An active gypsy adventure: What you find when you push yourself to climb

It’s not often I have passengers that put their hand up to join me for a morning workout so when they do I want to make it worth their early rise and try to make it a trip highlight. From Tokyo to Nikko, this is quite the contrast, 30million people in Tokyo and Nikko a population of 17000, Tokyo’s sky scrapers and Neon lights fill the sky and traffic and technology can be heard but here in Nikko the sky is lit by the stars and the moon, with old cedar trees stretching high, many of them protected themselves for their age, and you wake to the sound of the Daiya rivers flowing rapids outside your room.
We arrived in the night so this morning at 6:30am would be the first time Natalie would see Nikko’s beauty and how lucky we were with blue skies, and the ground and plants moist from the previous night’s rainfall it almost shimmered in the sunlight. We ran North heading past the grand gardens of the Imperial Villa and up into the mountains. The rivers calming sounds followed us the whole way up getting louder as we ran higher almost calling us to keep going, small shrines would also guide us forward through the winding steep forest. Then there it was, an old Tori gate indicating we had reached a shrine and its stone steps led us up to its peak, as we looked over we had reached the calling sound of Jakko waterfall. It was more powerful then I last remembered from the rainfall of this wet season. Natalie and I stripped off our sweaty running gear into our bathing suits, we balanced our body taking each step with caution over the slippery rocks, the cold water shot through our bodies, (the best kind of alarm) to wake us completely body and mind we were completely aware. A tree branch lied across the front of the waterfall so we could step directly under it and still feel secure to hold onto the tree, the cold water continuing to energize us like electricity flowing through each segment of our tired bodies. We laughed with joy, this girl I had known for less than 24hours and now sharing this beautiful experience with. We decided to take our time back down, leaving our shoes off to walk over the rocks using it as a reflexology walk to calm and open our senses to the earth, connecting brain to body and trusting the messages being sent to adjust our postures and movements for each step. As we ran down the air was thick filling our lungs. What was only an hour felt like so much longer, I soaked in the onsen warming my body, my heart still beating steady from my morning’s adventure. Bring on the day and bring on more adventures to share and deliver to my new group of passengers touring Japans wonder.
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Published by jdv05

I'm an Exercise Scientist leading Personal Training and active tours around Parks Victoria protected spaces of Warburton and the Mornington Peninsula. A lover all things movement, incorporating nature into our sessions and personal workouts. I spent 2014 in Japan working as a tour guide and researching trails and writing active trips for both Australia and Japan. I enjoy competing in fun runs and trail runs, with my favourite being the Two Bays trail run. You can check out some of my workouts and fitness tips on my personal blog, www.getfitadventurept.com Qualifications include: Bachelor in Sport and Exercise Science, Certificates III and IV in fitness, Level 1 instructor in Mat Pilates, Wild fitness trainer, Level I and II boxing instructor, Surf instructor.

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