I am planning a trip to Japan this year and recently I found out about the Michinoku Coastal Trail from this website: https://www.michinokutrail.com/
. I fell in love with the idea of hiking the trail with a tent, but I have some doubts that I would like to clear before making my final decision. I contacted the aformentioned website's owner who hiked the trail, but I unfortunately haven't got any response so far :-(
Firstly, let me give you some information that I believe are relevant:
1. I plan on hiking the trail for 2-3 weeks between mid September and mid October, beginning in Hachinohe. I don't have any specific dates settled.
2. I started learning Japanese a year ago, so by the time I hike the trail my Japanese will still be lousy. I am not sure if I will be able to cover everything at JLPT N5 level by then.
On to the questions, shall we?
1. I am a bit afraid of the weather. I studied last year's weather conditions in Tohoku in September and October and it seems like it can get pretty cold at night and it might rain a lot, especially in September. My biggest fear is that I will get soaked and there won't be any place to dry off my clothes.
2. I read that the region is not a popular tourist destination. Because of this I imagine few people will speak conversational English and my Japanese will be not good enough for most things. Could this be a problem? Of course if there is Internet access, I can use a translator, although:
a) there might not be an Internet connection at some places
b) using a translator all the time is annoying, especially to the person you are talking with
3. There is an official website where you can download maps for the whole trail (http://tohoku.env.go.jp/mct/sp/english/
). Each map covers one section and usually displays a one day trip. The first website that I mentioned includes a map of accommodation. It has some campgrounds listed, but:
a) there are just a few of them, so there is no way to camp at a campground every day when sticking to the official trail maps
b) the campground locations do not correspond to where the maps end for particular sections, although this is not a big deal - I don't have to always strictly follow the official trail maps' schedule
4. The website's author lists all the things that he packed for the trip. It includes a rope for hanging clothes. Given that it may rain and/or be cold, I am afraid that I won't be able to dry my clothes in this way. Are there any laundries along the way? As far as I can see, there are no big cities along the trail, so I presume finding one might be problematic.
Any answers are more than welcome!