Saturday, September 24, 2011

[jules' pics] Our summer holiday in pictures

Day 1

The reward for successfully taking a tandem on the Shinkansen was a succulent steak in ugly rainy Sendai.


View from our hotel room in famously beautiful Matsushima Bay.


Day 2

Zuigan-ji temple, Matsushima.


Zuigan-ji, Matsushima

Then into the countryside, where the shrines are a little more rudimentary. It was still raining. Hard.

A shrine in a field

At Naruko Onsen there was no shortage of food, baths and towels for hungry wet cyclists.


Day 3 

On the road in the rain to somewhere... Convenience stores appeared as shining havens. The normally inedible hot tinned coffee and snacks became delicious. And they had pristine dry toilets.


That night we stayed in the temple on top of Haguro-san
Saikan on Haguro-san

We had 2 rooms. A bedroom and a tearoom. The building rattled in the wind but the tired tandemmers  slept soundly through the typhoon.
Saikan on Haguro-san

Day 4 

Touring the temple (Actually the first shot below was taken on the way out on Day 5). 
Main shrine

Gosaiden temple, Haguro-san

Gosaiden temple, Haguro-san

Gosaiden temple, Haguro-san

Pilgrims should climb the 2446 stairs to the shrine on the top of Haguro-san, but this was hardly practical with a loaded tandem so we had innocently headed up the toll road. Thus we climbed down and back up.
stairs up Haguro-san

There were lots of trees and things, and it didn't rain all the time.
Minami Dani 

 To prove we did it, here's a five-storied pagoda sits near the bottom of the stairs.
Fice-storied pagoda

Day 5
As we headed home the sun came out briefly, and the rice fields started to glow.

The local railway station at Kiyokawa was unmanned and unmachined. We didn't pay a penny until we got off the Shinkansen in Tokyo.

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 9/24/2011 04:04:00 PM


David B. Benson said...


Just wow.

[I'm doing my best to supress my envy.]

Anonymous said...

You were in my neck of the woods when I was back in the UK!

Naruko's one of my favourite Onsen Towns - has a volcanic caldera at the top of the mountainside that it rests upon - and a lovely big dam on the opposite side of the river valley waiting for some big tremor to hit it ;)

There's a nice dilapidated riverside park there too.

I've been to Haguro a few times too - did you cycle down Route 47 to get to it?

No visit to the living mummies?

James Annan said...

Didn't actually see anything of Naruko Onsen, except the inside of a hotel and the inside of my rain-covered spectacles! Yes we basically went straight across on 47, not the nicest road in the world but quite bearable. I think on balance I'm quite pleased I didn't know about the mummies, so had no chance of seeing them :-)

Steve said...

Yes, beautiful photos as usual.

I love onsen meals like that one.

Steve Bloom said...

Sounds like a lovely trip, but weren't there any signs to warn you off of the glowing rice fields? :)

Steve Bloom said...

Also, I'd been vaguely wondering where those Pringle's chips might have been acquired, but that little mystery has been solved.

I knew some folks years ago who had a (Bob's in the U.S.) Big Boy fetish based on having met as teenagers in one in L.A. There house was filled with suitable paraphernalia, capped off by a large high ceiling with a Sistine Chapel-like rendition of The Big Boy.

Those folks were clearly misguided. As I believe JF will also aver, the true fast food doghead looks like this.

jules said...

I didn't realise BigBoy was a brand of International significance. Looking at the menu of the US versions online, it seems completely different. The one we went to was mostly steak, freshly cooked and presented sizzling on a hot metal plate with vegetables, plus a few pasta dishes for thse who didn't want steak. There was hamburger meat but I don't think they had hamburgers in buns at all. This style is a standard restaurant style in Japan. Weird that a US brand would morph itself into a Japanese style. It's like KFC becoming a tonkatsu restaurant or something!


James Annan said...

The glowing wasn't really intrinsic, but was added in post-processing :-)

Steve Bloom said...

Come to think of it, the Big Boy had that Japanese comic book look at a very early date. Perhaps that's what appealed to whoever licensed it in Japan?

Steve Bloom said...

And yes, KFC adheres to an ancient tradition, buckets and all.