With the Kiso-ji section of the Nakasendō coming to an end on my last walk I needed to decide on a plan to continue. Either turn around and start again heading northeast back along the Kiso-ji (but why so soon?) or continue walking west along the Nakasendō. I‘ve chosen to continue walking west for now but to start walking sections with my daughter in spring. Anyone that follows along through my newsletter will know why.
For her to join me I ideally needed to walk one more section first. That would mean a shorter train ride to the start and also allow us to finish at a friend’s place a few kilometres east of Mitake station if necessary. If (when?) all hell breaks loose and she decides she hates the walk then help will only be a short distance away.
Grimy relics from past generations.
So with all that in mind, last Sunday I made one more solo walk from Nakatsugawa (中津川) to Takenami station ( 武並駅). In total about 20kms of easy walking. Takenami is the nearest station on the JR Chuo line before the Nakasendō and Chuo lines separate and take different directions – the Chuo Line heading south west towards Nagoya (and straight home), the Nakasendō heading west towards Gifu city, Lake Biwa, and eventually Kyoto.
The walk from Nakatsugawa to Takenami was cold, snowy, dull and without signs of life for most of the day. One woman searching for her lost cat and a couple of keen scaffolders/builders braving the temperatures on a Sunday morning were the only people to break the monotony by saying hello, but apart from that I saw almost no one outside of the two larger towns, Ena (恵那) and Nakatsugawa.
Playing a game of spot the keitora.
I spent the walk needlessly fussing over the GPS function on my camera (why can’t I just leave it until I get back home to fix?!) while also playing a game of spot the keitora trucks scattered throughout the countryside. I was also on the lookout for grimy looking buildings of past generations that probably shouldn’t have been built at all. Nakatsugawa and Ena seem to have an ample amount that would be fun to photograph sometime in the future.