Diary: Tokaido Trail – lessons learned

Some final thoughts:

Since this trip was my first actual longer hike i will list my lessons learned in this post. Some might be very obvious to more experienced hikers and some might be very specific to Japan only.

Toiletries  are not really necessary.

Since i was staying in Hostels all the time they also provided shampoo and body soap and most of the time also conditioner hence there was no need to bring such things with me. On the other hand wet tissues proved to be very useful and handy.

Toilets and water sources were plentiful available

In Japan toilets are free and are publicly available at almost any bigger park. Most convinient stores and bigger retail store offered them for free as well. The tap water is drinkable without worries and in major cities or spots are also publicly available faucets.

Opening hours

When i walked through some smaller cities i made the mistake to assume that the restaurants are open from morning to evening. Chain restaurants do so indeed however family owned restaurants were closed from around 2pm to 6 pm.

Lodging

One of the major problems was the price of lodges. Lodges were not always directly available on my route so i should have planned for some overhead both in time and walking distance to get to the lodge. My biggest private issue was the price of some lodges. I was a little bit too naive to think that hostels across Japan do have a constant fee. I should have planned some major financial overhead as well as consider also holidays which might cause lodging prices going up. However i think it is difficult to plan every and each day and always be in a hurry to keep up with your schedule.

Time management

Even though i was and still am optimistic to be able to work 7 hours a day or even more the reality was that i could only walk up to 6 hours a day until dawn.Extra time was needed for meal and rest breaks. Also i noticed that it would be more healthy to take more smaller meal breaks to replenish your energy instead of 2 big ones since i was exhausted and not too much in the mood to eat a lot.

Calory management

I am under the impression that i generally need more calories than other people. After a rough estimation i think i ate around 2500 – 3000 kcal a day which was by far not enough. I think should have done more smaller breaks for meals. Something which helped a lot with boosting calory intake was the 1.5l bottle of 20% orange juice from 7 eleven which totals 600 kcal.

Expectation of the Tokaido trail

Personally i thought the Tokaido trail would be a bit more nature and greenish but instead in the first half i walked through a lot of city sides which shouldn’t be too surprising since it’s a major route hence people would want to live and settle there.

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