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  • Yeah, yeah, mm hmm.

  • Hiking along a river right now, that's just about, sorry, an hour and a half north of Tokyo.

  • You see this happen to stumble across this spot on google maps while working on a previous project about ending villages and kind of, I just wanted to come out here and do some hiking.

  • There's really, really big planes flying overhead.

  • There's no way I'm gonna be able to do it like that is a huge plane.

  • Yeah, yeah.

  • I've actually been hiking through this area for about the last 2 to 3 hours.

  • I'm just trying so hard not to slip right now.

  • This place is called Chichibu and it's just north of Tokyo in an area called saitama.

  • And when most people think saitama, they think the bed town that people live in and commute into Tokyo for work.

  • But Chichibu itself is an area full of mountains and rivers, hiking trails and everything in between.

  • And it's close enough to Tokyo that you can get out here pretty easily.

  • A couple years back.

  • I think I did an entire like ice waterfall out here in Chichibu that was just spectacular.

  • But I am going to be setting up camp here in this area for the night.

  • Green what in the Uh huh mhm.

  • Have you ever seen Totoro?

  • There's this little acorns rolling down the hill, it's really cloudy day when I started today's hike.

  • But The sun came out about 2030 minutes ago and has really, really added to the temperature of things, which is my way of saying I'm incredibly hot.

  • I've secured myself a bit of a space over here, it's already, I'll say a bit more crowded than I'm used to.

  • Usually I go camping out in Nagano which has the highest density of campsites in all of Japan and so it's really easy to get an empty campsite on a weekday because there's just so many campsites probably going to use this area here and set myself up a little hammock in the trees and yes, I am aware that it's not the perfect set up for a hammock but you work with the space that you have.

  • This is actually a really really big hammock by the way like you can feel like tour that you can't even, you can't see it can you?

  • You know what, there's no way to, it's a big hammock that's basically what I'm trying to get it.

  • It's a big hand fire pit and attempt grab this tent last year online for like 50 bucks.

  • Not expecting a lot just like that.

  • It came in a small package he has served me well.

  • Tarp is great for holding space but it's really, really tough every time I've gone camping lately.

  • I've had the camper van with me so it's kind of nice, it's nice just to have the tent this time and to be able to relax out here for a night but it's a lot less camping and a lot more a little bit of food early bed and then waking up to get out to the areas to do some hiking tomorrow.

  • I gotta, I gotta build up the coals here.

  • Okay, mm uh huh, supermarket have this little single serving sauce for ya.

  • Que Nicu or I guess grilled meat.

  • Listen to the hiss from that grill.

  • Okay, mm my food is done tent is all set up and I thought this was totoro at first.

  • Got a little cat buddy, Good night, kitty cat!

  • All right, what's this?

  • Fire dies down.

  • Call it a night, get a, get a reasonable start tomorrow.

  • I was gonna make some coffee here, but here you got real crowded real fast, leaned up, feeling fresh.

  • The drive out here, blue skies the entire time.

  • The second I arrived in the mountains, nothing but great.

  • But I left off at this very spot a few months back and I'm forever going to be curious about this pathway here.

  • Maybe someday I'll come back and I have no idea what is down this path.

  • I don't know if it goes on for two minutes, if it goes on for two hours.

  • But I always told myself that I would come back and check out this spot right here.

  • Starting with this incredibly sketchy broken Britain.

  • That's that's the first challenge.

  • Are we gonna are we gonna die going across the bridge.

  • All right and this right here, this is the pathway.

  • I got to make sure I don't fall off the side over here.

  • Oh wow.

  • I don't even know how far I'm going to be able to go on this to be honest, look at this right up here at some point, there's clearly been a bit of a lance.

  • Whoa!

  • This, this is gonna be a fun little trick and trying so hard not to slip here and I don't know how well it's going to show up on the camera, but there are segments, some of the abandoned villages out here, but let's go this way and try not to die.

  • Mhm This area has actually grown over quite a bit.

  • I don't know how far I'm going to be able to make it on this trail.

  • You know what, I might just go up there.

  • It looks difficult, but you know what?

  • Let's do it.

  • Yeah, yeah.

  • That, yeah, it was not the right direction.

  • I'm gonna go this way.

  • The difficulty hearing is that my slip, there's a bit of a fall.

  • You really can't see how steve things are on video that brings us up to here.

  • And finally the sun is coming out a little so much nicer with the sun whenever I do these hiking adventures, aside from the bear spray and the, that satellite tracker and all the other precautions, not productions precautions that I take is you'll notice I often wear some form of clothing that contrasts with the environment and the nature that I'm in solely in the hopes that if something does go terribly wrong.

  • Like like me down into this precipice that hopefully, hopefully people will be able to find me a little bit easier, simply based off of the, the color of the clothing that I'm wearing.

  • So okay, this, I'm loving this path by the way, like every little bit of this, oh little river down there too.

  • Yeah, so while on the surface this may just look like mountains.

  • You'll notice that there's actually kind of a pathway built along here in some sections and that's because originally these pathways were used to connect different mountain villages, like you can actually see remnants of a village down there and the merchants and traders would go from village to village to share their products or sell their products or sell charcoal and stuff like that and that's how they conducted business and kept area alive.

  • So I'm just trying to find the path that connects down to the next village with without falling down the mountain and die despite being out here in the middle of forests.

  • That poll is for the electrical wires that run down to the next village.

  • Okay.

  • I think, I think we can get down this way.

  • I rolled my ankle hall and this is why you want to come out to places like this in hiking boots.

  • Oh wow, okay.

  • I'm hoping hoping so much that this path actually goes down into this area and doesn't just, I'm, what's he gonna do, dump me out under the roof of this house.

  • It is, isn't it?

  • It's gonna dump me out right into the oh boy, all right, uh huh.

  • Just feels, it just feels so ridiculous to be just pushing through all of this.

  • Oh, you know what?

  • I think this is exactly where I wanted to be.

  • Honestly, it feels ever so slightly anticlimactic for that path just to lead back to a village that I've I've wanted to walk that path for months now and just lead back here, back to a village I've already been to.

  • Like if you're a fairly regular viewer, you may recognize some of these items.

  • I stayed out in this area for two days to hunt down locals who once lived in these abandoned villages and tell their stories, made an entire documentary about it and behind the scenes.

  • But that behind the scenes ended at that pathway where I just was And I've been wondering ever since, where it leads to while I absolutely love doing these videos out in forests and in nature, there's just something that is really, really missed on camera.

  • You can't really capture the beauty of the area.

  • Everything kind of blends together.

  • You don't have that depth perception that you have in real life, like this space here.

  • This in real life has so much depth and contrast and sharp angles and the camera, it doesn't pick it up in the least.

  • It's just hard to really, truly capture and show what it looks like through a camera, which is one of the reasons why I really hope that people will come out here and explore these areas because these mountains for the most part around the world, I am a damn area have just gone pretty much completely abandoned.

  • Even hikers don't come up here, it's not just like the buildings and structures and whatnot that have been abandoned.

  • I met a hiker here last time who said that she'd been hiking for Ever and didn't see anybody, but 10 years ago she used to see people hiking around here and it's become a much more rare sight.

  • This is becoming like a forgotten area and it's so close again to Tokyo, it's just north and to the west of it.

  • It's, it's chicky boo.

  • It's, it blows my mind that a place like this can slowly become lost and forgotten when there's just so much beauty to be seen.

  • You know, I'm gonna get set up, I think I'm gonna walk up this way, get set up and finally have some coffee, a previous trip.

  • I didn't bring a proper cup with me so I'm sure was kind enough to send me actual titanium mug and I love that, Thank you, thank you for that.

  • That should be good and not my favorite little drip coffee bags.

  • Yeah, and this particular one is actually from the abandoned school out in the mountains of shikoku where my body, Yeochan lives.

  • He invited me out recently and he gave me a bunch of coffee are you know?

  • Mhm I um I have what Japanese people call it Nichols dot, which is they call it cat tongue and basically a cat tongue is when you can't handle really hot foods and drinks and that, that 100% that, that just describes my life right there actually one of the nearby villages, there's a super, super sad story that I never got the chance to tell last time About a gentleman who lived in the area and had something like 10 dogs, but a few months ago he passed away all of his dogs, his property, all of it's still there.

  • So people from the local community center and around the area have been going every few times a week to take care of the dogs.

  • I think a lot of them are old and they don't want to take them from the place that they know as home and they're getting fed in everything anyway, but they're still locked up.

  • But it was this whole sad side story that didn't make the final cut of the documentary, but this area is just filled, filled with stories.

  • Yeah.

  • All right.

  • So, I was driving along and there's just like this big old family of monkeys just hanging out on the road.

  • Hi.

  • Uh huh.

  • The very first time that I ever actually found the abandoned village end up leaving because there was a very curious monkey that just kept getting closer and closer and I was like, no, we're not.

  • I'm not, I'm in an abandoned village all alone.

  • I am not having my camera stolen by a monkey.

  • I wrap up for the day and now now we have beautiful blue skies and the sun is fully out and shining this place to me, the fact that I had to come back here and do this.

  • This was the equivalent, this was like the location equivalent to an earworm for me.

  • I could not get this out of my head, slightly anticlimactic, but honestly very, very worth coming out here and doing so.

  • I hope that you enjoyed this little outdoor excursion adventure experience which serves zero purpose outside of just just getting that out of my head.

  • You'd be surprised, genuinely surprised at how often I was thinking about where does that?

  • I also found this spot that I quite love.

  • It's not even really part of the trail.

  • It's just a log beside a wall.

Yeah, yeah, mm hmm.

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A2 hiking area village abandoned path pathway

Inside Japan's Forgotten Forest

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/11/15
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