Driving to the northeast of Nishinoomote, I suddenly came upon a landscape that made me feel like I was lost in a foreign country.
Plants with huge fronds grew thick on both sides of the road.
It appeared that I had arrived in the Cyatheaceae Natural Forest (a species of tree fern).
The ferns grew over a huge area, like a massive botanical garden, spanning 70,000-80,000 sq. m.
With no sign of any dwellings, it was as if I'd stepped into a fern village.
Making an expression like I was bravely cutting through a tropical forest in my Jeep, I slowly drove down the fern road.
Some ferns towered above as if they were ready to attack, while others were cute young ferns just coming out of the ground.
Wow, simply wow.
From their size and wildness, I felt like I was looking at ancient plants.
Had I just traveled back in time?
When I got out of the car to walk around, I noticed how fresh the air was.
I stretched, took deep breaths,
and let the clean air fill my body (so to speak).
Surely I had no reason to worry that dinosaurs would suddenly appear, but any worry that I did have paled in comparison to the joy of walking amongst the ferns and the invigorating air.
Unexpected encounters are the spice of life (and travel).