Hiking the Kohechi Pilgrimage Trail: Day 3

The third day of the pilgrimage hike was the longest and most significant elevation change. A big day that started out lovely with an amazing breakfast and other-worldly views on the way to the trail head. Coffee is not always the easiest to come by out here, especially in the early morning but we got lucky and found a vending machine.

There was significantly less snow than the previous day, it was melting from the treetops and gently melting and raining down on us in the early parts of the hike. These were definitely some of the most beautiful views we got during the hike, it was just amazing. Perhaps so amazing that we might have gotten lost for an hour or so.

After lunch we might not have paid complete attention to the trail markers and might have gone in completely the wrong direction for 1.5 hours (on top of an already 6-8 hour hike). Somehow, being the luckiest people of all time, a couple with a flatbed truck were driving on the service road and told us to hop in so they could drive us back to where we went wrong. We might still be hiking if it weren’t for them.

More incredible, classic Japanese scenery, complete with alcoholic beverage vending machines. The ‘No under 20’ is more of an honour system. Again, being so lucky, we were constantly running across beautiful wild sakura trees in full bloom throughout the mountains.

Very interestingly, we came across a very beautiful rest stop as well as a little bonzai collection.

We had to find dinner ourselves and went to a place across the street for meat and noodles. I eat dessert typically twice a day, so I’m a little thrown of my schedule on this trip. When we asked the restaurant owner if they had anything sweet they gave us these as a present!! The white cube is a kinstuba (gelatinized coarse red bean paste) and a white bean flower namagashi, they were perfect!!

The place we stayed was really incredibly special with private outdoor onsens overlooking the river and mountains. It was really hard to beat this onsen experience, even if I was nearly boiled alive. The perfect was to unwind and prepare for the last day of our trip.

And of course here is our course on Yamap!

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