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Celine
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question First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Thread started on: Jul 2nd, 2017, 08:51am »

Hi dear pilgrims!

I am a 20 year old woman planning to do the pilgrimage this september 2017, but I have a few questions, I hope some experienced walkers will be able to answer.

Solo-pilgrim: I'm walking the pilgrimage on my own, since I am very okay with solitude. Are there many solo-pilgrims on this track, and are there good opportunities to socialise every now and then? (A couple of years ago my mother and I completed the Camino De Santiago, and we we're never alone, there were always lots of people, I could imagine this track is not as crowded as the Camino?)

Free lodging: As far as I can read there are some possibilities to stay for free at the henro-huts and temples some places along the track. I've been thinking about bringing a hiking hammock/tent to be able to not spend any money on accommodation, but does anyone know if there are good options for putting up a hammock? I am extremely poor at the moment, and unfortunately I can not afford to pay for accommodation every night. Is it possible to stay for free almost every night without bringing a tent/hammock?

Thank you
Kind regards, Celine

« Last Edit: Jul 2nd, 2017, 08:51am by Celine » User IP Logged

tneva82
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question Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #1 on: Jul 2nd, 2017, 09:58am »

Plenty solo walkers, some pairs. Didn't see many walking groups bigger than 2. But even when walking alone plenty of people meetings. How much you can socialize depends on your japanese. English ability there is sporadic but if you can do even litle japanese you get to use it a lot and learn it a lot. If you don't speak it yet maybe learn in advance a bit. Walk will then be good crash course of japanese smiley

There are going to be some parts you will be quite alone but every day i met at least several people on route. Obviously more when in towns. One of the loneliest parts was between 22 and 23.

Though this was on spring thats more popular but of course locals are there all year.
Can't help with free stays as i was minshuku camper. Would take light tent propably myself though if i was planning free camping
« Last Edit: Jul 2nd, 2017, 10:02am by tneva82 » User IP Logged

Crosstobear
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question Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #2 on: Jul 2nd, 2017, 1:40pm »

I also will be a new walker. My wife and I want to walk shrine 52 to 56. On the map this appears to be quite flat and scenic. Is this the case? Also it appears to be a 2 day walk. Is there accommodation available between these 2 points? Thanks! Don and Joan
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TenaciousAC
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question Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #3 on: Jul 2nd, 2017, 6:22pm »

Quote:
I also will be a new walker. My wife and I want to walk shrine 52 to 56. On the map this appears to be quite flat and scenic. Is this the case? Also it appears to be a 2 day walk. Is there accommodation available between these 2 points? Thanks! Don and Joan


Hi Don and Joan,

This link might help with the various distances and elevations, plus also accommodation options for what would definitely be a 2 day walk

(To work out the elevation, click anywhere along the highlighted route itself, and an elevation scale will appear at the bottom of your screen.)



https://henronavi.jp/mobile/25mGoogle.html?inn=on&lng=en&fms=off&x=132.581&y=33.31&z=14&ken=2

The distance between 52 & 56 is approx 45kms (which is about 28mi, so jusssst over a 'marathon').

« Last Edit: Jul 2nd, 2017, 6:35pm by TenaciousAC » User IP Logged

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TenaciousAC
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question Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #4 on: Jul 2nd, 2017, 6:29pm »

Celine,

In my research to possibly do some of the Henro journey myself for the first time in late 2017 or early 2018, there's certainly a decent amount of walkers who do the journey solo. Socialising options might occur at the end of the day when those who've been travelling throughout the day at various speeds finish their day at around the same spot.

Free lodging - this link might help you find out which temples have accommodation firstly. I'm not sure which are free or not, so you might have to research a little more thoroughly.

http://88again.weebly.com/temples.html
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slc
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question Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #5 on: Jul 6th, 2017, 01:24am »

It is probably possible to do the whole thing sleeping at free options, though it would probably be trying. I took a bivy sack, sleeping bag and sleeping pad. I stayed in free lodgings perhaps 50-60% of the time. Many of the places I stayed might not be suitable for a hammock. You really should take a sleeping pad whether it be air or foam.

You will probably be socializing at many of the free lodging options but mostly walking alone.
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tneva82
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xx Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #6 on: Jul 6th, 2017, 11:14am »

on Jul 6th, 2017, 01:24am, slc wrote:
It is probably possible to do the whole thing sleeping at free options, though it would probably be trying. I took a bivy sack, sleeping bag and sleeping pad. I stayed in free lodgings perhaps 50-60% of the time. Many of the places I stayed might not be suitable for a hammock. You really should take a sleeping pad whether it be air or foam.

You will probably be socializing at many of the free lodging options but mostly walking alone.


Seems free camping is becoming harder these days as places are barred from camping(maybe due to previous troubles).

And yeah walking is likely mostly alone though you will have chance to talk with locals. At least in spring you will meet other pilgrims often enough but generally walking paces are different enough that they are on-off walk for a while together, separate, maybe meet again later.

I actually liked that. Nice to meet constantly new people rather than walking with same people. Especially as foreigner if I had other foreigner(s) with me would locals be as talkative as to lone pilgrim? (especially wonder since dad might join next year with me for 2nd stint)
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MollieGrant
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question Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #7 on: Jul 8th, 2017, 04:19am »

nice post
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Celine
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question Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #8 on: Jul 8th, 2017, 09:40am »

Thank you for all of your great answers! And really helpful with the links! Perfect help. I appreciate to hear from so many people who have knowledge and information. It helps to be able to ask questions to people in a forum like this. I have decided to bring hiking tent. Looking forward to the walk and to meet some lovely pilgrims.

Doumo arigatou!
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elindau
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question Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #9 on: Jul 24th, 2017, 08:38am »

Hi Celine -

Not sure if you are still reading these replies, but in case you are ...

I did only one week as a solo woman. As others have mentioned, knowing a bit of Japanese goes a long way. I spent 3-4 months studying, and it made a big difference. In particular, you might like these short/cute videos: http://www.punipunijapan.com

If you plan on taking/activating a phone, translation apps can also be a huge help for communicating.

Lastly, it's worth learning (and practicing!) katakana, so you can read some signs/menus.
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elindau
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xx Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #10 on: Jul 24th, 2017, 08:41am »

on Jul 2nd, 2017, 1:40pm, Crosstobear wrote:
I also will be a new walker. My wife and I want to walk shrine 52 to 56. On the map this appears to be quite flat and scenic. Is this the case? Also it appears to be a 2 day walk. Is there accommodation available between these 2 points? Thanks! Don and Joan


Hi Don & Joan - If you're going to be in the Matsuyama area, I'd think that the mountain area just before this section would be more scenic, if you're OK with hills.
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tneva82
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xx Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #11 on: Jul 24th, 2017, 10:08am »

on Jul 24th, 2017, 08:38am, elindau wrote:
Hi Celine -

Not sure if you are still reading these replies, but in case you are ...

I did only one week as a solo woman. As others have mentioned, knowing a bit of Japanese goes a long way. I spent 3-4 months studying, and it made a big difference. In particular, you might like these short/cute videos: http://www.punipunijapan.com

If you plan on taking/activating a phone, translation apps can also be a huge help for communicating.

Lastly, it's worth learning (and practicing!) katakana, so you can read some signs/menus.


Agreed about katakana. It might sound counterintuitive but rather than hiragana used for japanese words katakana is MUCH better to start with if you need to learn something useful in short time or are just looking for bit help for tourism etc. Reason being that since it's used with loanwords you basically have instant vocabulary for japanese that's found in restaurant menus etc. With hiragana even if you can read it you wouldn"t know meaning.

Of course words can be bit confusing since they are based on how they sound to japanese and made to fit their writing system that doesn't have same sounds but with bit of trials you can often figure it out.

サラダ salada salad(actually loanword from portugal)
ハンバーガー hanbaagaa hamburger
ステーキ suteeki steak
ジューズ juuzu juice

It's surprisingly much you can read there with just katakana

Also it's just 52 letters to learn(of which many are variations with " or circle like ハバパwink so not impossible and wouldn't be waste to any japan visitor who plans to visit places outside big cities.
« Last Edit: Jul 24th, 2017, 10:13am by tneva82 » User IP Logged

pogo
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question Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #12 on: Sep 13th, 2017, 5:33pm »

This is not an answer; but a question ......I just signed up for the forum but can't figure out how to post a new question...can anyone tell me how to post ?
Jon Gregg
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tneva82
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xx Re: First time henro with a couple of questions!
« Reply #13 on: Sep 13th, 2017, 11:03pm »

Yey! New poster who is not a spam bot. Welcome aboard!

Anyway go to sub-forum you want to post and on top there's this orange bar that for example has page counter(1, 2, 3, 4). On right there's Mark All Read, New Thread and New Poll links. New thread should do the trick.
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