Walking from Shimo-Soga to Kozu Station.
Friday I had a job near Shimo-Soga station in Odawara. It was only in the morning, so afterwards, I decided to walk up into the hills that border Odawara to the North-East and walk to Kozu Station. Kozu is on the JR main line railway, whereas, Shimo-Soga is on the Gotemba Line and has few trains.
I've been walking around those hills for the last ten years on and off, mainly in plum blossom season, which the Soga area is very famous for. If you can come here in the middle of February, you can see some wonderful orchards, temples surrounded by blossoms and festivals, all with the backdrop of Mt. Fuji on a clear day.
Anyway, the hills are lined with little roads and tracks and there are a lot of small but interesting things to see. There are hiking signs all over the hills and mountains in the Odawara area, and this place is no exception. There are many plum trees around and Odawara is famous for umeboshi, pickled plums. Its also famous for Mikan and the satsuma oranges grow on innumerable trees which spread across these hills. Right now, they are all being picked by the many elderly owners of the orange groves dotted over these hills. There are also kiwi-fruits growing around here too. Its a very productive area, despite being on steep hills. Here are a few pictures. The walk took about 2 hours 30 minutes and, as it was a pretty sunny day, was warm, but not hot, being December.
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