Day 4, Kushimoto to Nachi, 35km
Accommodation: Miyoshiya Ryokan in Tanabe, ¥3200
Sunrise is now at 4.50am but it was a cloudy morning and it took a while for the sun to peep out from the clouds. The below photos were taken an hour after sunrise at 5.50am and then I started walking today’s stage.
The first 3.5km to Koza station were partly along the highway and partly along small roads and the small town of Koza was quite scenic. However after leaving Koza, the path was along the highway with no footpath and tight curves and it became crazy scary with many busses and trucks passing. All I could think of was that tomorrow I need to travel back to Tokyo for my flight so I really need to get through this safely. It wasn’t safe at all, so I stuck my thumb out for a hitch and a truck driver stopped and picked me up. He agreed that it wasn’t safe to be walking along the highway and even offered to take me all the way to my destination today as that’s where he was on his way to for work, but after looking at the map I asked him to drop me off around Uragami station as it looked like the trail entered the forest again. I think it was about a 6km hitch and I don’t regret it at all!
From Uragami station the trail did indeed enter the forest and for almost the rest of the 15.5km to Nachi station it stayed in the forest or along small roads. I crossed Uragami-toge pass, Ichiya-toge, Niko-toge (a narrow path with a landslide and steep cliffs) and Suruda-toge pass before arriving at Nachi station. I was really glad to arrive and had mixed emotions thinking about this walk.