It rained hard the day before so hiking on the muddy and slippery mountain trails north of Mount Kōya, in Wakayama was out of the question, especially with a young daughter in tow. Instead we followed a local tourist map from Koyashita station up to a small mountain pass and past persimmon farm after persimmon farm towards Kudoyama Station just to the north.
Stopping to chat with a couple of farmers on the way before settling for a picnic at the top. It was a wonderful morning.
The three of us, at the top of the pass, overlooking northern Wakayama.
In 2002, I rode from Tokushima in Shikoku to my wife’s parent’s home in Aichi, cycling straight through this area. Keeping the mountains on my right and following the river upstream I kept heading northeast. There was no Garmin or Wahoo, or even a mobile phone with map functions, just a brief list of place names to head towards.
I was completely reliant on local road signs but it worked perfectly, not getting lost until I reached Nagoya after dark, less than 5kms from the destination.
I miss those days, and I already miss that picnic we had at the top of that pass less than a month ago.