Friday, January 29, 2016

The Mighty Ookagawa River

I walked the Ookagawa river from Kamiooka train station to where it finally empties itself into the ocean. Why did I do this? Because it had to be done! And, after gaining some weight over the holidays, I needed the exercise.

The trek begins as I depart Kamiooka station and head to the mighty Ookagawa river! I have a song in my heart, a big smile on my face and a camera in my hand. This is going to be fun!

One block from the station and I encounter the Mighty Ookagawa! Hmmm... looks more like a ditch. None the less, toward the ocean I go following the Mighty Ookagawa!

The river twists and turns through the town of Kamiooka.

It's a beautiful day for this journey.

The seagulls have flown several kilometers inland just to great me; or perhaps to see what kind of fool would do what I'm doing.

The river makes it's first big turn just outside of town.

Not to wide, not to deep... calling the Ookagawa a river seems to be an inside joke or something. Perhaps the Japanese language doesn't have a word for creek, stream of drainage ditch.

Makes no matter, I am undeterred,  I continue to go with the flow.

Well, well, well, this is interesting, the river flows under a covered shopping street.

Take me to the river, drop me in the water
 Push me in the water, drop me in the river
Washing me down, washing me down
--Talking Heads

People along the river live in some nice houses.

Nice wide promenade lined with cherry blossom trees.

Moving along the river gets wider and deeper.

Passing under expressways I hear the sound of cars and trucks roaring down the road.

Another curious onlooker.

I should have started counting the bridges that cross over the Ookagawa. There certainly are a lot of them and no two are alike.

Now on the opposite side of the river the the Keikyu train line starts to run parallel to it.

The top of this bridge post is adorned with bronze rings ( at least I think they're bronze) and when one gives them a shove they klang (is klang a word?) like church bells.

One of the really nice things about the Ookagawa river is the availability of public toilets. Small but clean, what more could one ask for?

Recreation! Water sports! Yeehaw!

Not only can one enjoy playing in the river, there are plenty of watering holes along the way too!

As I get closer to the ocean the number of observers increases.

As the river widens and deepens the size of the bridges that cross it also increases in size. This train has just departed Sakuragicho station, Yokohama.

Heck, I'm thinking that Proud Mary ought to be rollin' down the river at any moment.

Now the "Mighty" Ookagawa is in it's final stretch as it flows past the Landmark Tower.

Leaving the Landmark Tower in the rear view mirror the Ookagawa makes the final push into...

...the ocean! Yeah baby! This is it! I got sore feet and tired legs; and, I've also got a big grin on my face along with a feeling of satisfaction. I think it's time to break out the beer and celebrate!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Visiting Yamanashi Prefecture

Back on the road for a return visit to Yamanashi prefecture.

By taking country roads that are less traveled we discover great scenic views like this view of Mt, Fuji and lake Yamanakako.

The road less traveled.

Now for the road frequently traveled like this lake shore parking area for tourist.

The sunny side of life.

One final shot of Mt. Fuji before moving on.

Next up we went to a temple in the town of Enzan.

Temple grounds are a great place to stroll around and absorb the air of tranquility.

Nothing but peace and quiet.

This small pond on the temple grounds was already frozen over with ice.

This structure was the gateway to the main building.

A view through the gate.

I am not alone. Another man saying a prayer.

I enjoy the details. Many of these things must surly have some deep meaning that is lost on me; but I don't care. I just enjoy the simple beauty of these things and move on.

Iron hinges on the door.

Moss, stones and water; in this sort of surrounding one can begin to think clearly and reflect on one's inner feelings.

I've been here before, I'll come here again; but for now I'll say goodbye to the temple and move on to the town of Isawa.

This time of year Isawa is a bit drab. Cold, gray, not a single leaf on the cherry trees... I love it!

This stream runs through the hotel district and provides visitors with a plesant place to walk and enjoy the sound of the running water.

In the spring when the cherry trees are in blossom this place is transformed into a magical paradise.

This is where things get interesting. Sunday afternoon I took this picture of the front of the hotel where we were staying.It  was an excellent hotel. The hot spring fed baths were perfect, the food was simple yet tasty and the service was 5 star. We went to sleep that night in a warm comfortable room with a great feeling of contentment.

Egad! The next morning when I looked outside I discovered about a foot of snow on the ground.

A snow storm had raged through the night while we were sleeping snugly in our warm futons.
Well, luckily my Suzuki Jimny is equipped with 4-wheel drive. And, after a very long 8 hour drive we arrived safely home.

Thanks for stopping by!