|John, Jing, Lizbeth our German guide, fluent in English and Japanese.
The photo IDs it as “Tanabe”, a city, but we’re in the mountains around
Tanabe is small city on the Kii Pilgrim route, famous, ancient, running hundreds of kilometres around a peninsula of Honshu island, a few hundred miles east of Osaka.
On the last day we had major floods, from a nearby typhoon. All trains were cancelled. We had to get a taxi to Osaka, about five hours — a very happy taxi driver. Amazingly our travel insurance covered the taxi fare, a couple thousand dollars, even though I’d failed to keep a receipt.
On the trail we came across many abandoned villages, ghost villages. I read yesterday that there are now 11 million empty houses in Japan. That’s the total housing stock of Australia. It’s all coz population decline and movements to the city. In the villages that did have people they were all elderly, mostly women, skinny, stooped, smiling. We saw no children in rural Japan.