Hiking Day Two: Nakatsugawa to Tsumago

A confession: I don’t always love Japanese breakfast. I don’t dislike it really. But it’s often so similar to Japanese dinner, I end up craving variety and a bit of familiarity. So what a pleasant surprise to awake to a hot fried egg and breakfast meat (along with rice, miso soup, and natto).

While not fancy, our lodging was clean and our hosts so kind. Our main hostess (I didn’t get her name) spoke great English. And who doesn’t love a llama (alpaca?) toilet. After packing our things we hit the road for our first real day of hiking. A nice walk through villages and towns, and then a gorgeous section of the path along original paving stones. No other hikers on this section of the trail made it all the better. Around eleven we arrived in the village of Magome, an absolutely charming town with a number of tourists. The walk from Magome to Tsumago is quite popular with day hikers, and there is a service that will carry your bags from one town to the other. We wandered in a few shops, then enjoyed handmade soba noodles for lunch. After lunch…more walking. Not too much to note. Many more hikers along this section. Some great signs. Waterfalls. As the day wore on, rain threatened. Then a few drops began to fall. But lucky us, just before it actually began to rain, we arrived at our accommodation for the night. And wow, this place is gorgeous! We got lucky with a room with a view, of a little koi pond and stream. A perfect perch from which to relax before dinner.

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