Thursday, 15 August 2013

Mt Kurikoma and Higashi Naruse

It was a stroke of good fortune really that we needed to change routes; it provided an opportunity to go to Higashi Naruse, one of Japan's designated "ustsukushii mura" or beautiful villages.  It's on the Akita side of Mt Kurikoma, a mountain separating Miyagi, Iwate and Akita prefectures.
Unlike a lot of places that have lavish titles bestowed on them in Japan's propensity to list the most beautiful sites, most significant.. , best views,  ad infinitum, Higashi Naruse really was quite lovely.

Moutain scenery
More mountains
Mt Kurikoma shrine - Akita
A shrine near Mt Kurikoma
Moutain shrines are often kept very nicely
If the shrine can't protect you, perhaps common sense can...
The sign is urging people to consider which is more important -
bamboo shoots or their life.  (Many people people
who are unfamiliar with mountains, have started taking
to the mountains to pick mountain veges in the spring.)
The sign also warns that search and rescue is costly.
Lake Sukawa - there is a camp site there that looks very pleasant.
Not as nicely kept as the shrine, but this requires public money.

A sign pointing to "sennin mizu" spring water by the
side of the road. 
Sen-nin-mizu - ascetics water -  It's an area where
there is still a belief / tradition of ascetics who achieve a kind of
immortality - living without eating.  I am not sure if drinking the
water is supposed to bring immortality (will need to double check that)
I missed my chance if it does, it was too cold to hold in my hand
to drink. 

Mountains.... this must be bear country.
Driving into the farming land of Higashi Naruse
A minshuku in the town
blizzard gates on the roads through Higashi Naruse.
The flat land near Jumonji - much less pretty.
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