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Newer Page 286 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Hiking Namaze Tunnel

2 November 2017

My trusty old friend is a shining light

Hiking the abandoned railway tunnels near Namaze

Today I went to somewhere I have been to before, the formerly secret and unofficial abandoned rail tunnel hike near Namaze station.
I say formerly secret, because since I was last here, and since anyone updated the internet, it has become an official hiking trail, and is now fully signposted, toilets installed, maps, safety barriers, rusty bridges replaced with new pedestrian bridges, car parking areas, vending machines, plum blossom grove, bear warnings, distance markers, shoe cleaning stations, blue vested helper old folks, loud speakers playing santa claus is coming to town, umbrella rental, bus stops either end, wheelchair ramps, ramen stand and phone charging point.
Thankfully they left the tunnels unlit, the main reason for going, which allowed me to use my old friend as you will see.
They do sometimes light the tunnels with temporary lighting and turn them into an art gallery, which might be cool.
So there you go, its no longer the risky climbing over dilapidated bridges where you might plummet to your death mildly risky adventure it once was.
I also remember it as being longer, and one website lists it as 14km, you would be lucky if it were 5km. It is now definitely old person friendly, take note mother.

On my way back I continued to re live my adventure from the last time I came here, and stopped at the same huge mall by the Itami airport for lunch, however this time I just had a little sandwich rather than the huge bi bim bap meal like last time, I must maintain my mildly overweight figure!

The train journey to Namaze and back from the station at the end of the hiking trail built inside a tunnel is quite short, but I still had to move 3 times due to mucus concerns.
There was a new highlight, not as great as the previous snot pump, but one guy lifted his mask, raised the sun shade blind thing and sneezed against the window, which was fully coated. He then lowered the blind, tried to clean the window with the blind, lifted the blind to check the success of his cleaning effort, realised he had just created a huge opaque smear of snot, and re-lowered the blind, then sneezed again on the blind, then got up and moved! I was amazed. People will think I am making all this up, I AM NOT, I cant make this up with such spectacular detail.

Upon returning to my hotel, quite early at about 2:30pm, I was in for some more surprises. All the rooms down my hallway were being cleaned, except mine cause I put up the no cleaning required sign. This meant I could see into peoples rooms, and it was an apocalyptically shameful display of filth.
The first room, which someone was still using as their bags were there, had pots of instant noodles everywhere, all over the floor, their contents both cooked and raw, and trampled into the carpet. The dry ones were now powder in places, the cooked ones were now mush. Then there was toilet paper all over the desk, why?
The second room had at least 20 beer cans on the floor, this person had left from what I could tell. The cans were sometimes upright, a few were tipped over with their foamy contents across the floor suggesting they had only just been tipped over, and some were crushed.
The third room still had people in the room watching the cleaners attempt to clean, and they had a pile of wet clothes heaped up like a small mountain in the middle of the floor, REALLY wet clothes, like they had all been soaking in the bath until this very second, there was a pool of water around their pile, on the carpet. There was also 3 people in a room only supposed to be sold as a single room. They looked Japanese, they had golf clubs.
I was genuinely shocked. I half expect the cleaners to hug me with joy after they clean my room, I make my bed, put everything away and zip up my case every time I leave. I only ever use one towel and use all my own toiletries which go back in a zip up bag. I kind of assumed everyone does.

Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Another 'blue' sky day in Japan. I use quotes because it has become badly polluted. And on that note, South Korea recently found out that over 90% of

Another 'blue' sky day in Japan. I use quotes because it has become badly polluted.
And on that note, South Korea recently found out that over 90% of their pollution is domestic, and not blown over from China, NASA did the study, its been big news there for a while.
I therefore expect that the pollution in Japan is all domestic, as its a lot further from China than South Korea, which is a short swim from the very highly industrial parts of northern China where nothing grows.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - I changed lines once on my way to my destination, I enjoy shots like this.

I changed lines once on my way to my destination, I enjoy shots like this.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Once you get off the train, its about a 20 minute walk to the start of the hiking trail. I like those big buildings on the top of the hill.

Once you get off the train, its about a 20 minute walk to the start of the hiking trail. I like those big buildings on the top of the hill.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Its a shame about the pollution. I also read that the water in this river is very badly polluted, and whatever you do, do not be tempted to go for a s

Its a shame about the pollution. I also read that the water in this river is very badly polluted, and whatever you do, do not be tempted to go for a swim, people have reported getting acid burns!
There is also a huge quarry just to the left of this shot destroying a mountain from the top down, still its a nice looking area!
And by the way, the red bridge I am standing on, thats not the way to the hiking trail, do not cross the red bridge, keep going. I knew this, I just wandered across to take photos.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - And now the real hike begins, with huge spectacular rocks in the raging river, and some nice foliage to admire. It would be great for white water raft

And now the real hike begins, with huge spectacular rocks in the raging river, and some nice foliage to admire.
It would be great for white water rafting if the water wasnt sulphuric acid mixed with nerve gas.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - A view back the other way. Ordinarily I say mountains look smaller than they really are, in this shot I say they look bigger than they really are.

A view back the other way. Ordinarily I say mountains look smaller than they really are, in this shot I say they look bigger than they really are.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - This is an example of a new pedestrian bridge thats been installed, and also other people. Lots and lots of other people, on a weekday. The trail must

This is an example of a new pedestrian bridge thats been installed, and also other people. Lots and lots of other people, on a weekday.
The trail must have been added to official Japanese hiking books, there were groups of school kids enjoying an excursion along the trail.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Nice contrast between haze on the left, color on the right.

Nice contrast between haze on the left, color on the right.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - The first tunnel entrance. The first tunnel is straight, you probably dont need a torch, although you do walk over railway sleepers so might trip.

The first tunnel entrance. The first tunnel is straight, you probably dont need a torch, although you do walk over railway sleepers so might trip.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Bumped exposure and shadows, I like these shots.

Bumped exposure and shadows, I like these shots.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Water reflections. Japanese people would FREAK OUT if the water dripped on them, maybe its bad luck or something, but they really get hysterical about

Water reflections. Japanese people would FREAK OUT if the water dripped on them, maybe its bad luck or something, but they really get hysterical about it.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Out the other side and you are in a secluded valley now.

Out the other side and you are in a secluded valley now.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - And now it was time to get out my trusty old friend, the torch. I bought this torch here last time I visited this tunnel. I remembered I had bought it

And now it was time to get out my trusty old friend, the torch. I bought this torch here last time I visited this tunnel.
I remembered I had bought it years ago just before I left for this trip, so carried it all the way back to Japan.
It has not been used at all between trips, I turned it on for 3 seconds before packing it to make sure it still works, original batteries, and it does.
So its waited years between uses, and both times, in the same tunnel.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - The second tunnel is the longer one, about a km long, and it has 2 bends in it, so the middle section is genuinely pitch black. You need a torch. Out

The second tunnel is the longer one, about a km long, and it has 2 bends in it, so the middle section is genuinely pitch black. You need a torch. Out the other side, more secluded valley.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - And more.

And more.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - And another for good measure.

And another for good measure.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Now I am approaching the bridge, it used to require you to climb along a rusty metal gangway down one side....

Now I am approaching the bridge, it used to require you to climb along a rusty metal gangway down one side....


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Now theres a pedestrian wooden bridge right up the middle with the gangways blocked off.

Now theres a pedestrian wooden bridge right up the middle with the gangways blocked off.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Completely derisked.

Completely derisked.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - Just a couple to go, nearing the end here.

Just a couple to go, nearing the end here.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - This is all new, none of this was here last time. Its a car park! Before the only way out was to go up a set of stairs into the train station inside a

This is all new, none of this was here last time. Its a car park! Before the only way out was to go up a set of stairs into the train station inside a tunnel.
Now there is a bus stop.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - I took a knee to protest man-bashing.

I took a knee to protest man-bashing.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - And like I said, I got off at Itami for lunch, to complete my day of doing what I did years ago.

And like I said, I got off at Itami for lunch, to complete my day of doing what I did years ago.


Japan-Hiking-Namaze-Tunnel - The inside of the megamall is very much like you would find in Australia, these do exist in Japan, but not in the middle of cities, only out in the su

The inside of the megamall is very much like you would find in Australia, these do exist in Japan, but not in the middle of cities, only out in the suburbs.
I wrote the same thing here last time I visited the same mall.


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