Day 4 – Omata to Koyasan, 16.8km
Accommodation: Rengejo-in Temple, Koyasan, ¥12000 including Shojin-ryori dinner and breakfast
Breakfast was at 7am and considering it was the last day and only 17km, I didn’t feel in a need to hurry. Kakizoe-san, Ting and I had breakfast together then decided to walk together to Koyasan. This stage was the easiest of the four stages with probably 50-60% along roads and not such a big climb. We took our time chatting the whole way and it was a really enjoyable day. It definitely gets lonely sometimes walking by myself and I really appreciated the company today. Funnily enough, Ting hadn’t seen any snakes on either the Nakahechi or Kohechi (and I’d been seeing them daily) so we told her to go in front and not long after this conversation she screamed out to us saying that she’d just seen one! We came across a hut and picnic table in a small village called Otaki and had our lunch there in the sunshine before pushing on into Koyasan.
We said our goodbye’s when we arrived in Koyasan as everyone was going separate ways and I checked into my Shukubo temple accommodation at Rengejo-in. It’s Golden Week in Koyasan so it’s bustling with local and foreign tourists and I’m hoping to stay maybe 4 nights so I can do a few more walks around the area, but the Shukubo association here in Koyasan told me today that everything is booked up for the rest of the week… There’s 52 temples here with accommodation and other guesthouses and ryokan’s as well so I’m sure something will work out.
The Kohechi trail needs maintenance in my opinion as well as more waymarks but considering the amount of rain the region gets, it seems almost impossible to prevent landslides from occurring each year. Rainy season is in June and then there’s typhoon season in September so it would be a pretty constant job to be on the mountain fixing every landslide that happens. The ascents and descents of the first three days were all very steep and would be incredibly slippery and dangerous underfoot in wet weather so I would definitely not recommend walking it in bad weather or after a lot of rain.