Hiking in Nagano 2005-08-01
Many images of hiking in Japan include "wooden roads" (narrow board walks constructed through marshes and meadows). We drove into the mountains above Komoro and camped out for a night up there. Nearby a wooden path traced a circle around a marshy meadow. I originally thought that walking on a wooden path would be a not-so-natural experience. That proved to be partly the case. But there were a couple of positives: a) being elevated above the meadow gave us a great view, b) even though we couldn't be "one with the meadow" it was nice that everyone else hadn't been trampling all over the place either, c) the kids had a blast running around in a big circle (which I'm sure parents will appreciate).
Also, there was a dirt trail that led up toward a nearby mountain. True hikers are free to depart for greater adventures. When our kids are bigger, we'll certainly join them.