May, 2015

This page is written monthly
by Harumi Okochi.
Sometimes Harumi's friends join.
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our previous issues.


Invitation to Karatsu "Olle" Trail

 Hello, there!
It's May! The most beautiful season of the year!
Why don't you join in walking Karatsu "Olle" trail ?

"Olle Kil" is a Korean word. It means a narrow way to home.
In Jeju Island, this Olle Kil is now in a boom. Many Korean people, who are healthy enough to walk 4 or 5 hours, enjoy trekking in the nature. Now we have "Kyushu Olle", and Karatsu course is one of the authorized courses in Kyushu. The headquarter of Jeju Olle gives recognition after careful researches.
Many Korean people have come to Karatsu just for walking this Olle Kil. How I wish I can walk here myself, but my weak legs do not allow me a long walk.

So, a friend of mine, Mr. Kunihisa Matsuo, walked this course in April instead of me, and wrote a report on it.
Please enjoy walking together with him.
Before starting, I would like to remind you that this district is a historical site. In 1592, Shogun Hideyoshi started his foolish invasion to Korean Peninsula, intending to take China. His 'Daimyo's were assembled on this small cape together with 200,000 soldiers. They crossed the sea from this port.
After 7 years of desperate battles, Hideyoshi gave up his illusion and died. This was the saddest history between Korea and Japan.
In this Olle course, you will pass some of the cites of the old camps of famous Daimyos. By visiting this course, you will enjoy the beauty of nature, and also you will know some history of 400 years ago.

Now, let's go!

   Signposts here and there tell about the historic sites.
   Olle Kil course marks
 The map of Karatsu Olle course.
① is the start, and ⑮ is the goal.
In between, there are 13 passing points in 11.2km.

Follow the numbers and see the pictures of the points.
This building is called "Momoyama Tenka Ichi", and this is a kind of market.
Here, the sightseeing information center gives you the map of Olle course.
You can park your car here free.
   Point 1
The gate to the Olle Kil
   The way goes up and down in the trees.
   Point 2
Daimyo Maeda Toshiie's camp site.
This stone with a hole in it is the basement where the flag was raised.
   Maeda was one of the most important ministers of Hideyoshi.
   To go to the Point 2, you walk on a way between fields.
   Point 3
Daimyo Furuta Oribe's camp site
   Furuta was one of the apprentices of Sen-no-Rikyu, the tea-master of the time. Furuta was especially interested in pottery, and had a big influence on the development of Japanese pottery.
His camp site was designed aesthetically.
Point 4
Daimyo Hori Hideharu's camp site. He was only 16 years old when he joined this war with 6000 soldiers.
   Hori's camp was biggest next to Hideyoshi's Castle.
   On Hori's site, the remains of a residence and a tea house were found.
   Point 5
The old way from Hori's camp to the Main Castle.
400 years' history deeply remains here.
   Point 6
Tea House Kaigetsu is a new facility, where you can enjoy tea.
Hideyoshi loved tea ceremony, and his way of tea was a strategy for his subordinates' absolute obedience.

Please have a rest here and think about human karma over a bowl of green tea.
   After a short rest, you walk along the pond.
Point 7
Nagoya Castle Ruins
This castle was built in 1592 to prepare for the intended war. And for 7 years this was the forward base until the death of the dictator Hideyoshi.
In spring, cherry blossoms are quite beautiful here.
   Hokoji Temple
Near the Castle, there is a temple, and here remains an old cherry tree which is said to be the tree Hideyoshi planted himself.
   Point 8
Mugihara Village
Farmers houses
   Point 9
Pottery Kiln
   Point 10
Shonen Sizen-no-Ie
Public facility for youth to stay
   Point 11
Uesugi Kagekatsu's camp site
One of the most important ministers of Hideyoshi
He was the vanguard of the battle in the Korean Peninsula.
   Point 12
Cape Hado
Trekking way
   Cape Hado camping site
   Point 13
Shimazu Yoshihiro's camp site
Remains were seen on the hill.
Stone walls in the trees
Point 14 and 15 (Goal)
Cape Hado swimming beach and the parking lot
You can eat grilled top-shell sold at the parking.


Well, you have walked the whole course!

Now you go back to the center of Karatsu and stay overnight at Yoyokaku.
Have a good rest and sleep off your fatigue!

Thank you friends for joining in Olle trekking.
I hope you will visit this page again next month.

Thank you very much for joining me.
I hope you will visit us again next month.

 Mail to Harumi Okochi