Thursday, June 22, 2017

Akita Vacation (Part 1)

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N! That's it, that's what we want! So, off to Akita prefecture we went. First stop was the town of Kakunodate. 

This is where they sell locally made soy sauce.

Inside is real nice.

Since I was traveling with six women this was a must see place.While I was taking pictures they were busy buying soy sauce.

Products on display.

After the shopping frenzy was over it was time for a walk around the town.

We walked, other tourist opted for a rickshaw ride.

Looks like fun.

More local products being sold at a corner shop. Udon noodles.

This is where we stayed for the first couple of days.

It's called Zenikawa Onsen.

It was nice to wake up to the sound of this mountain stream in the morning.

View from the front.

More sight seeing. Ancient village site.

Getting back to our roots. Well, somebodies roots.

One of the nice things about Akita is that there is plenty of wide open space.

And, we walked all over that wide open space.


We were told that this is also an ancient burial site. So, we said a silent prayer asking forgiveness for stomping around all over the place.

Knowing that it was an ancient burial site made it like walking across a mine field without mines.

I'm loving the green color here.

Another day another place to visit. Lake Towada.

On the boardwalk.

This is peaceful.

A lakeside statue of two naked women about to touch each other. There was also a large group of giggling school girls. You can't make this stuff up. I love it!

The nature trails around the lake are spectacular.

Deep in the woods we find the entrance to a Shinto shrine.

At least I think it's a shrine. Either way it's nicely tucked away deep in the forest.

Time to make a wish.

Nice trees.

Another day, another place to visit. Welcome to Tamagawa Onsen.

They say the waters of Tamagawa Onsen can help cure cancer.

Sulfurous steam erupts out of the ground everywhere.

To the right of the picture is a small yellow crater constantly belching out steam

The sound is like a small jet engine.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the Akita adventure vacation!

Thanks for stopping by!
Mike

Monday, June 12, 2017

Vacation In Oita Prefecture (Part 2)

The journey continues.

A visit to Usa Jingu (Shrine). Man...that is a big Tori gate!

The best part of visiting a shrine is all the serene atmosphere one can soak up and enjoy while walking around the grounds.

Orange is the color.

Write a wish and make a prayer.

The weather on this day was about as good as it gets.

They say there's a pretty girl behind every tree. Looks like it's true.

Emi is checking out the wall of prayers.

The silence is blissful. We didn't want to leave... but we did.

Next up was a visit to Fukiji Temple: It's the oldest wooden architecture in Kyushu.

More of the serenity thing going on here.

I can't read any of this but it sure looks cool; and it's old too!

Next temple: Maki Odo! What caught my eye in this picture was the pristine Nikon film camera this guy had slung over his shoulder.

We are on a roll, this is the next place on our high speed travel agenda: Kumano Magaibutsu.

After walking up an ungodly amount of stone steps I arrived at the Temple (I was completely winded and covered in sweat, dang! this is fun!). Clap your hands, bow, say a prayer, then move on.

Last stop on our mega tour day: Futagoji Temple

Okay, this place is really nice.

Plenty of stone statues around here.

Fancy moldy rope around scared tree: check!

There's stuff behind every stone here.

Time to head for the bus and call it a day - we were exhausted.

Another day and more to see and do. Beppu train station.

Slowing the pace down today, a visit to a local coffee shop.

Walking along a river, still some Cherry blossoms on the trees.

In Beppu city there is no shortage of small bath houses.

Emi is enjoying the foot massage circle walk.

Time for lunch. This was the second time for us to eat in this Soba restaurant (that's not us in the picture, they're strangers).


When I'm on vacation anything goes! Yes, that includes an ice cold beer with my lunch.


And, now some pictures of Kannawa. Just me and my camera on a morning walk around the sleepy little town we called home for 5 days.

Natural hot spring food steamers. Steaming hot 24 x 7.

This is a lovely little town.

Wild flowers on every corner.

Loving the bamboo fence.

A charming sign in a public toilet.

Even the drainage ditches look beautiful around here.


On the day before our trip was over we decided to visit the USA. It's a train stop on the local train line.

We have arrived! Welcome to Usa station!

All-in-all, it was a fantastic vacation, thanks mainly to the hard work my wife did in making all the arrangements and acting as tour guide; she's wonderful!

Thanks for stopping by!
Mike