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Jogasaki Hike

Written on: Saturday July 26th, 2008

A journal entry from: Japan

Took a great hike last weekend, on the east coast of the Izu peninsula where I live. The coast line is jagged, mostly cliffs and outcrops along the ocean. The place is famous for wild hydrangea; by now they are definitely past their prime, but there were still a few. The tiger lilies were looking good, though. I started from the Jogasaki train station, which, oddly, was built as a small log cabin.

From there, it was a short walk to the coastline. The first section was a popular family spot. There was a white lighthouse, and a suspension bridge, and since it was Sunday, plenty of people. There was also the raucous noise of tons of swallows swooping around a high, cliff-sheer island a few hundred meters off. I took a stroll down the first part of the walk, stopped for ice cream, and then continued on to the second section of the trail. This was a great track that followed the coast for several kms, with great views. I saw only a couple people on this section of the trail, except at certain spots that were popular fishing spots. At the other end of the trail was a second suspension bridge, too. One of the best parts was that I had a 30-minute wait at the train station at the other end of the trail...and there was a hot spring foot bath there for me to soak in.

On another note, it's the summer festival season now, and the local Kannami Cat Festival was last night. It's a family event, many people paint their faces and maybe dress up, and there are booths for food, drinks, and toys and games for kids. And fireworks. Here's a clip of one of the dances:

If you want to see the detail, here's the address for a larger video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3896240929823282772

Can't seem to do a link properly right now - I'll try again later