Kohechi – Day 3 – Miura Guchi to Omata

  • Kohechi route

  • Day 3 – Miura Guchi to Omata, 18km

  • Accommodation: Minshuku Kawarabi-so, Omata, ¥10360 including dinner, breakfast and a packed lunch

Sunrise is 5am and I had a great view from my futon. I left just before 7am and walked through a tunnel, along the road then across a bridge to the Obako-toge trailhead for today’s hike. The ascent was long and often steep and even narrower in parts then the previous two days but there was nothing as scary as yesterday’s landslide. If you have vertigo then I think you would struggle on this walk and I definitely wouldn’t recommend carrying a heavy pack as the narrow sections often have a rock-face on one side and cliff on the other. My first surprise was at 7.45am when I almost stepped on a brown snake (not sure what type). I wasn’t looking at the ground as carefully as I should’ve been and I certainly wasn’t expecting to see a snake that early in the morning. After 3.5 hours I reached the pass with a hut, toilet, nice view and the option to walk 600m further up to the top of the mountain. No rice balls today so I sat and ate my snickers while admiring the view.

On the descent I met a Japanese airforce pilot walking the opposite direction who had just walked the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage. He was now walking from Koyasan to Hongu, camping and getting food wherever he could, so I opened my Shikoku shoulder bag full of snacks and gave him everything I had set aside for today. It felt good to do one small offering of ‘osettai’ after all the wonderful gifts I received on my Shikoku pilgrimage. There was one more snake waiting to scare the wits out of me before reaching the bottom, and it took 2.5 hours to descend. There was very little English signage and not many Japanese signs on this stage, it would definitely be helpful to have a few more signs, just so you’re confident you’re going the right way. There’s no accommodation at the trailhead in Omata but the two nearby accommodation options offer a pick-up service or you can walk the 20 minutes uphill to Minshuku Kawarabi-so (where I’m staying) or a further 10 minutes onto the Nosegawa Onsen hotel.

I checked into the welcoming Kawarabi-so and the owner offered to drive me to the Onsen at the Nosegawa Hotel nearby, how could I say no?! Kakizoe-san and Ting arrived an hour later and we went to the onsen together and had a lovely soak. We had a fantastic wild boar hot pot dinner and stayed up chatting about our experiences on the Kohechi thus far.


3 responses to “Kohechi – Day 3 – Miura Guchi to Omata

  1. On my various Camino’s I throughly enjoy time to myself, however there are normally other Pilgrims around if conversation is sought during the day or evening.
    TIhis Japanese walk seems to be very lonely, no doubt you enjoy the solitude. What are you learning about yourself on this venture.
    (Q may be too personal, sorry if I’m being too inquisitive. However my first Camino was an introduction into my inner journey and I’m a seeker of knowing more.)


    • This Kohechi trail is very different to the Nakahechi trail (which I walked first). The Nakahechi has terrific waymarks, ample accommodation and transport links between each stages so it’s a very popular hike and chances are you won’t be walking alone.
      The Kohechi however is a mountainous trail climbing 4 mountains over 1000m each day, with very limited accommodation and services and almost no transport options – and is a lot quieter probably due to all of these reasons!
      I love being in the mountains and I’m definitely used to walking alone so I don’t mind this at all (I’d never be able to go if I always had to wait for someone else to come with me!) but it’s always a bonus when I do meet other people. This trail was challenging and it made me dig deep and think about each action knowing there was no-one around to help.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kat…..that was very kind and generous of you to give the Japanese pilgrim your snacks! Im sure he appreciated your kindness.
    Beautiful pictures by the way.
    take care

    Liked by 1 person

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