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Hiking Trails - The Basho Wayfarer - Japan

Japan is proud of numerous ancient trails. They connect temples and cities. The Basho Wayfarer is a self-guided trip following a route taken by the poet, Matsuo Basho, more than 300 years ago. It is a six-day trek starting in Sendai and walks its way through the northern Tohoku region. It passes through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hiraizumi and the ancient Dewa Kaido path. Made up of beeches and cherry forests. Next, head to the mountains of Natagiri-toge, and finish at the temple of Yamadera. There is accommodation in a traditional ryokan. With access to onsen baths to soothe aching bones after the long hike.

What did you like about the trip?

I personally love the cherry forest. The trees are beautiful. Even though the hike was tiring, the beautiful sight of the cherry forest made me feel tireless, as my mind and body were distracted by them.

What are the obstacles and how did you overcome them?

Since it was a six-day trek, the obstacle was simply distance, because I felt like giving up halfway. However, I told myself that if I kept going, I could witness the beauty of the cherry forest. Also, the thought of treating myself with onsen baths to soothe aching bones after the long hike really motivated me!

What have you learned from the trip?

Walking in the shoes of the poet, Matsuo Basho, made me realize that maybe having hikes like this inspires such amazing work of poetry. I think that hiking is not just for improving physical health, but also for mental health, as it makes us more open-minded and creative.

What gears or tools are essential for the trip?

Well, I suppose the hiking basics, but I would like to highlight weather-appropriate clothing (for wet weather) and a TWELF-X watch. This is because it may rain anytime throughout the six-day trek. I would not want to get too wet and risk being sick. I use a TWELF-X watch because it is water-resistant to up to 20 ATM. I need a watch for the hike and cannot risk damaging it with water.

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