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I finally made it out for another overnight trip last week, or at least it was supposed to be an overnighter (more on that later). Fall is winding down here in the mountains of Kyoto, so I went in search of the last remaining autumn leaves in one of my favorite areas. Most of the hike follows an out of use logging-cart track which is in a horrible state of disrepair in most places.
Here are the tracks. This part is level and debris-free. Apparently this valley was first settled back in the mid 16th-century by loggers who would make charcoal out of cedar trees in kilns along the river. They slowly worked their way upriver, but never made it all the way, leaving a good bit of the forest untouched. The last inhabitants moved out of the area in the 1960s, and now the forest is owned by the University of Kyoto.
Here's one of the many bridges along the trail. The majority have either collapsed or are too dangerous to cross, meaning you have to find your own way around. As I was attempting to hike around one of these a little farther down the trail, the footpath collapsed from under me and I ended up falling straight down about 7-8 feet, whacking my head on a rock and banging up my knee in the process. After I doctored myself up as best as I could, I decided it was best to turn around and hike the 2.5hrs uphill to my car. Ouch.
And here's a shot of the damage. After I got back to my car, it was a 1.5 hr drive back to Kyoto city, where I went to the emergency room just in case I needed stitches, etc (ER visit only cost $40, govt healthcare in Japan is incredibly inexpensive). Turns out I didn't, but man was I sore. I'm still bruised up a little, but am feeling much better, and best of all, I live to hike another day. Stay safe everyone!