Maggie Beer

Japan's Majestic Izu Peninsula

December 18, 2019

I wish I had have found ‘walking’/trekking at an earlier age, but I always thought it was too vigorous for me until last year when, when with a group of friends, we walked part of the Camino. It’s a little like a drug of choice now in looking at ‘walks’ around the globe.

Colin and I have just had two weeks in Japan and half of it was spent walking the Izu Peninsula with the same friends and two extra who couldn’t join us last year. We had perfect weather, 21 degrees every day with rain for about an hour only on the last day so excellent walking conditions.

I have been to Japan so many times, as many of you know, and love the food, the people, the sense of pride in every part of the food chain; the dedication to celebrating seasonality and now I can add the beauty of this region of the Izu Peninsula. The rugged coastline takes your breath away and there is no better way to see it than walking it, I now realise. Lots of steps with steep inclines that take energy, but it’s the downhill ones that I couldn’t do without my walking sticks. I’m definitely the least experienced (moderately fit) no matter how much walking I do at home; yet I never felt left behind. Only one segment of the last day after I’d had a tumble into the bushes going down a steep hill I did sit out about 2 hours of the most difficult terrain.

The awe-inspiring beauty of the landscape was incredible and on one day’s walk we saw 7 waterfalls. The damage caused by a recent cyclone affected a few paths that we had to avoid, but the sheer power of the water only added to the beauty. And with all that: the traditional Japanese meals which are like feasts every day, the Onsens (hot mineral baths) at each Inn at night to soak all the aches away, the friends and the professionalism of our guide made it truly memorable.

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