Lockdown Diaries: Day 36 (Hiking the Kii Peninsula with a Book of Haikus)

Locked Down in London, Day 36: J-Pop

I’m becoming an expert in designing walking routes through the neighbouring streets. I now know on which street are the trees in bloom; which front gardens have the nicest tulips (on the way out now), lilacs or artistically arranged evergreens. I connect the streets with patches of woodlands, parks and playing fields in an effort to device myself that I’m walking in the country.

How many days in a row have I walked these exact streets without seeing anything else? Listening to the same music? I had to have some variety so now I’m cycling through world pop, a different country each day. I’m learning new phrases to search Spotify: Latin pop, Euro-pop, J-pop.

Virtual Escape: Hiking the Kii Peninsula with a Book of Haikus

Since today I’ve been listening to J-pop (that’s Japanese pop to the uninitiated 🙂 ), I decided that this weekend we’re going to pay a flying visit to Japan to hike on an old, more than  a thousand years old, pilgrim route on the Kii Peninsula.

Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, Seiganto-ji [Photo by Nekosuki via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0]
Two hours on the train out from Osaka takes you to this beautiful peninsula dotted with Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, mountains, forests and waterfalls. You can hike the scenic Kumano Kodo trail, the “stairway to heaven”, which links many of them, a UNESCO World Heritage site, twinned with Spain’s Camino de Santiago. There is actually more than one route; you can do a short two-day hike or you can keep going for a week. It’s up to you. At night you can stay in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, and relax in a hot spring, reading a book of haikus

Your Little Book of Haikus

on the water
the reflection
of a wanderer


running down inside

(Inahata Teiko)

summer rain
it drums on the heads
of the carp


a clear waterfall –
into the ripples
fall green pine-needles


the little fish
carried backwards
in the clear water


fresh young leaves –
the sound of a waterfall
both far and near


Further Reading:Pilgrim's Progress: Kii Peninsula, JapanStairway to Heaven: Hiking Ancient Pilgrimage Trails in Southern JapanThe Kumano Kodo Walking Trail: A Guide with MapsKumano Kodo Pilgrimage TrailsWhy Should You Walk the Kumano Kodo Trail in Japan
Keep safe, keep sane –  exercise your imagination!

6 thoughts on “Lockdown Diaries: Day 36 (Hiking the Kii Peninsula with a Book of Haikus)

  1. Pingback: The Cricket in the Helmet & Warrior Dreams – Waterblogged

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