I followed a group who stood near this sign and didn't do anything. Eventually, I decided to follow the path and see what happened.
It was the right path! But after a few minutes, I was surrounded by the sound of bells. Then I found out why - bear bells set around the forest.
Had a nice chat with a bicyclist, and then headed on down the path.
Did I say down? Because suddenly I was going up.
I think it was close to a mile of climbing. Augh!
Although Magome was crowded, the trail was pretty empty. I saw a German lady along the way. We were both surprised at the lack of people!
As I continued climbing, I had a nice chat along the way. It was a good opportunity to take a break.
Eventually, I realized that I wasn't going up anymore. There was much rejoicing in the land.
Then I saw an interesting sign.
I don't know if you can see it or not, but I crossed into Nagano Prefecture during the hike. That's the second time I've walked into another prefecture since I've been here!