Sunday, 5 May 2013

Golden Week 1 Chichibu

On Friday I took advantage of the Golden Week respite and took up the intrepid Rurousha on a suggested visit to Chichibu. I'd been there before, but not really been there temple hopping. It's one of Japan's more famous pilgrim circuits, but it's a place that there is very little English information about.  It's a very pleasant Tokyo day trip, or weekend or even a few days.    Thanks Rurousha for being so organised with maps and planning.  My effort is bread rolls and chilling the umeshu... Tune in to her blog if you want to learn anything about the place.
Kumagaya station - I've been told Kumagaya is one of the few places in
Japan where you don't have to actively look for trouble to find it.
The Chichibu line crosses the JR Takasaki line / Joetsu line at Kumagaya

As is often the case the human wildlife is as notable as
anything you might find in the forest...  This couple was
decked out in hikers uniform. (In Japan there is a common perception
that unless you have all the gear, you can do a hobby adquately.
I am not sure that microfibre leggings, hiking books, walking sticks,
strap on waterbottles etc are all that necessary for a stroll along a walking
path... but never mind..
Retro Chichibu line
Hagure station on the Chichibu line
Places in close / walkable proximity of Hagure station
Can't go on a trip without photographing the drain covers.
Very thoughtful labelling of the ways to the temples.
fortunately we didn't need to rely on English - especially
when you have a walking companion who is extremely adept
at planning and the use of google maps.
A Japanese version of a Tim Winton novel.  Wisteria draping over
the front fence and clothes hanging on the line.
White and purple wisteria, no pink.  It is abundant in the mountains here.
I don't think I'd ever considered wisteria as a plant that could grow naturally somewhere...
Beautiful Bamboo behind sho rin ji
Check for photos that might
come close to doing it justice.
Considering it was a national holiday, not a whole lot of
people about.
The map of the area
The fishing pond was peaceful, but more people than most places we came across.
Catching fish in a fishing pond seems a bit like baiting goldfish in a fish tank....
maybe I miss the point. 
Cheerful spring flowers
More hiking
More drains
Another 31 temples left on this pilgrim trail..


Rurousha said...

Australia has won this race. (Rugby match? Pub brawl?) I haven't even started writing my Chichibu post yet.

Who needs water if you can have chilled umeshu? Heck, who needs hiking boots if you're fuelled by chilled umeshu?!

Kumagaya is a trouble spot? (@_@) I demand to go back immediately to cause trouble! :D

Thank you very much for allowing me to hijack you. As my students always say, it was a fun! ^^

PS: I'm totally not adept at planning. I'm just very good at following the elephant droppings.

Cecilia said...

Hmmm ... No-one reading this is going to learn anything about Chichibu, temples, pilgrimages, how to get there, or anything anything else useful - that's what your blog is for ;)

Ume shu in the freezer is a stroke of genius.

It was a very enjoyable day.

Arigato gozaimasu.

Rurousha said...

I'll do my best to write a post ASAP, but there's also the post about the boobs shrine ...

Cecilia said...

Boobs come first, no question.