A JOURNEY TO THE EAST COAST

As I’ve finally packed away all my winter clothes and reacquainted myself with spring-summer appropriate pieces, it also inspired me more to be outdoors. Now that the season promises longer days and much warmer climate, I thought it is only fitting to go out and get my body moving.

I packed up, wore my most comfortable running shoes and took a couple of train rides to Izu Peninsula‘s eastern coast. Popularly called as the Jogasaki Coast (Jogasaki Kaigan), it’s a one-day hiking trail that stretches up to 10- 15 kilometers along the spectacular coast of Izu and the neighboring Oshima Island. There are many starting points of the trail whether you wish for a short- distant or long-distant hike. Not everyone visits the coast to hike, some travel by car to go fishing in the cliffs or go diving with Jogasaki’s professional diving course.

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One of the best starting point is from the Izu Kogen Station. To get there, begin your journey by going to Atami (Atami Stn.). From there, take a local train bound for Ito (Ito City) all the way to Izu Kogen. Don’t worry, this is not as confusing as it sounds. If you come from big cities like Tokyo, you can easily take a bullet train (shinkansen) to Atami for less than an hour and from there, the next thing you only need to do is to find the local train track. Atami City is one of the closest tourist destination from Tokyo and you’ll be surprised by the number of foreigners taking this route. So go ahead, and take that trip outside of the Metro City.

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Once you’ve reached Izu Kogen Station, there are hiking trail maps that you can access from there. Try not to miss the famous stopping points including the Hashidate Suspension Bridge and the Tajima no Take Waterfalls. If you’re brave enough, you can climb down the cliff to the rocky coast that has incredible formation only nature can make.

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The hike was a breeze. The trail was clear and very easy to follow that it’s close to impossible finding yourself lost in the woods. If you’ve wanted that adventure by yourself, you can definitely give this a go. Along the trail, you’ll see jagged cliffs that are named. Perhaps the most incredible one is the Iga-iga Ne (Iga-iga Root) which is also a famous stopping point. The rock formation was astounding that if you sit closest to the edge you’ll feel yourself tiny between the rocky walls and the waves.

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Our final destination was the Renchakuji Temple. It sits on top of the hill and shared the same long history with the coast itself. Over all, our hike took us for less than 3 hours. From there, we extended another 25-minute walk to Jogasaki Kaigan Station as our way back home.

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The entire hiking trail was a great balance of everything; it will test your endurance without killing you to exhaustion, it will make you see the beauty of nature without being too far from civilization and lastly, it will make you realize that there are greater things out there ready to be explored. So, go ahead and travel!

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Twenty-two (22) Forward is inspired from personal experiences, intimate thoughts and life adventure created and authored by LOLISA MAE SAKURAI. A special mark to her 22nd chapter, the things in between, and everything beyond there is.

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