Trip Advisor helped Katie discover a hidden gem on the Miura Peninsula known as the Koajiro Forest. It was so obscure, I had trouble locating it at first on Google Maps. We knew we needed to take the Keikyu Line train to Misakiguchi, the last station on the Miura Peninsula. From there, the route was a bit unknown.
As we rode the train, we passed the Miurakaigan Station. This area has a Sakura Festival that I went to last year around this time. I was hoping the blooms were a little delayed this year so I could take my sister-in-law next week during her visit. Luck is on our side! The blooms are not full yet. I think next week they should be in peak bloom!
To find the Koajiro Forest, Katie and I boarded bus number 26. We knew we needed to travel about 5 minutes or 3 stops. However, buses are tricky. If no one pushes the button to stop and no one is at the actual bus stop, the bus will keep going. Fortunately, we were paying close attention to the blue marker on Google Maps and to the marquee at the front of the bus. I pushed the button alerting the driver to stop. We exited at the correct stop which was actually only the second stop. So far, so good.
We started our walk and followed the blue dotted line. We made sure to pay attention especially when the road forked. At one point we were walking down a road through a bunch of farm fields. But, it seemed ok because it was obviously a road.
We kept following and eventually ended up in the middle of a farm. At this point we were feeling a bit lost. The road ended and all we had was a trail around a cabbage field with a steep ravine on the far side.
We commented how thankful we were that the Japanese don’t own guns because we felt like trespassers. We turned around to attempt to locate where we made a wrong turn. (And simultaneously cursing Google Maps). As we turned a farmer yelled to us (not at us). I approached him with my phone and showed him this picture.
He did a cute little hop to see my phone and then with a happy smile gestured for us to follow him down another little trail along a different cabbage patch. We followed him for about a minute before reaching the top of the trail head leading down to the entrance to the forest.
Wow! Arigatōgozaimas!! We said with much enthusiasm about 5 times and bowed just as many. We again commented about how kind and helpful the Japanese are as a whole. And also laughed at how in Japan it’s no big deal to follow a man you don’t know into a forest. As we approached the entrance, we saw a map of the park and a picture of crabs. The Science teacher in me became very excited.
We continued our walk and came across the flatlands. It felt good to get into the sun. It was very windy along the water.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see any crabs. Too cold. We considered this a good scouting mission! We came across this sign of the tidal wetlands and I got a little Science dorky again. Katie and I both agreed this area reminded us of Sea Shore State Park in Virginia Beach.
The wetlands were so beautiful and we imagined they would be even more beautiful in the spring. We look forward to returning in a couple months.
We continued along the raised walkway. The forest was fantastic.
Here’s something that made us giggle. This was the map we saw down by the tidal area. We were getting ready to follow the yellow path from the “you are here” spot to the right.
I took this picture a little further up the path. Notice the water is now on the right and we are walking to the left! Fortunately, both signs were in English and the path was along a raised wooden walkway. We really couldn’t get lost.
Today was a beautiful sunny day and although a little chilly, it was a great day to explore. I honestly can’t believe how many beautiful areas of Japan there are hidden in plain sight. We truly are fortunate to live here and have time to explore!