My latest Post.

This view,this beauty
A tear unbidden
Creeps into my eye.

My stay is short
But I shall return to this place
If only my life is long enough.

Such beauty
Gazing upon it
I hope my years are many.

Bokusui Wakayama.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Return to Kunimiyama.

   I was in this area about a month ago ( Dec' 2013 ) on one of my hiking exploits - "Mt Kunimiyama, Tou-no Mori Forest, and The Nanamagari Path" - when, as part of my research for my blog, I discovered there was more to see/experience that I missed. So, as I am an obsessive outdoorholic, I decided the area needed further exploring. On this occasion I decided I would return on two-wheels.
Map Location.
   I commenced my journey at the junction of the "Old Yagyu Road & the Yamanobe-no Michi Path", on the outskirts of Nara Park (that was after a 30km x 1.45-hour ride from home), and take the lane to the settlement of Yadawaracho, via the Hachibuse Pass (a 4.5km stretch of road that just seems to keep ascending & ascending). As it was mid-winter, I was mindful of the elements and the forecast, so I wore the appropriate clothing and brought plenty of sustenance (I also packed my bike-bag in case I needed to abort and catch a train). As the first part of my journey was through dense forest, I was fairly sheltered from the wind, but it wasn't until I began my ascent to the summit of Mt Kunimiyama, I became exposed to the elements. 
Yours Truly & Friend, summit Mt Kunimiyama.
 Just as I arrived at the summit, after a grueling ascent, the sun came out and I was able to spend time taking-in the surrounding scenery. By this point I had already been on the road about 4-hours, and it was about 5-hours since I last had anything to eat, so my stomach was sending me reminders that it needed replenishing and, as I knew my next destination (Hiyoshi-jinja Shrine) wasn't far away, I headed-off into the Tou-no Mori Forest, and shelter from the wind. 
Upper Hiyoshi-jinja.
   There is something about a shrine that is as isolated as Hiroshi-jinja is, and it was great to be back here again to relive my first visit. But, as a result of my research (and the guys at "Google Maps"), this isn't the only Hiyoshi-jinja shrine in this area (which is why I have returned) and I was keen to check-it-out.
Map Location.
   My descent from the upper complex, to the lower, was via a very-steep concrete path - at this point I must express my gratitude to Tarou Yamada, my cycle mechanic, for the fine job he did in giving my bike a tuneup last week - and, as I arrived at the lower complex, there were beads of sweat running off my brow. I just have to be grateful there wasn't any ice or snow on the path.
Concrete Torii & Chozuya.
    I wouldn't rate this complex one of the best I have visited during my travels but, what it did have in it's favor was the location - set in amongst a forest, serene, and miles away from civilization - as this video will testify.

    Another plus was it had a sheltered area so I could sit, out of the wind, and consume my lunch (my stomach was beginning to resemble the sound of a rock-slide).
    It was about now I was becoming concerned with my progress, and what lay ahead, so I decided to move on.


   As I was descending the path from the shrine (this too was concrete, but not as steep as the earlier one), I passed several dilapidated houses amongst the bushes. I guess with the isolation and the nearest store several kilometers away, living here would surly test ones stamina.
   Soon I was exiting the forest lane and joining a sealed road, the settlement of Yamadacho my next destination. Then, without warning, my left leg decided to pack-up and left me in some pain; about 10-years ago I damaged the Sciatic Nerve in my left leg and, with some physiotherapy, it came right, well about 85% right. It was while I was resting (and praying) I discovered this shed atop the bank nearby. Upon investigation I found an interesting collection of religious icons scattered amongst the trees.
   Within a short distance I was in familiar territory, The Nanamagari Path, and, if my calculations were correct, I was on the home stretch and could change into cruise mode. Exiting the 'Path, I arrived at the settlement of Nakahatacho and began to make my way to the track passing by Mt Shiroyama (I was here in mid-November "In Search of Tsubakio-jo Castle"), and the settlement of Minamitsubaocho. 
Map Location.
    I had one more site, on my planned itinerary, I wanted to check-out before bringing this outing to it's conclusion - Anmyo-ji Temple. This complex was another site I discovered courtesy of "Google Maps" and, as it was well off the beaten track, my curiosity got the better of me. After nearly busting a gasket climbing the driveway to the temple, it was good to have another opportunity to take-a-break for a few minutes and check-out the surroundings (video). The descent from Anmyo-ji reminded me of my descent earlier in the day and, like on that occasion, I was grateful for a good set of disc-brakes on my bike.
Map Location.
     Just over 3km later, and about 32km x 4.45-hours since the start, I reached my goal - the junction with route-188. I was quite elated with my days efforts, albeit a bit sore (my left leg was still not perfect), and was looking forward to a good hot shower upon return home. Home. Another 40km away, and I was running-out of daylight. I told myself not to panic. Just relax and be patient. I arrived home in good time, after cruising along the Kizugawa Cycle-way, and that hot shower.
   I accomplished everything I set-out to see/do and, once I uploaded my video & images, and G.P.S. recording, I was thrilled-to-bits with my day. As always, it has been a great pleasure in sharing this with you, and I hope you enjoy reading this post. So, until next time - Sayonara.

   Full video of this trip - Return to Kunimiyama.

   Trip details - Cateye Atlas and Ride with G.P.S.  

No comments:

Post a Comment