One weekday I decided to try the Eco trail at Settsukyo, my usual hiking spot, instead of the central trail I usually do. I stopped at a coffee shop called Champs Elysses first as It was raining and I wanted to wait it out. Plus I had been intrigued – when I went to France with CISV, we sang the song all the time. I ordered a Royal Milk Tea. I asked what is was before and didn’t understands the reponse. I thought j did – thought I was getting tea with frothed steamed milk. Actually it was just tea with milk in it in a fancy porcelain tea cup instead of a regular tea cup. Haha. $6.50 maybe not so well spent but it was an adventure! The ambience was s cross between funky 60’s decor, grandma lace with a modern rock station playing. The only other patron was a university student and he happily chain smoked and chatted with the cook and the server. I was amused by watching a Coke employee restock a vending machine outside. The van had different sliding panels on the sides and the back lifted up in a way I had never seen before – it folded in half sticking out. The smoke got to me so I headed off.
So I ventured off at the Maple Valley into Eco trail. It began with stairs and then a small viewing platform them more stairs. After a sweaty while, it was a regular trail and it came out at a camp. The map there for some reason didn’t seem to have the Eco Trail so I took what I thought was the trail. It was not used. The trail was hard to see, just a small area where the leaves lead me. Eventually I came to a steep slope into what I call the tree cemetery. I usually go through the tree cemetery (there is tonnes of stacked wood covered in thick clear plastic. The plastic gets hot and emits a somewhat unpleasant and very distinct smell), but this was approaching from another angle and there was a rope to help get down the slope. Fun! From there it was the same trail as usual but I enjoyed my little exploration. Gotta love hiking in Japan.