Went to…a mountain, possibly called “Kanayama”, but I’m not really sure. At the top of the mountain (which is not a big mountain for Japan, more like a foothill or smallish mountain) are the ruins of an old Japanese castle, built in the early 1400s. Probably for a Daimyo or Shogun (Shoguns were Japanese warlords and Daimyo were sort of their…magistrates, from what I remember of Japanese history. You can almost undoubtedly look it up yourself and either prove me wrong or just woefully under-informed.)
Mika (an American girl) and I drove halfway up the mountain, hiked to the top, took in the view, saw the ruins and visited the shrine and temple. There was a prayer for a happy/fortunate holiday posted outside of the temple (it was a holiday weekend), and there were statues of foxes everywhere.
|A fox, or “kitsune”|
The fox is a prominent figure in Japanese folklore, although I’m not sure of its specifics. So here is a wikipedia link for us all to learn a little more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsune
Then we hiked down the backside of the mountain to an awesome children’s playground (which, given what sorts of things were on the playground, could also totally serve as a ninja training camp). There was also supposed to be a Koi pond, which on the map showed happy little fish jumping out of the water. Instead it was sort of dull and only had rather limpid ducks.
All in all though, a really fun time, and a beautiful day. I plan on going back, frequently if possible.
|Prayers left at the temple|
|Mountains in the distance|
|Some parts of the mountain were covered in bamboo groves|