Monthly Archives: December 2011

Dinosaur footprints in Ueno-mura, Gunma

Yabadabadooh! These are genuine dinosaur footprints found on the side of National Route 299 in Ueno, Gunma Prefecture, which is just over the border from Ogano, Chichibu. Ueno also has a great Dinosaur Museum with even better dinosaur shaped climbing frame for kiddies in the carpark!


dinosaur footprints


dinosaur footprints


nice explanation signboard in English


circles the footprints


Dinosaur loo is cordoned off over Winter because the water pipes might freeze!

dinosaur toilet!


i woz here



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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in fun stuff


December 09: Today’s Weather!

An early snowfall and it is very quiet. Although the bamboo cracking under the snow sounds like shots fired.


natural refrigeration!


Next door!


outside the kitchen



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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in fun stuff


Drying Persimmons

Late November, after the frosts have come, is the time for hanging out persimmons to dry. Not partial to them myself but they must be so good for you!  The monkeys are partial to them though, and the birds, and the old people around here!


Drying persimmons


Persimmons drying




Autumn leaves and Nandina

Autumn scenery at Temple 30 (Shiroku, Chichibu)


Nandina at Temple 30



Watch your step!



Nandina (Nanten) at Temple 30



Nandina, bamboo, Gingko carpet


Kaniwa Cave, Chichibu

KANIWA CAVE, Otaki, Chichibu, Saitama, Japan

Kaniwa- literally Garden of the Gods

View from Kaniwa Cave


Kaniwa Cave

The sign shown in my previous post basically says Kaniwa cave was formed about 50,000 years ago by erosion of the limestone schist by the Arakawa river which you can see below the cave. Three different surveys have uncovered relics from the Jomon era as well as later periods, suggesting the cave was used as a dwelling over a long period of time. In particular, stone implements from the beginning of the Jomon Period (around 12,000 years ago) including stone spear heads and scrapers were found, along with earthenware which is among the oldest discovered in Japan.

As the cave is limestone, archeologists discovered well preserved human bones, as well as bones of animals such as monkeys, bears, boar, rabbit, tanuki raccoon dogs, kamoshika (Japanese serow), squirrels, flying squirrels and fish (salmon family). Some of the bones showed evidence that stone tools had been used to presumably kill and eat the animals.

The blurb says the cave is valuable for what it can tell us about the Jomon period way of life. To me it is a nice place to go and wonder what life must have been like deep in the forest in the steep and sparsely inhabited mountains thousands of years ago. What did they think about before they went to sleep in the cave? Probably the same thing we do, we must find a bigger cave and furnish it better with animal skins. Or how am I going to sleep with cold feet? Jomon cave dwellers with cold tootsies!

Now for my favourite sign at the beginning of the walk: In a nutshell it says ‘anything could happen.’

Anything could happen!


It says you could face all kinds of dangers, probably most likely slipping from the path. So the path is closed from mid-December until early April as it is likely to be icy in Winter.


Kaniwa Garden of the Gods


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Posted by on December 4, 2011 in fun stuff