Japan

A gargantuan spotted pumpkin and other oddities on Naoshima Island

Japan day 7 Three trains, a ferry, and a bus brought me all the way to the small island of Naoshima some 150km (100 miles) east of Hiroshima. The bus was so stuffed that I didn’t make it off at the stop that I had wanted, so I got a bit longer of a walk to the already remote guest house where I dropped off my pack and went to the Town of Honmura’s bike…

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Japan

Catharsis and a mountain top

Japan day 6 Went to the peace memorial museum first thing in the morning. The staggering death toll makes little sense emotionally. But when you hear the individual stories and see their pictures and artifacts it is all but impossible to stay emotionally detached. By the end my eyes were starting to water up and the guy behind me was sniffling. Later there were copies of documents, one stating that Japan was allusively told that…

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Japan

Morning prayers and Hiroshima mon Amour

Japan day 5 Slept reasonably well on the futon on the floor, though it was a bit hard and the pillow seemed to have been filled with chickpeas instead of feathers. Honestly, I’d have slept better on my neoair that I carried on the Pacific Crest Trail. As the first thing today, we got to watch the morning prayers at the temple. The monk chanted sutras and made sounds by hammering on bowls and using…

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Japan

Maneki Neko

Japan day 3 Woke up in the middle of the night like yesterday, but remembered that I had brought some melatonin pills, took one, and fell asleep once more. For technical reasons it took some time figuring out the transport to my next destination, but with that out of the way I headed off to Gotoku-Ji Temple, which I had seen in the avant-garde film “Sans Soleil”. Legend has it that a prosperous man was…

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Japan

Much Tokyo, much jet-lag

Japan day 2 Woke up at 4:30 and was completely unable to catch any more sleep. I was a bit surprised to find so many savory food items a the breakfast buffet such as steamed fish, rice, tofu, salad, miso soup, and salad. But it might be us westerners who are weird in the way that breakfast seems at time to mostly resemble dessert.  The Senso Ji Temple was first on the agenda, and it…

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Japan

Konnichiwa Gozaimasu

Japan day 1 Barely had I left the airport before I was there only foreigner and surrounded by signs and messages written in characters that I couldn’t even read. I had stepped onto Japanese soil here in Tokyo. Or soil is probably not the right thing to say as everything is kept so meticulously clean.   This eighteen day trip is quite a different endeavor from my time on the Pacific Crest Trail. For one,…

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Pacific Crest Trail

It is all over now

SPOILER ALERT: This is the last chapter in my PCT thru-hike diary, so there are some pretty major spoilers ahead. You might instead want to start from the beginning. Day 139 It rained more or less all night, which was a first, but everything stayed nicely dry in my tent. Nice to know that the tent you’ve been carrying for almost half a year actually works. He he. When I awoke in the early morning, the…

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Pacific Crest Trail

An unexpected trail closure

Day 138 This morning was like the two preceding it. No better. No worse. So let’s not waste more words on that. It was quite cold getting out of my sleeping bag and I was only just able to keep warm while wearing most of my clothes in the darkness of the early morning. No thunderstorms nor rain or snow that night, though. I went back a bit to get back to the trail and…

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Pacific Crest Trail

Point of no return?

Day 137 Yesterday I mentioned that if things turned out well today I would be camping in the vicinity of Hearts Pass. That would put me in a position where the distance to Rainy Pass, where I camped yesterday, and Manning Park in Canada were comparable. Thus it would be as easy to push ahead as it would be to backtrack if something bad happened as the road to Hearts pass was closed. Thus, today…

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