Nagata: how a 5km photo walk became an 11km hike
It was supposed to be a short walk to Nagata. 5km at most, take a few photos at the temple, find a spot of lunch, then train back. Except that isn’t what happened. When I finished I’d walked more than 11km.
There’s something disarming about this side of Kobe. Too often I’ll walk somewhere because it’s “only” a couple of kilometres, look at Google Maps and decide to carry on a bit further. These short distances chain together, quickly mounting up until my “popping out for half an hour” is a two hour, ten kilometre hike.
It’s worse when I have my camera. Things along the way catch my eye and I pause to take a snap. It adds to the sense I haven’t gone that far.
The short walk to Nagata
To get there I have to walk for 1.5km up a steep hill, then down the other side. Along the way are a few spots that interest me: a view out across a valley, a river running under the road, a solar farm. I pause and take my shots and make notes of where to explore next. Then I go on.
When I reached the temple I didn’t feel like I’d been particularly far, and curiosity got the better of me. How far was it to walk to Itayado? 2km, said the map. Except it wasn’t because I got side tracked and followed a river further than I should have.
At Itayado I could catch the train
So far I’d covered 8km, and the train would have me back at Myohoji station in a few minutes. From there it’s a 1.5km walk home, albeit up another steep hill. At most I could be home in half an hour.
But it’s only a 3km walk that takes 35-40 minutes if I put my mind to it. And there’s that nice bit of road under the expressway, and the river I like and I’m going to have to climb a hill anyway.
11km of walking later…
My record so far is 20km of hopping from spot to spot and not really paying attention to distance. A fast walking pace and the regular breaks a camera and curious eye brings helps the kilometres roll by.
I enjoy walking, particularly if I have my camera. Even if I’ve covered the same ground many times, there’s a thrill in finding new things to capture. Perhaps that’s why I find it so easy to hop from spot to spot, piling on the distance with barely a care in the world.
I just have to remember to stop for lunch like I didn’t in Nagata.