered, sacred, messy, and haunting -- ghostly shrines hidden in the woods next to tidy little villages. Miyazaki has thoroughly shaped how I see the Japanese landscape, but it does seem like his sort of territory.
posted by SandCounty at 11:46 AM on April 24, 2020 [3 favorites]

Wow. (That's a soft, drawn-out, quietly delighted "wow.")

This looks just beautiful - wonderful photos, excellent, compact writing.

I know nothing about this part of Japan, and I have no reason to think I'll ever go there, but I am indeed thinking, "Damn, that looks like a fine hike."

Thank for sharing this with us, Maecenas; this looks like an ideal thing to read, slowly, right now, maybe over the course of 8 days.
posted by kristi at 11:49 AM on April 24, 2020

It is a dream of mine to hike on the Kumano Kodo. For my birthday present one year my wife was supposed to take me down to Wakayama for a day hike on one of the routes (I was living in Kyoto at the time so it wasn't that extravagant of a gift). I'm hoping in 10 years or so my kids will be old enough to hike it with me (and I won't be too old) because I can't justify going to Japan with my family and then disappearing to hike by myself for a week or two.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:14 PM on April 24, 2020

I had a trip planned to walk the South Downs Way in England in June. That's obviously not happening this year, so this is welcome but making me wistful.
posted by mollweide at 1:43 PM on April 24, 2020

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