Ever since one of T’s student told us about Waduka(pronounced as Wazuka 和束) , we have been trying to visit the place but kept putting it off . So when Mr. R organized another hike going to Waduka, I know this is a chance I could not missed. It was unfortunate that T was not able to join because of work, I’m sure he would have love the place but hopefully we can go visit there again this coming autumn (fingers crossed :D).
Based on the last hike with Mr. R, I know this was not going to be your normal hike with normal trail so I almost canceled when the back of my right knee kept on giving me pain. Fortunately, massaging it every night a week before the hike abated the pain a little. Now I’m just hoping that it will hold up till the end of the hike and not cause anybody trouble.
It was a very humid day with an impending rain, a nice for a hike right?
S, P and I arrived on the same train in 上狛(Kami-Koma) Station around 9:30 and I was already sweating profusely and was already feeling really tired.
We started our hike and a few minutes later, we entered this beautiful bamboo trail.
Unfortunately, bugs were following us, buzzing in my ear. I was just happy we did not met any hornets.
There were some areas that I find really challenging and the three of them were just walking through it like nothing. Darn so jealous. I was already using both hands , fortunately Mr. R was there to give a helping hand after I shouted for Help :D. Yes I’m not shy in that area 😉
Anyways, after we passed that area it was all good. It was still drizzling so at least it was a bit refreshing and the forest smelled so fresh and looks greener. No more bugs buzzing around too.
After we came down on one of the steeper area with stairs, I felt my knee wobbling and shaking. S was also feeling suddenly tired, I guess the heat was making us very tired. After discussing our options with the boys, S and I decided to keep on going. Although instead of using the mountain trail, we decided to take the road to the top instead, it was not as interesting as the mountain trail but it gave S and I to recuperate a little bit.
We got to the top and this is our view:
It was very beautiful.
We had a long break here, while having our lunch and by the time we finished S and I were all set to take on the next challenge.
And after an hour or so later…
We arrived to the tea planet :).
A few more minutes of walking we found some these statues :
There were several of them with different hand poses , I guess these are used for pilgrimage or something.
And more tea farms in Waduka.
As of 2008, the town has an estimated population of 5,011. The total area is 64.87 km².
Wazuka is mostly a farming town and prides itself in its top quality green tea actually said by many connoisseurs of tea to be no. 1 in all of Japan. Wazuka is home to roughly 300 tea growing families. The area was selected in the Kamakura period (1192 – 1333) for tea production and has enjoyed an 800-year history as one of the main production areas of Ujicha. Today, while Ujicha comprises only 3% of the tea produced in Japan, it enjoys royal status as one of the most highly prized and respected teas in the country. Also a considerable crop of rice is produced among other agricultural products.
Wazuka’s band of top tea farmers known as the Yukichaken and the local community are in cooperation with NICE one of the major volunteer program companies and hold together the biggest annual work camp at the end of August lasting 2 weeks. The program is open to about 12 foreigners per year and an equal number of Japanese work campers.
If you are visiting Kyoto, I highly recommend visiting or taking a tour in one of tea farms here and try the local tea. It’s absolutely fantastic.
This coming November 1-2, 2014, there is a Chagenkyo (Tea) Matsuri. Hopefully I can go there again.
The hike was amazing and the destination was definitely worth it.