RSS

Category Archives: walks and places to go

Chichibu Red Buttercups, Ryokami, Ogano

Another favourite place! The “fukujuso” or yellow buttercups are flowering at Mt. Azumaya, Ryokami, Ogano, just behind Ryokami Michinoeki, also called “yakushi-no-yu onsen”. The Robai (“wintersweet”) were also in flower and their fragrance was divine. There are also a a few “Chichibu-beni” red buttercups which the local council is trying to propagate. Move over winter, spring is here. Yey!

Let’s start with yellow!

buttercups at Mt. Azumaya

buttercups at Mt. Azumaya

dear adorable buttercups

dear adorable buttercups

 

Chichibu-beni red buttercups I wonder why

Chichibu-beni red buttercups I wonder why

Chichibu-beni red buttercups at Mt. Azumaya. They flower a little later than the yellow buttercups. dsc00516

See Mt. Buko in the distance.

dsc00510

In the buttercup season the local council opens up this old house as a resting spot.

dsc00520

 

And just to brighten things up, more buttercups:

dsc00507

Come and visit my instagram (neezie1608) for a short video clip.

Advertisements
 

Taiyoji Temple, Chichibu

This is one of the two most beautiful spots in Chichibu, Taiyoji temple in the middle of the mountains of Otaki. A little remote and so peaceful, and the priest so friendly, and his dog so naughty, or playful you could say. Watch out if you take your shoes off, the dog might run off with one and throw it over the cliff! People can come and stay overnight and he teaches meditation in the meditation hall, with its fabulous views of the mountains. He even made an outdoor rock bath for guests.

come and play!

come and play!

Taiyoji Temple main building

Taiyoji Temple main building

Enma-sama

Enma-sama

Enma sama

Enma sama

Apparently in Japan, if a child is naughty, their mother says that Enma-sama (scary God) will come and get them. One friend even showed me an app on their iPad where they could dial up Enma-sama in front of the child and tell him what the child had done, and Enma-sama would answer! I thought that was a bit over-doing it. Way too scary.

dsc00325

 

dsc00334

dsc00327

dsc00332

 

History

History

It seems there has been a temple here since 1313, and it was at one time especially for women, who were banned from setting foot on some of the other sacred mountains and temples. It is amazing to imagine people walking all the way up here centuries ago, in such a mountainous and forested area. It is only a stone’s throw on to Mitsumine Shrine at the top of the mountain, another great spot, but the narrow mountain road is totally overcrowded on some weekends and the first of every month when people go to buy some special charms, as it is being marketed as a “power spot”.

the walk back to the main road

the walk back to the main road

A real power spot.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 8, 2016 in walks and places to go

 

Red Spider Lily!!

We went for a drive today over the mountains to Higashi-Chichibu-mura, a village east of Chichibu, to buy vegetables at the farmer’s market  there as they always have a great variety of local vegetables. Figs were in season as well as many types of mushrooms. The Red Spider Lilies were in bloom along the river in front of the shop and an old guy was trying to pick walnuts from a very tall walnut tree.

dsc00212

dsc00213

Red Spider Lilies

Red Spider Lilies

 

More Red Spider Lilies!

More Red Spider Lilies!

 

The Red Spider Lily!

The Red Spider Lily!

This is the brochure for the red spider lilies at Koma on the Seibu Chichibu train line. The flowers are called “higan-bana” in Japanese as they flower around the “higan” week (a Buddhist holiday or a special time to visit graves) around the autumn equinox.

On our way back from Higashi-Chichibu-mura we went past the wonderful “kogen bokujo” farm on the top of the mountain. Can you see the sign?

One last photograph……..

Chichibu Kogen Bokujo

Chichibu Kogen Bokujo

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 17, 2016 in walks and places to go

 

The “Scarecrows” of Niekawa!

I went for a walk nearby last week and got a big surprise. As I was walking up the deserted lanes, I kept getting a fright, thinking “oh, there’s somebody there!” After a few surprises, it dawned on me that something weird was going on. And it got weirder and weirder, until I found the explanation in a copy of a newspaper article pinned up on the noticeboard at the other end of the street. Apparently the people of Niekawa, not far from  Mitsuminguchi Station, are working hard to create one hundred scarecrows to display around their little village. They seem to be about half way there and are having fun making all kinds of “scarecrows” doing different things, like hunting and fishing. It says they hope the scarecrows will scare the monkeys and boars away too.

Here are some of the “scarecrows.”

DSC00088

 

DSC00089

 

DSC00097

DSC00098

 

DSC00100

 

DSC00111

DSC00080

 

DSC00099

Oh, and this is a real cat!

not a scare(dy)cat

DSC00093

 

And here’s the newspaper article if you need it!

DSC00103

 

DSC00118

 

It’s really quite intriguing! There are more, but I won’t ruin all the surprises.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in walks and places to go

 

Lake Tsuburata, Yorii (near Chichibu)

This is kind of a test run of my new camera. We came upon Lake Tsuburata (actually a dam) by accident when we were out for a drive in Golden Week. It is past its heyday by the feel of things. The hotels over the water are no longer habitable. The lake is used as a fishing spot for wakasagi (pond smelt) and herabuna (some kind of carp). They release the fish and you pay to catch them. It was very quiet and peaceful, with lots of fishing enthusiasts and all their gear, each spaced out along the platforms.

DSC00057

 

Disused hotels at Lake Tsuburata

Disused hotels at Lake Tsuburata

 

 

DSC00059

only resident of the hotel

only resident of the hotel

I’d like to go back for a walk around the lake. It’s about 4.3km around apparently. It would be nice for cycling too as the road goes from Yorii to Misato past Lake Tsuburata and there’s not too much traffic.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in walks and places to go

 

Engawa Festival In Niekawa, Arakawa, Chichibu, November

Each year on the second weekend in November, just when the Autumn turns really chilly, a single street of old houses near Mitsumineguchi Station opens up their “Engawa”, or their “verandas”, to display artworks of local Chichibu amateur and professional artists and craftspeople. It’s a nice stroll, with local children playing drums at lunchtime and some bean buns, noodles or pickles on sale.

Engawa veranda

Engawa veranda

 

 

Engawa veranda

Engawa veranda

 

Stick with me- the pictures are nice!

Niekawa Festival

Niekawa Festival

Local glass blower

Local glass blower

 

Our local glass blower sources his materials from Echuca, Victoria, Australia!

 

Niekawa Festival decorations

Niekawa Festival decorations

 

Niekawa Festival

Niekawa Festival

 

Display of costumes from the Chichibu Mikado Performance of The Mikado, Town of Chichibu (Titipu)

The Chichibu Mikado

The Chichibu Mikado

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 6, 2014 in walks and places to go