Kamikochi 上高地

After leaving Hida Furukawa, I stayed at Hida Takayama Tenshoji YH. The YH was run by a temple, Tenshoji. I met visitors from different countries such as France, Australia and USA at the YH.
I went to Norikuradake by bus. Snow remained some places. It was cold. Then I went to Hirayu Onsen (hot spring). The water was white, smelled sulfur. I took a outdoor bath, listening birds’ songs. It was great!
Then I went back to Takayama. A local woman told me “You should take a walk around Sanmachi (consisted of traditional wooden houses) at night.” I followed the advice. The old lamps lit vaguely at each front door. It was quiet and beautiful.
The next day, I went to Kamikochi by bus. I needed to change buses at HirayuOnsen, but it took one and a half hours to get Kamikochi. It was closer than I had thought.
It was beautiful weather. Many swallows were flying swiftly above us.

飛騨古川の後、飛騨高山のひだ高山天照寺YH で一泊。世界各地からの旅人が集まっていた。
1日目は、バスで乗鞍岳へ。雪がまだ残っていた。涼しい! その後、平湯温泉で野鳥の声を聞きながら乳白色湯の露天風呂につかり、高山へ戻る。地元の人のおすすめ、日が落ちた後に古い町並みを歩く。昼間と違い静かで、玄関の丸い電球がぽわっと光を放つ。幻想的でした。
その夜、上高地まで1時間半くらいで行けることを知り、フランス人の女性からガイドブック(lonely planet)をかりて、情報収集。

The last photo is Norikuradake.


Shinhotaka 新穂高

I had planed to go to Hirayu Onsen (hot spring) on my way to Hida Furukawa. But it was so beautiful weather, I changed the plan, I headed to Shinhotaka Ropeway.


I changed ropeways at the middle station, then I arrived at the top of ropeway. It was 2156m high! I could see lots of mountains from there. I wanted to walk on the path led to the mountains, but I didn’t have enough equipment for hiking of high mountains. I enjoyed the magnificent view from the station. There were many amateur photographers.


I took the ropeway, went down to the middle station. There were the visitor center, shops, restaurants and onsen (hot spring). I took a outdoor bath, I was able to see mountains from the bath. It was so nice!

Then I walked around.


Hida Furukawa 飛騨古川

It was in May 2004. I went to Hida Furukawa, Hida Takayama and around them. I stayed at Hida Furukawa YH on the first night. I met a couple from Shizuoka Prefecture who just knew about YHs and tried to stay for the first time. They said they liked staying at YH, because they could meet and talk to new people. I also met Eriko from Shikoku. We talked a lot at the night.
The next day, the owner of the YH took us to the middle of Furukawa. He guided us for 2 hours.


Each local people tried to keep their town beautiful.

Many carps were swimming in the canals.

This rice field was just in front of the YH. It was quiet.
There were much more beautiful and unique places in Hida Furukawa.
But I didn't take photos. You can find out when you visit there.


Kumejima 久米島

It was in April 2005. My co-worker said “Okinawa is ideal place for holiday. Have you heard of Hate-no-hama? It’s said very beautiful. I want to go there someday.” A few weeks later, I happened to get three days off. I looked up Hate-no-hama on the guidebook, I knew it was close to Kumejima in Okinawa. And I saw a photo of Tatamiishi that looked like the shell of turtle. I thought "I want to see Tatamiishi!!".
I flew to Kumejima via Naha.
I had booked a guesthouse (minshuku) Minshuku Ifu. One of the family ran it picked me up at the airport, took me to the minshuku. After I took a rest and planed for the day, I rented a motorbike (50cc scooter), I went around Kumejima.
I visited the pottery of Kumejima-yaki. Children were making their own bowls. Then I went to Uezuke, Gomatsu-no-eda, Obake-zaka(ghost slope). Obake-zaka was very mysterious… It looked upward slope, but my engine-stopped motorbike went down… I tried again and again.


I headed to the coast. There were lots of white lilies. I visited one place called Nettaigyo-no-ie (house of tropical fish), I could see many colorful fish from the beach.


Tatamiishi 畳石

Finally I went to Tatamiishi. It was low tide, so I could see it. (I didn’t think about the tide. You might not be able to see it at high tide.) I had not seen such strange and incredible scenery. It seemed like man-made.
There was Umigame-kan just behind the beach. Turtles were protected and bred. They were so cute.
I didn’t have time to go to Hate-no-hama. I’d like to go there next time.


Juniko 十二湖

I got email from my friend. He wrote “I visited a waterfall in Nishizawa Keikoku. The water was a color blue that I have never seen before. “ It reminds me Aoike.
There is Juniko (12 lakes) in the west of Aomori Prefecture. Juniko is at the foot of Shirakami-Sanchi the World Heritage.
Aoike is one of them, most beautiful lake.
I visited more than 10 years ago. The water was clear and blue. I thought It was like put a drop of blue ink into the water. It was difficult to me to leave Aoike.


It took 15 minutes to get to Juniko from JR Juniko station by bus. This photo was in front of the station. There was also clear water. I remember I saw small hermit crabs for the first time at the beach…
I’ve heard of a hot spring just next to seashore (on the seashore?) near there. You might be able to see the sunset, hear the sound of the waves from the outdoor bath.



Takisaka-no-michi 滝坂の道

I left Todaiji, I went to Kasugataisha, then I headed to Takisaka-no-michi. It’s a part of Yagyu-kaido that people used to use as a shortcut between Nara and Yagyu in old times.
I expected there were lots of hikers because that day was the middle of “Golden Week”. But I met less than 30 people.
I was alone almost all the time. I felt something mysterious and spiritual.
I walked up the path paved with stones along a stream. I could see lots of small waterfalls and cascades. They were so beautiful.


Asahi Kannon

Kubikiri Jizo

Kasugayama Sekkutsubutsu
They were in a cage, protected from deer and human being??
I kept on walking to Enjo-ji, then I came back to the city by bus.



Nigatsudo Temple 二月堂

May 1st, I left Nara YH at 7 am. I wanted to take a walk without lots of tourists.
At first, I visited the tomb of the Emperor Shomu which was a mound covered with woods. It was quiet.
Then I was walking toward to Nigatsudo, I met lots of children and their teachers. It seemed they were on the school trip.
Nigatsudo is famous for the water-drawing ceremony (OMIZUTORI) in March. I've seen the ceremony on TV. It was impressive. The monks were holding torches and ran along the hall. It made "fire falls". The visiters tried to get the sparks of torches. They believed that if they got the sparks they would be healthy.

まわりには、三月堂、四月堂。 小学生達が過ぎ去った後は、とても静か。

This building stood near Nigatsudo. It's a storage facility made of logs as same as Shousouin.
I haven't seem Shousouin, so I imagined what Shousouin looked like. It's much smaller than Shousouin, though.


This is Todaiji Temple the Emperor Shomu orderd the construction in the 8th century. Daibutsu in the building was huge.
The ceremony for the Emperor Shomu was held on that day.