Flexibility is key

Upon arriving in Osaka yesterday, we found a poster for a big festival, which spans today and tomorrow. In fact, it’s one of the top three in Japan! Well, having already seen some of the Gion Festival (also one of the top 3), we don’t want to miss this one either!

Today was to be the beach day, with tomorrow being the hike from Magome to Tsumago, two post towns along the old samurai trail between Kyoto and Tokyo. I asked 明美 and she said tomorrow’s the better day for the festival. Some Internet research confirmed this, given there is a huge boat show (maybe the world’s largest) and fireworks display in the evening.
So we decided to switch it up. Beach tomorrow. Get back in time to enjoy the festival. Gonna try to get in some surfing at the beach, too.
Anyway, the hike was terrific. The Kiso valley is such a beautiful area. I finally also saw some old village-y kind of areas, which I imagined old-style Japan being, which I haven’t really seen until now.
Also, as we arrived in Tsumago, there was a local festival going on, with a big street procession, going down the main/only road in the village. There were lots of food stands and it seemed everyone in the parade was at least somewhat drunk, yet still forced to carry a giant float thingy. It was a fun random occurrence, which came from being flexible in our plans.
We are on the way home but still a ways away. Gonna do some laundry, go in the sauna, and take a hot bath. Job well done – successful day. Tomorrow will be great too.

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