Day 2: Samurai no Yu to Kuji

Day 2. I was dragging. What I had intended to at least be an 8 am start ended up as a pitiful 9:30 am start. I had tried to bargain with myself to get out of there earlier, but the lure of the 10 am checkout was too much for me.

After a lovely breakfast, I entered the trail, which is between Samurai no Yu and the ocean. Go to the gravel path to the side of the hotel.

It turns out this section of the trail is a pre-existing hiking course with good signage and a maintained trail. I had missed out on 2/3 of that trail by having to take a taxi to Samurai no Yu. Next time!

I met an absolutely crazy mushroom: this freak of nature is called a "tamago take" or "egg mushroom," because not only is it a crazy red color, but it emerges from a white thing that looks exactly like an egg. It is supposed to be edible, but there are equally red mushrooms around that are poisonous. You should not eat it. You should just stare at it, blinking, wondering if it's a hallucination or if that color really does occur in nature.

Take that side path to get a really great view of the waterfall.

You'll briefly come out into paved road. Yokonuma viewing platform is next. This is what I'm talking about. Look at those jagged rocks and lush trees.

The hiking path continues. There are many streams and small waterfalls. Some of the stream crossings made me a little nervous, but there was nothing too scary.

A few sections of the trail looked like they were late for a date with a weedwhacker, but Kuji city tourism and commerce division has put up very large, splendidly visible signs all over the place, making it very hard to get lost.

These blue signs are showing how far the 3-11 tsunami came.

Go right toward those boats, the path is right behind there up the hill.

Phew, good job. You'll exit the hiking course and enter Mugio village to be greeted by a dog who is not very happy about his home being constantly invaded by hikers. There is supposedly a bathroom near Ikushima shrine, but frankly I couldn't take it and tinkled in the woods.

The road is pretty easy to follow if you are smart and brought a compass, but be careful about the sudden sharp left pictured here. It's marked by one of those bitty markers, so keep your eyes peeled.

There'll be a toilet destroyed by the tsunami to the right.

Continue southwest-ish along the road.

There will be a large cliff where you can see different layers of rock: these are layers from the volcano that used to be active around here 30 million years ago! There are supposed to  be tree fossils in here.

My trip ends abruptly here. It was raining. In a few hours, I would find that that weird fatigue I was feeling was me catching a cold. I also knew that not only would I not make it to Kosode beach until late, but I had no idea how to get back from Kosode beach because, unlike many spots on the trail, Kosode is not close to a train station.
So, I did what you should do in circumstances like these: I went to the nearest train station, rode it to Kuji, and spent my time there eating ramen and ice cream.

Catching a cold! Ramen and ice cream, here I come!
 I took a bus from Kuji to Ninohe and the shinkansen from Ninohe back to Morioka. Rest of Kuji: you looked awesome. Let me give you a raincheck and explore you later.

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